We survived…

A friend sent this to me … and I think it might come from Jay Leno. Anyway …


1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s!! 

First, we survived being born to mothers wh
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-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode 
our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, 

we would ride in cars with no car seats, 

no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day 

was always a special treat.

We drank water 
from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends,

 from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. 

We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. 

And, we weren’t overweight. 


Because we were 
always outside playing….that’s why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, 

as long as we were back when the 
streetlights came on.

No one was able 
to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building

our go-carts out of scraps 

and then ride them down the hill, 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 and X-boxes.

 There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable,

 no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, 

no cell phones, 
no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. 
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.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, 

and the worms did not live in us 


We were given BB guns for our 10th 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 a friend’s house and 

knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just 
walked in and talked to them. 

Little League had tryouts 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! 

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.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, 

and we learned how to deal with it all. 

If YOU are one of them? 



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.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know

 how brave and lucky their parents were.

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  • Kenny Johnson

    YOU survived… but what about poor Jimmy Wilkerson???

  • Nathan

    And now we plunge off the cliff of sentimentality…

  • Why is this post formatted like (and written to resemble) e-mail spam?

  • Time to ponder: When is progress not really progress? …yup.

  • Scot McKnight

    Mark B-W, because it was sent to me as a mass e-mail. Funny though, isn’t it?

  • Joshua

    I think you could include some 80s kids in this too. I remember doing all this stuff, and some stuff that’s even crazier.

  • Well, I’m one of those kids who survived…after breaking my thumb, collarbone, and contracting head lacerations that required stitches, not once but several times…I survived. And, yes, I did play outside, rode my bike everywhere, and generally had a great time growing up in a modest, middle-class family.
    But, this isn’t 1930, -40, -50, -60, or -70. I came along before:
    – child predators snatched kids out of their own front yards;
    – kids died from taking accidental overdoses from prescriptions whose lids they could open;
    – food producers started substituting high fructose corn syrup for sugar;
    – sudden infant death syndrome, cause still unknown, killed healthy, newborns;
    – tuna was contaminated with mercury;
    – fetal alcohol syndrome stunted the development of babies in the womb;
    – auto accidents claimed the lives of over 50,000 each year;
    – child safety seats saved lives and traumatic brain injuries to children riding in their parents’ laps;
    – the population of the US doubled to over 300-million of us today, with more vehicles on the roads than ever;
    – we realized that even falling off a bicycle could produce severe brain injuries that are completely preventable.
    Yes, we survived. But I know families whose children did not survive because they weren’t in a car seat, died in their cribs, were poisoned from ingesting the contents of containers they should not have opened, or were taken by strangers. The good ole days may be nostalgic, but they were not safe. I have the scars to prove it. Others weren’t so lucky.

  • Jonathan Blake

    I’m definitely a kid from the nineties and I did all of this up to my late teenage years. As I look at my little cousins and other young kids today I pity them for how much of ‘growing up’ has been replaced by electronics and technology

  • Jonathan

    I believe that most kids today are over-programmed and over-coddled and most parents are over-protective.
    However, there’s a kind of self-selection bias here: Anyone who can say the things in the email is in the group that survived.

  • These kinds of nostalgic thoughts get recylced for every generation. They’re not any more relevant now than the first time they were dreamt up. So kids don’t grow up the same as we did –> Big deal. The things they will no doubt do will far exceed our acheivements, partly becasue they stand on our shoulders.