The First 40 Years: Youth part 2:
Chasing the sunset.
Being a kid in the 80s was much different than today. We all know it, but I wonder just how many kids know what it’s like to actually be a kid. Here’s how I did it, (and I was really good at it). First, you grab your best friend from birth. MY best friend ever, was Dennis. If you found one of us, you were likely find the other. Start your day on a bike, or a big wheel. Ride that thing straight through a mud puddle, then get yelled at by some mother or another. it didn’t even matter which neighborhood mom was yelling. It didn’t even have to be one of our mothers. When a mom yelled, you were in trouble. You simply go home, blame it on the dog, get new clothes, and run out the door to find more boy stuff to do.
Boy stuff in the 80’s:
Watch Dukes of Hazzard
Put coins on the railroad tracks
See how far you can ride a bike and still get home by dark
Sell a wagon full of walnuts to Jocko (the neighborhood farmer)
Chew on real beeswax full of honey
Trade baseball cards around the neighborhood
Modify your bicycle
Learn how to make a beach towel into a whip
Get into tools we aren’t supposed to be in
Above all, and this is very important …EXPLORE!!
We were great explorers in the 80s. Barns farms, garages, roofs, books (once a year), etc…you get the drift.
Record things on cassette tapes. :p
I can’t sum up my childhood in this tiny sp
ace, it’s just too small. But I can tell you of an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Once in a while, the families of our street would block off the road. That road would then be used for a neighborhood block party. It was a big deal for a kid. On that day, you wouldn’t hear a parent yelling to get out of the road, because the road was where you were supposed to be! Gearing up for the next bike race! Are there baseball cards properly placed in the spokes? Did I use dad’s screwdriver on all the right places to hold this bike together? It may not have really mattered, but it did really matter. This was race day! It was also cookout day, and horseshoe tournament day, and fireworks day, and pretty much the greatest day in the history of forever! I’d bet a nickel that got the best sleep of my life at the end of those days. 🙂
The best part, aside from those parties
, was chasing the sunsets. After dinner we would ask “mom, can we go back out and play?” Often, the reply was “okay, but be home by dark”.
The words echo “be…home…by…dark”. In our minds, we were already a mile down the road before we stepped out the door. Then the race was on. We didn’t always make it home by dark, and for certain, we had more than a few mothers calling the mom network. If you are too young to know the mom network is, ask any woman 50 years or older. I’m sure it still exists amongst mom’s today, but texting and blah blah, whatever. Real mom’s call other moms. Anyway, we were out chasing trails in the woods, railroad tracks, packets of brambles, secret forts, always with the disclaimer be home by dark…chase the sunset, make it home safe, but 5 more minutes in a fort!!! Gotta get home! And home we went.