Monday, May 12, 2008


A friend sent me an e-mail the other day. I don't know where it originated, but it made me feel good, and I'd like to share it.

Close your eyes - and go back

Before the Internet or PC or the MAC
Before semi-automatics and crack
Before Playstation, SEGA, Super Nintendo - even before Atari
Before cell phones, CD's, DVD's, voicemail and e-mail

Go way back - way - way - way back.
I'm talking about hide-and-seek at dusk,
Red Light-Green Light, Red Rover-Red Rover
Playing kick ball and dodge ball until the first - no - the second -
No - the third street light came on.
Ring-around-the-rosie - London Bridge - Hot Potato - Hop Scotch -
Jump Rope - Tag! You're IT!
Parents standing on the front porch and yelling (or whistling) for you to come home -
No pagers or cell phones.
Take one giant step - May I?

Seeing shapes in the clouds
Endless summer days and hot summer nights (No A/C) with windows open.
The sound of crickets
Running through the sprinkler
Cereal boxes with that GREAT prize in the bottom
Cracker Jacks with the same thing
Ice Pops with two sticks you could share with a friend.
But wait - There's more.

Watching Saturday morning cartoons. Tom and Jerry - Serial adventures -
Captain Midnight - The Cisco Kid - The Lone Ranger - Boston Blackie

Catching lightning bugs in a jar
Christmas morning
Your first day at school
Bedtime prayers and goodnight kisses

Climbing trees
Swinging as high as you could to try to reach the sky
A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers
Jumping down the steps
Jumping on the bed - Pillow fights
Running home from the western movie 'til you were out of breath
Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt
Being tired from PLAYING
Work meant taking out the garbage, cutting the grass, washing the car, doing the dishes

Your first crush
Your first kiss (I mean the one where you kept your mouth closed and your eyes open)
Rainy days at school with the smell of damp concrete and chalk erasers

Oh, I'm not finished yet.

Kool Aid was the summer drink - and a swig of water from the hose
Giving your friends a ride on the handlebars
Attaching pieces of cardboard to your bike frame to rub against the spokes
Belly-flopping on your sled to go down Dead Man's Hill

Wearing your new shoes on the first day of school
Class field trips with soggy sandwiches
When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got home from school
When a quarter seemed like a fair allowance, and another quarter was a MIRACLe
When ANY parent could discipline ANY kid, or feed him, or use him to carry groceries...
and nobody - not even the kid - thought a thing of it
When your parents took you to the Automat for a treat

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited you at home
Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, or gangs. We simply did not want our parents to get mad at us.

Didn't that feel good? Just to go back and say, "Yeah. I remember that!"
Well, let's keep going.
Let's go back to the time when -
Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo"
Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "Do over!"
Race issues meant arguing about who ran the fastest
Catching fireflies could happily occupy a whole evening
It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
Nobody was prettier than Mom.
Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was a cause of giggles.
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.

If you can remember most or all of these, then you have lived during a more pleasant, simpler time, as have I.


pink dogwood said...

What a post - so poetic. I can relate to a lot of these, as a kid growing up in India. Thanks for sharing.

kenju said...

I got that same one, Bobbie, and it does point to a simpler, much more desirable time!

Casdok said...

Lovely post! And brought back some memories!

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

I love this. You said it all so well.

bobbie said...

Well, thanks, but I can't take credit for it. It came to me in an email, with an anonymous author.

Crayons said...

Hi Bobbie
Thanks for that. I'm very much a minimalist, so I shun most of the technology that many people consider to be required gear. There are some really neat things today, but, as a person born in 1959, I find that so much of life today misses the core experience.

Anonymous said...

ALL in the wheelhouse of this baby boomer (except the automat) - simple joys of youth... thanks for the memories evoked by this piece, Bobbie... Deb

E said...

I've just discovered you. The pictures you take are quiet and compelling.
And I have to tell you my kids have had much of this in their own childhoods. Come to Vermont. Our towns are little, the guy at the post office asks Eli if he's supposed to be drinking Coke in the morning, and everybody catches fireflies and drinks from the spring nevermind the fancy hose.
It's closer than California and I suspect you would fall in love up here....