@somf69 Ok this trope is just the silliest sh*t I’m realizing. Scissors are for shearing, not cutting and are only remotely sharp on the inside edges which are way unlikely to injured you in a fall, and most scissors, especially kids scissors, are not pointed. Unless you run with open scissors, and an appendage in between, they can’t be more dangerous than running with a pencil or ruler.
Let alone like a radial compass, handgun, cafeteria lunch, lead paint chips, giant paper ream guillotine sling blade (I call it a kaiser blade) contraption, or any other or the various hazards commonly found in schools.
@rogerbacon@somf69 I swear, my second cousin’s best friend’s step-nephew in law knew a guy who lost his eye while running with scissors. Or maybe it was a Quiznos sandwich. Those things are seriously sharp.
One friend had a small baseball diamond in their back yard (like 50 feet between bases small), and a neighbor who grumped when we hit the ball into his yard. Those summer days seemed like they would never end!
We’d get kicked out the door and told not to come back until dinner when mom would ring the bell. Our code was ring ring pause ring ring pause ring ring. Other kids had other codes. We’d run around the neighborhood making up chase games/kick the can type of games, sneak down to Shaker Lakes and skip rocks, walk up the stream, seeing other kids from the inner city walking down the stream (never any issues), or if we had our bikes ride around it on the path. We’d sneak into the church and play in the big playroom under the sanctuary that had ride on toys, blocks, and a ton of what I remember as cool things. We’d do gymnastics there too. Looking back we were so scared we’d be caught that we were dead silent when we’d play down there.
We were told if we were bored there were plenty of chores to do so we’d go outside and complain to each other we were bored while torturing ants in ant hills, while drawing on the sidewalk with chalk, while climbing trees, etc.
My middle sister and I would ride our bikes to Squires Castle or to the amusement park and use our babysitting money to pay for the admission ticket, lock our bikes to a fence, ride rides all day and then ride our bikes home. Both were a good 45 min to hour bike ride. Looking back we must have been in fantastic shape to do that - especially the bike ride home with all the steep hills.
Amazingly my parents never said a word about where we went. All of us in the neighborhood were pretty much free range kids I guess. Of course that was a different day and age than now. No cell phones either.
Starting in about 4th grade I’d get in trouble trying to read books at the dinner table although that was considered less of a “bad thing” than elbows on the table or failure to use a napkin although if I didn’t put the book away at the “end of the page” which would slide into to the “end of the chapter” my book would be confiscated.
I completely forgot about the time my brother and I spend hours making an igloo out of the plowed snow pile in the church parking lot next door to where we lived. My parents let us sleep in it a couple of nights. By ourselves.
@rtjhnstn Yeah we did that too - my brother mostly actually and we’d watch. We’d also try to carefully pour water down the small openings in their ant hills. Because we spend so much time doing this my parents got us an ant farm for christmas or birthday or something.
I grew up in a time and place (the '40s and '50s) under reduced circumstances, where there was no Internet <gasp>, no computers (gasp^2), no telephone <gasp^5), NO TV (gasp^10)…we had a radio, which was AM only as FM wasn’t a thing then.
My parents both worked (no choice). My sister and I were latchkey kids except we lived in a time and place where we didn’t lock our doors, and if we did, it was only with a skeleton key.
We amused ourselves. Our home had no books, nor pictures on the wall for that matter. There was a ball field nearby. The town had a library, which was open an afternoon or two a week. The library was invaluable in the winter time, when it was raw or cold out. One could get lost in a book.
I roamed far and wide after school and especially in the summer time, without problems or fear. Since we lived in a small town, there were always watchful eyes, who would report any bad behavior to our parents – a fact of which we were all too well aware.
There were comic books, baseball cards, Erector sets, Tinker Toys, jigsaw puzzles, and model airplanes for indoor activities. But most of all, there were friends who were not much better off than were we, with whom we could have “adventures.”
Many a fort or dugout was made or dug on someone’s land (without permission), trees to climb, creeks to wade and fish, a local sawmill, whose sawdust pile was fun to slide down after the workers went home (but you usually got in trouble at home owing to sawdust in every nook and cranny of both your bod and your clothes, but at times it was irresistible).
We had chores that had to be done, but were always put off until mere moments until one parent or another was due to arrive home. Then it was a mad, mad dash and race to do what had to be done.
In my case it was sort of a Tom Sawyer life, simple, idyllic, unsupervised, and safe, mostly. I regret that much of that simple life has been lost. Sure we are more “connected” today, maybe better informed, but the pace of life is sure different, and the physical and social scene is far more dangerous than in my time. The crime rate in my town was virtually zero. There were no drugs, no predators, no crooks.
It is a simple fact that the population of the U.S. has more than doubled since the days of which I speak. There are just more people today and in my opinion less of a social conscious than in my day.
In the decades that followed, I don’t think the experiences of childhood, which I enjoyed have gotten better – unless, maybe you live on a farm in some rural area.
@Jackinga I enjoyed reading this, reminded me of boxcar kids. I’d never heard of a “latchkey kid” before, but I was very much that in the 90s, albeit because my “parents” were said crooks on drugs, and rarely present at home.
In addition to riding my bicycle for hours on end, I also entertained myself with all kinds of things that would probably land me in jail these days, including:
Chemistry experimentation (I made a pretty good smoke bomb back in the day. );
Building electronic accessories & interval timers for my camera & home darkroom play; and
Launching my Model Rockets…
@ELJAY The smoke bomb. That reminds me of when my cousin and I made a “pipe bomb.” Boy that sounds scarier than what we thought it was. She had a bunch of fireworks her dad bought her. Mostly the consumer grade stuff like bottle rockets and Roman candles.
One day we decided to glue end caps on some pvc. We dumped every bit of the explosive parts of all the fireworks into that piece of pvc and then used some clay to plug a hole in the center (and hold the wick). We had the wherewithal to choose a “sturdy” structure to light the thing next to.
It was in an alley though, near homes, and that structure was another friends parents garage. It was cinderblock and our child minds felt this was the safest place to light it.
Lit the thing and ran like hell. It was a sound so loud that echoed in our little mountain town. I think most people probably thought it was a blast from the nearby coalmines, as that was a common occurrence.
When we went back to get what was left, there was literally nothing left. We lived in a small town and found shards of that thing all over the place on nearby streets and blocks. Made the mistake of telling our friend at school the next day. She subsequently told her parents and we ended up in big trouble.
Now that I’ve written this out, I realize that type of thing would probably get the police interested in a kid these days. Stupid thing for us to do but what a great memory to recall occasionally. We had tons of fun and that experiment led us to our can-cannon tennis ball launcher!
When I was a kid I remember stealing fireworks my dad bought from down south (this was before mi sold fireworks) my friends and I went down the street to light them off. They dared me to light a bottle rocket at a house so I did and ran, as soon as I turned around it blew up right in my face. Scared my face and burnt a bunch of holes in my tee shirt. Of course my dad found out when I can home bc of what I looked like.
@ELJAY@Star2236 My brother used to make smoke bombs, contact explosive, pipe bombs, etc. in the basement with a chemistry set my parents bought him. He blew things up twice down there (once forgetting aluminum was a catalyst, can’t remember what he did the other time). The second time he cut his hand and over 100 pieces of phosphorus needed to be picked out of his eyes (fortunately no permanent damage).
I asked him to see if he could get school dismissed early on the last day of high school for seniors (he was 2 grades behind me). Smoke bomb in the ventilating system did it. I was only kidding and didn’t think he’d risk getting caught to do it (had help from a friend to pull it off). Had I known he’d really do it I would have kept my trap shut.
He also made pipe bombs with a long fuse that we buried in big sand piles and blew them up. My parents knew what was going on. They didn’t intervene. Sort of amazing that they let us do these things although I’d guess if we were being unsafe they would have intervened.
Reading sci fi (Asimov, Bradbury, Bova, Hebert, Niven, …) and Tolkein. Model rockets. Strapping D-class engines on Hot Wheels, pinewood derby cars, and Tonka trucks.
Flying Cox line controlled airplanes.
Blowing stuff up with homemade gunpowder after watching Kirk do it in that Zorn episode of Star Trek. Watching lots of Star Trek, Gilligan’s Island, I Dream of Jeannie, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, Sesame Street, and Mr. Rogers after school at the babysitters.
Fishing at the golf course water hazards (ponds), running barefoot on the shell cart paths to the neighborhood clubhouse to swim and save quarters to drop in the pinball machine. Then going to the video arcade where an older kid worked who would give us free games on Defender, Missile Command, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, and Joust.
Played Dungeons and Dragons. Built potato guns with PVC, lighter fluid or hair spray, and tennis balls. Made railroad flares out of pool chlorine (HTH) and Pine-sol. Used liquid nitrogen (air) to make liquid oxygen and then blow stuff up with it of course.
Amazingly, nobody I ran with got injured or died doing all the stupid shit we did. My cousins, not so much, after a friend of theirs died water skiing when he tried to splash the kids on the pier and hit the pier instead.
Ate lots of dirt, played in the mud, drank pond water, and I owe my lack of allergies and not getting the usual sicknesses to having built up tolerance to that stuff out of my completely idiotic childhood ignorance in retrospect. And getting every vaccine available because my parents didn’t want to watch me die or suffer from MMR, polio, tetanus, and the others.
Got my first jab last week. Never any question about getting me it as soon as my state would allow. Thankfully, my deep red state was so embarrased at their terribly mismanaged vaccine rollout that the Feds took over and started … Getting. Shit. Done. Two weeks later and vaccinations are open to everyone with multi-thousand per day mass centers setup.
Wrapped tightly in blankets, filling my cavitated lungs with cool mountain air while bathing my pale skin in the purifying sun’s rays, outside the sanitorium. Mine was a sickly constitution, prone to bouts of the consumption. Those summers are my finest memories.
i was never allowed to have any video games. and early on the only tv i was allowed was pbs. i wasn’t until i was older i started really watching tv a lot.
i spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house which meant a lot of time at the beach. i LOVED to be in water. ocean, lake, pool, sprinkler, turtle sandbox…i’d stay in water until my lips were blue and my skin was raisiny and i was freezing and still have to be dragged out screaming.
i also loved to be out in the vegetable or flower garden. or painting rocks we found at the beach. or sometimes i’d make big posters for my grandparents’ friends. (i loved to do anything arts & crafts, so i’d color these big poster boards at my gramma’s behest that usually read “get well soon” to whom ever it was that was ailing and then my gramma would take a picture of me holding it and send them the photo in a card.)
i loved to play with dolls, and took it very seriously. i always had a diaper bag packed and loved to feed, change, etc. i also loved to clean and organize small objects - rocks, shells, super balls, marbles, littlest pet shop (the og version). gramma had a big collection of scarves and i would just arrange them to cover this one particular chair in the living room.
i loved to pretend i was julia child and make all kinds of dishes in anyone’s backyard.
my gramma loved to take home movies. the video camera was the size of a suitcase. sometimes my gramma would have a friend over who could sing and play the piano and got me to accompany her. (i can’t and never have been able to sing or play an instrument.) sometimes she would get me to act out “the victory garden” in the backyard. sometimes i just scripted little performances. once my cousins visited and dressed me up for a “fashion show” - i’ve always hated being dressed up but i did like hearing them yell my introduction from downstairs: HERE SHE IS, MISS CAAAANNDYYYYYYYYYYY BAR!
me n grampa, we liked to play cards. gin rummy usually. or he would read to me. or take me for chowdah & clamcakes. all the waitresses knew me! then we could get an ice cream at carvel. i even liked just going grocery shopping with him at the a&p.
idk. tv was really not on my radar for a long time. even as i got older and made friends, we did a lot of bike riding, or played board games, or made up dances to our favorite artists. (each person would get to pick one side of a cassette and would then do a whole routine to it and be judged.) i remember spending entire days pretending we ran a veterinary practice with all my stuffed animals. i kept the appointment book.
i’ll tell you one thing though, if i could teleport i’d definitely still spend every day i could swimming.
When I was about 8, there was a vacant lot in our neighborhood that had a huge blackberry bramble. A couple of neighbor kids and I took some clippers and made tunnels into the bramble, then opened up a larger area in the center. We had many cuts and scratches but we persisted. It became our “secret fort” and we would take snacks and comic books and such into the inner sanctum and hang out, play games, etc. Then one day we came home from school to find that our fort had been mowed down. We were devastated, but eventually the scars healed (both literal and figurative).
My nose has been in a book (my mom’s description) since I learned to read. Before I got old enough that my uncle and his friends refused to shoot marbles, wade the Creek, play cowboys and Indians and climb trees with a girl, I was the only girl in his boy gang and grew up tomboy. I can still get a mean set of gears, jump start your car, change a flat tire and maybe outshoot you.