Stolen from one of many e-mails that old friends send me and modified somewhat for South Florida items:
To all the kids who survived the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets. There weren't any plugs in the electric outlets and some of us learned not to stick scissors blades into them.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no crumple zones to absorb accident damage, no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up truck on a warm day was always a special treat. When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets to protect our heads. We undertook some risks when we hitchhiked or rode the Pawley family bus system (later the county bus system) in Dade County.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. This was particularly risky in west Hialeah if you drank from the well water hose because most of us were on septic tanks instead of the sewer system and probably most of western Dade County was that way back in the 50's and 60's.
We fished along canals and lakes chock full of water moccasins on land frequented by rattlesnakes. Sometimes we swam or were pushed into the same canals and we survived.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and none of us actually died from this. We did have a crude saying for those friends who used too much lip over the bottle opening though.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter, drank McArthur's or Velda Farms' whole milk chock full of fat, ate ice cream full of fat, ate too many Royal Castle hamburgers and too much pizza, and drank Kool-Aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, swimming in dangerous newly dug rockpits occasionally, as long as we were back home by the time the streetlights came on. Some parents would yell or whistle loudly when it was time to come home. Other than that, no one was able to reach us all day long. And we were just fine.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable or satellite TV, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms! A lot of us didn't have air-conditioning in our homes until the 70's, but it seemed like we had ocean breezes to cool us off somehow.
We had FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. Some of us ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th thru 14th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to friends' homes and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts, often at parks miles away that we had to ride bikes to, and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law and the police officers who nailed us!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. But we had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all!
If YOU are one of them . . . CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.
The above kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?
The quote of the year is by Jay Leno:
"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"