Thursday, March 25, 2010

To all of us old-timers

This isn't original, though I've edited it a bit. It was sent to me as one of those chain emails, so my apologies if you have already seen it. But I thought it was so true, I just had to share it. I think everyone should read it.

To all who were born in the 1930s, '40s, '50s and 60s!

We were born to mothers who smoked or drank while they carried us and lived in houses full of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets. We rode in cars with no seat belts or air bags. We rode our bikes without helmets or shoes.

The shops closed at 5pm and didn't open on Sundays, but we didn't starve! Our only take away food was fish and chips - no pizza shops, Burger King or McDonald's. We ate crisps with salt in them, white bread with real butter, drank full cream milk and soft drinks with sugar in them, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing!

We rode bikes or walked to school and didn't get abducted. Our teachers would hit us with canes and gym shoes and bullies ruled the playground. It didn't harm us.

When we wanted our friends we would just walk or ride round there and yell for them. No one was able to reach us all day. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

We collected old drink bottles and cashed them in at the corner store to buy toffees, gobstoppers, bubblegum and bangers to blow up frogs with. We would spend hours building go-karts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we had no brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars. We were given air guns and catapults for our birthdays. We fell out of trees, got cut and dirty, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on satellite TV, no video/dvd movies, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet, no Internet chat rooms. When we wanted to make friends we went outside and found them!

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility and we learned how to deal with it. And you are one of them. Congratulations for surviving despite so many difficulties!


Adam said...

Fantastic post. I too remember those lovely childhood years of growing up with go-karts and long days playing in the country, of calling round to see if your friend was in, joy of joy no mobile phones (I don't have one to this day), drumsticks and sherbert-filled flying saucers from the newsagents, learning how to deal with the school bullies and stand on your own two feet, terror at the cane or the slipper and real repsect for your teachers and elders.

Good old days!

M0XDF said...

I go along with everything said here.
Although the lead paint might explain my dyslexia!


Theodore said...

Thanks for the post Julian, I had not seen it before.
Makes one think that perhaps we should recollect those days of challenge and triumph, and try to recapture the spirit of those times.

Those were also the days when silver was used to plate coils, not speculate on the markets.

Thanks Julian and Cheers.

Unknown said...

Yes Theodore, those were the days when we took to the airwaves using some old military radio not a shiny new box, when we made our antennas out of wire instead of buying them, and picked DX out of the noise using our ears not some DSP gizmo.

But I really saw it as a jibe against the risk-averse health and safety obsessed nanny state that we seem to have created.

Steve GW7AAV said...

This has been around for many years now but it keeps resurfacing usually with some slight change. When I first saw it, is said something like no transistor radios or action men. A recent addition is the Nintendo Wii and probably next time I see it someone will have deleted video. Who uses video tape theses day?

Times change, people change but in the grander scheme of thing nothing changes.

Theodore said...

I agree about the nanny state. It seems the evolution of a developed country ends there. (Even the states is heading that way it seems).

I once read a book called "The crowd" by Gustave Le Bon, who studied societies. Its on

In this book he postulated that societies, after various stages, end in a technocracy or bureaucracy.
Then came the "strong man" and the whole thing repeated.
Apparently, quite a few dictators have read Le Bon (born 1841) and used his observations to influence crowds (populations).

Le Bon also describes societies falling apart only when the underlying beliefs built up over centuries are eroded away.

That sounds so familiar today.

Enough philosophy, time to go outside and build an antenna -
The council agrees,
The neighbours agree,
The dog catcher agrees,
The ... think I'll just watch TV.

73s Julian and cheers.

Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hello Julian, the times they are a-changin'

OT: you were vanished from my blogroll, why? I don't know, but your back on mine. 73 Paul