When you are 86 years old, what do you do for exercise? Walking gives you time to do a lot of reflecting on days gone by. Sometimes it’s on the golf course out our backdoor, and other times in one of B/CS shopping malls when the weather is bad. There are lots of other people who do the same thing. The mall is large and has nice benches for sitting when you get tired. The other day I was taking a “breather,” and while sitting there, resting, I watched all the people passing by.
Being exceedingly watchful, I noticed a majority of these folks, especially the young people, were all busy with some electronic device in their hands. They would even bump into things. Hardly anyone was carrying on a conversation with anyone else! How sad, I thought.
Sitting there, I thought about my early days beginning around 1941. I was age five, and us kids had all kinds of games to play. There were yo-yos, with all kinds of tricks you could do with this piece of wood attached to a string; hop-scotch, jump rope you could do alone and also with others; hide-‘n-seek, kick the can, marbles where you tried to get all your opponents best marbles; we had tricycle races down the driveways. Then we played Monopoly, which was a new game out with a great story behind it, (I will tell you about it sometime in the near future.) cowboys and Indians, Tarzan, spin the top!!
At school, we played baseball, football, Red Rover. In the winter we played indoor games such as puzzles on the dining room table, then there was a train set with lots of track and some of my friends had a miniature town to place around the track. For reading, everyone had lots of comic books that you traded after reading each one a few times.
By the time I turned eight, I had a bicycle and was playing four sports: baseball, softball, football, basketball, and track, which kept boys and some girls mighty busy along with our school activities,
Since there was no TV, most of us had a favorite baseball team, whether local or professional. We listened to them on our radios and followed them through our newspapers. Few college games were on the radio, but professional baseball was big-time as was professional boxing. My boxing hero was Joe Lewis, and my right ear was up against the radio speaker when he had a heavy-weight fight! The announcer was a guy named Bill Stern, and the sponsor was “Gillett Razors.” I need to explain that our radios back then were mostly a big box with the tuner at the top and speakers filling the bottom half of that box. Well, it was actually a piece of furniture. A guy in the class of 1956, Gene Emerson, was the inventor of the digital radio…at least that’s what I’ve been told, and that’s when they started making them smaller.
Wellsir, the word on the street, in public education is on a downward turn, and half our graduates cannot read or write and are “big time ignorant” of American history and what it stands for: Freedom from tyranny, Liberty to enjoy life, “In God we Trust,” and “God Bless America!” But I do hope and pray that just maybe they will prove me wrong…
So goes my memories as I leave my bench in the mall, thinking…now my days were the GOOD OLD DAYS.
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