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Hi folks. I was thinking the other day about what life was like when I was a kid and the stories that my parents told of life when they were kids. Our society has changed so much in the last 50 years. I thought it would be interesting to start a thread where we share memories of what made the "good old days" the good old days for us. What do you remember most fondly about growing up, the pace and morals of life then and how it has changed today?
 

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Era: 70's
We didn't think twice about hopping on our bikes and riding 5 miles across town with fishing poles in hand to wade up a largely unfished river as kids. Or walking behind the hospital and following the stream down to the limestone quarries to spend the day fishing from the cliffs. Or creeping through the cornfields to get to the little pond out in the middle of nowhere - never did catch anything out there, might not have been more than a foot deep, but it was nirvana for a group of kids. Outside of knowing where we'd be and when we'd be home, none of our parents were too concerned either. I'm sure we did our fair share of juvenile things but we did plenty of growing up out there too - taking responsibility for the younger kids, identifying and steering clear of trouble-makers, getting home on time (or not, and paying the price), preparing for trips by hunting worms, seining minnows & crawfish, packing lunches, etc...

Where I live now there is nowhere that *I* could safely travel 5 miles on bicycle at all, much less release my kids to the roads. Granted, I live in a much bigger city than I grew up in, but I don't think we consider anywhere as "safe" as we used to. There's just nowhere around here that I'd trust to let a couple 10 year olds go off and spend the day unsupervised, much less one with the risk of the places where I did my growing up.
 

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as a kid i remember leaving tackle on the porch or in the boat. being 10 an waterskiing on the fingerlakes.. riding my bike-no brakes- down a mountain with fishing rods in hand fishing all day till pop showed up and loaded the bike in his truck.. wading in naples creek netting smelt in the pitch dark of night with hundreds of strangers wandering up and down the creek..

i remove everything from the boat every time i park it at my mothers place..
even after all these years of doing it. i have stood on the path and wondered how the **** i did not break my neck biking off that mountain..i would not water ski again if you paid me the lakes have become more crowded with every passing year.. it would be like water skiing down death valley in durham during rush hour..

what simply amazes me is with all of the boats on the lakes during the summer that there is very few boating accidents each year in this state..

zooker
 

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Family and the old home place remind me of the good ole days. Great grandparents making traditions that lasted a lifetime. Their moral values that allowed black and white baptisims in their pond and ,after changing out of wet clothes in their house, they sat on the front porch and drank tea and made ice cream and talked the afternoons away. If you were around or showed up a supper time you ate and you ate good. Brown rolls made with lard. Pork, chicken, or beef raised on the farm. Fresh vegetables grown on the farm. I could devote pages on the food and converstations enjoyed while sitting around the lazy susan table which my ggfather made. He also made a "fly brush" that was centered over the table to shoo the flies away before there was screens for the windows.
I had a dozen horses and ponies to ride and plenty of woods to ride them in. I was given a pair of beagles for a birthday present, Trackdown and Tracer, and they were my constant sidekicks. Dad always kept an english setter to hunt the six or eight covies of quail we found on a ususal day's hunt. Bass and bream to catch with cane poles in the pond on summer afternoons. Catfish and carp to catch out of Grant's creek and the Yadkin.
Didn't have much money but surely didn't miss it. Had everything I could possibly dream about.
 

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Welp, I remember when I got out of line, you got whoopins. Had many of granny's hair brushes broke over my backside (yup, even granma would getchya if ya got out of line)
Granny on mom's side was quiet as church mouse till you crossed her some how and boy she'd light yer butt on fire with them hair brushes

Flip side, Mamaw on dads side owned a water front bar in Clearwater Beach Fla... so spent alot of time in the beach bar as a kid messing with the pinball machines, Got away with murder with Mamaw..

Didnt have internet, MTV or video games (unless you count Atari or PONG)

Used to be able to drive down to the beach and have a beer with lunch at 18 and go back for the last class of the day in High School.

Working at 14 gettin paid under the table cleanin meat coolers at Mr. Herman's Meat market after school... Man I hated cleanin that sausage grinder, but the benifits of fresh loaves of Banana bread and slicing meat to make your own sandwich were definately worth it.

Gettin caught by mom sneakin off with a buddies riding bikes down to the ICW to fish -- enters another broke hair brush or wood spoon

Collecting glass bottles and taking them to the corner store for a nickel a piece for pocket change

Building models of cars/planes

Fishin with papaw

Spending huge amounts of time trying to figure out the song(s) Stairway to Heaven and Gimme a T for Texas on guitar

being handed a bag of marshmellows by uncle Jim and told to go feed the alligators with'm on the Myakka River

trips to Kentucky

8 track player in the car and car's with ashtrays the size of small buckets, and cuttin the seat belts out of the car cause they got in the way

Cows across the street and woods to explore in

Desire to get out of town and find something better (joined the service)

Hidin you know what in a LP record jacket.... (One More from the Road.. baby..) ;)

Hanging out at the beach with friends, sitting at home or in front of the t.v. was the last place we'd want to be..

Shootin arrows up in the air with a bow not knowin where they came down,,, then a knock on the door at dinner time with a neighbor sayin does this belong to you, I found it stuck in my....?
No hair brush on that one,,, ever had a half a bow whoopin?? 1st and last time that ever happend!

Getting hazed and hazing when playing high school ball...

replacing every neighbors window I knocked out with a baseball, golf ball, football.... Lot's of folks got free lawn care...

Dad lettin me pop off rounds out in the driveway with the handgun every New Years


Whooo... lot's of stuff, lot's of stuff changed/changes too.. Some things I'd really rather not re-live and I had my fair share of stupid stuff. It's amazing I'm here today.
But too much fun stuff to list in one post... I can tell ya that! ;)

If you've ever seen the movie dazed and confused... that's pretty much how life was in my town... to a "T". I'd much rather live the life I am now... especially after seeing how friends have turned out. Sometimes jumping both feet first into the world is a good thing (at least in my case).

Lot's have changed
 

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I agree with the Dazed and Confused comment. Scary how close that was to life here also. The things I see most lacking are morals and respect. Those are things you are taught and have a responsibility to teach. I think of this when I look at my kids. Back to the "good ole days". Riding around on dirt roads just for fun. Long rides back in the woods just to get away for a while. One big thing, cruising. What happened to that? At any given point there would be hundreds of people uptown just riding around and talking. I do miss the sound of cammed up muscle cars lined up in a row and the occasional burnout. Ahhh, good times for sure.
 

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Heres what I remember from the 50's and 60's:

My Father, deceased since 1957, comng to my class room in 1956 and telling the teacher he was there to get his boy "so they could go fishing"

Walking down the railroad track with my dog Tramp, wondering where it was going to take us.

Walking across bridge railings which were 5 inches wide (talk about stupid)

Walking across the 5 inch pipe that crossed the creek (dumb and dumber)

Watching Saturday afternoon baseball at home with the big fan blowing om me and thinking how great it was that we had fans to keep us cool.

Delivering newspaper on my Schwinn bike every day and the big basket on the front of of the bike holding what seemed like a thousand newspapers that I had rolled earlier.

Sunday dinner as we always had fried chicken and biscuits.

Watching TV after school viewing "Howdie Doodie" and "Captain Five on chanel 5 at 5:00"

Sitting in the classroom watching pigions on the window sill.

Catching a string of bream in a fishing hole on a cane pole about 15' x 15' and walking proudly home with them. Digging for worms for bait.

Chasing down fowl balls at the Babe Ruth League baseball game at the park near my house and the exicitement when I found that "new white baseball" in the woods down the third base line.

Walking with my mother from downtown Fayetteville, each of us carring a bag of groceries.

Climbing the pecan trees in our back yard to shake the trees of pecans.

Smoking a cigerette when I was 10 years old and thinking how bad it taste.

Putting Mickey Mantle baseball cards in the spokes of my bike cause he was my favorite player (now that was really stupid)

shooting birds with my BB gun.

Eating snow cones with the various flavors in the summertime.

Hearing the music from the ice cream truck down the street and having 5 cent to buy it with.

Cleaning out my big brothers car with a wispbroom and making 5 cent so I could buy ice cream.

Plundering through the neighborhood looking for drink bottles so I could make some money, they were worth 2 cents each.

Shooting old man Campbell with my BB gun because he was a mean old man that hated Tramp, my dog.

Rolling an old car tire down the street and running to keep up with it.

The thrill of collecting little 3 inch toy soldiers and fitting them with their helmets.

Car trips to White Lake and picnics with Daddy before he died.

Daddy taking me the the fishing pier at Carolina beach and staying up all night fishing.

Daddy taking mne fishing at the Cape Fear river and making me sit still so I wouldn't fall in.

I could go on and on but I'm getting sad.


Jim
 

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...One big thing, cruising. What happened to that? At any given point there would be hundreds of people uptown just riding around and talking. I do miss the sound of cammed up muscle cars lined up in a row and the occasional burnout. Ahhh, good times for sure.
I think it was already past, but the $3 a gallon gas can't be helping! And cruising just isn't as cool in a fuel miser. Not many good cruisers on car lots anymore...
 

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I was born the year that Hitler started acting up in Europe and my childhood evolved around WWII

Youngest of five boys on a red dirt farm one mile from the mill village where both parents worked

No indoor plumbing-No TV- only AM radio

Meals were cooked on a wood stove

Gas, sugar and tires were rationed--no problem we raised sugar cane- can remember taking cane to molasses mill- used molasses in place of sugar-no gas or tires--no problem -walked to church on Sunday only a little over a mile each way

All families got involved with the war effort--on vacant land we planted and picked kapok( used to stuff life preservers)

Had air raid drills and black outs

Two horses,one mule,three cows, flock of chickens and five hogs

Taught to take care of land and livestock as it took care of us

Slaughtered the hogs every Thanksgiving and kept five piglets for the next year

Wheat thrashing meant that we would get new mattresses to sleep on (straw ticks)- first week was rough until the chiggers cleared out

Mother had a tray where she leached wood ashes to make pot ash-mixed pot ash( caustic lye), cracklings(leftovers from making lard),and water in the old black wash pot-fired it for several hours(grandma's lye soap)- used for curing poison ivy, chiggers, washing clothes, washing dishes and used for Sat. night baths in the wash tub-All five boys used same bath water -youngest first(only admitted peeing in the bath water once)

Main crops were corn, wheat, hay-we took our own wheat and corn to grist mills for flour, corn meal and grits( always took extra for toll -no money involved)

A part of my chores- wash dishes-take cows to pasture after morning milking- bring cows from pasture to barn for evening milking- split and load wood box for the cook stove -in summer chop grass out of crops with hoe( farm tool)- cultivate corn with the mule-help with the wood cutting, hauling, and splitting-used cross cut saws, axes, wedges and sledge hammers(before the chain saw came along)- churned milk for butter(weekly)

Killed three pullets Sat. afternoon for Sun. fried chicken(chop chicken's head off-scald him in the wash pot-pluck feathers-singe with flame from pages of Sears Roebuck catalog, gut and cut up

Nowadays, I watch TV and and read where the wayward privileged kids are sent to boot camps to get them in tune with animals and the land to help them cope with life-I was PRIVILEGED from the day I was born and glad that I was

Not enough younger folks know their gee's from their haa's(horse and mule lingo) and a little horse sense is needed to understand-I guess
 

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Our mules were educated. They responded to halt, pivot, and proceed! We could look down between the cracks in the kitchen floor and see chickens scratching in the dirt. Still have the popular board planks that were laid on top of saw horses that were used to butcher the hogs. The planks are scarred with knife cuts. Talk about good eating! Fresh sausage in home made biscuits...fatback and navy beans...liver mush....
 

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Perch fishing every weekend with my Dad and uncle on Lake Erie. Then the Perch fry afterwards.

Popping gound hogs along the railroad tracks with my 22, getting paid by the farmers $1 for each one I shot. At last up here now, you will get busted big time just for walking the tracks, much less hunting along them.

Deer and rabbit hunting with Dad. First day of each season was an excused day from school.

Tweeking dual Holleys to burn more gas so I could go faster and beat "the other guy". Of course Dad having to pull me out jail for getting nabbed doing 136 in a 45 zone got me a wuppin I'll never forget. Probably could have taken him since I was 22 still at home, but yoo wouldn't have even thought about it during those times. Ya had too much respect for your parents.

Driving the car out to the airport to fill her up with 115 octane aviation gas even if it did cost 89 cents a gallon, it was worth it.

12:1 compression ratio from the factory.

Dad teaching me how to untangle a birdnest.

Waiting in anticipation for the Saturday morning cartoons, cause they weren't on 24/7 to completely waste your time.

The neighborhood no pad, full tackle football games.

All the days spent standing in the River tossing out hunks of chicken liver or (?) for the Flatheads and Channel cats. Dad would always clean them for me till I turned maybe 7. Then he fianlly said enough was enough. If you're gonna fish every day you need to learn how to clean fish. He showed me the first one and then I spent the next 3 hours cleaning the rest.

Helpin Dad make ends meet between his union carpentry jobs by taking on side jobs with him. Roofing, framing. Taught me how to use a hammer and saws at a very young age so I could do things for myself as an adult. Not sure if it was the hammer or the fishing pole I held in my hands first, but I think it was the pole.
 
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