Take a free trip with me
into the past. Let's go back
before the Internet, before bombings, AIDS, herpes, automatic
weapons, Nintendo or crack... go way back to a simpler time.
Remember sitting on the curb, playing hide-and-seek, hopscotch,
Simon says, flashlight tag, running through sprinklers, and
red-light-green-light. Lunch boxes with a Thermos, chocolate
milk, going home for lunch, penny candy, butterscotch, skates
with keys, jacks and Cracker Jacks, hula hoops, sunflower seeds,
wax lips and mustaches, circle pins, bobby pins, Mary Jane's,
saddle shoes, and Coke bottles with a city name on the bottom.
Remember playing baseball without an adult to enforce the rules?
Remember licking real (not sugar-free) Kool-Aid powder off the
palm of your hand?
Remember when the (only) TV took five minutes to warm up? Remember
Mickey Mouse Club, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Jackie Gleason, Kookla,
Fran and Ollie, Spin and Marty, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys,
Laurel and Hardy, The Shadow, Howdy Doody and the Peanut Gallery,
The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk,
Nellie Belle, and Dick Clark's American Bandstand? All in fuzzy
black and white and you had to turn off the TV when a storm
came? Remember rabbit ears? With tin foil?
Remember when Moms were home waiting when their kids got out
of school? When "fast food" meant Mom could cook the
family's evening meal in less than twenty minutes? When families
ate meals together? And Sunday, when the whole clan gathered
at Grandma's house? Remember when children listened and obeyed
their parents? When you were afraid of your punishment instead
of drive-by shootings, drugs, gang wars, and rape?
Remember when you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny? When
no one owned a purebred dog? When a quarter was a decent allowance?
When nylon hose came in two pieces? When you didn't know a single
family with their own swimming pool?
Remember when you wouldn't step on a crack for fear that you'd
break your mother's back, paper chains at Christmas, construction
paper, unwrapped Halloween candy, caramel apples, popcorn balls,
silhouettes of Lincoln and Washington in February? Remember
doing The Stroll, The Twist, and sock hops?
Remember when you trusted the Government? When somebody cleaned
your windshield, checked your oil, filled your tires, and pumped
your gas, without asking, for free, every time!? And you got
trading stamps or free glasses? When laundry detergent came
with dishes or towels hidden inside the box? When it was considered
a great privilege to get to go to dinner at a real restaurant
with your parents? Remember when nothing came with safety caps
or hermetic seals because no one had ever tried to poison a
Remember when the worst thing you could do at school was flunk
a test or chew gum? When proms were always in the gym? And you
danced to real live musicians? Remember the smells: your school,
the locker room, library paste, and Evening in Paris? When teachers
threatened to keep failing kids back a grade -- and did! When
every male teacher wore a necktie? When female teachers had
their hair done everyday and wore high heels? When being sent
to the principal's office was nothing compared to what would
happen to you when your father got home?! Remember when there
were just two types of sneakers for girls and boys: Keds or
PF Flyers, and the only time you wore them at school was during
gym class? And girls had to wear those ugly gym uniforms? When
important school papers were mimeographed and regular classroom
papers were on Ditto paper? Remember that smell?
Remember when a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream car? Remember cruising, peeling out, laying rubber, getting scratch off, and watching submarine races? When people went steady? When girls wore huge class rings with a half-inch of wrapped Band-Aids, dental floss, or yarn coated with pastel-frost fingernail polish so it would fit their finger?
Remember when girls dotted their i's with hearts? (Before that
stupid smiley face?!)
There. Didn't it feel good just to lean back and say, "Yeah,