To All the Kids Who Survived the 1930’s, 40's, and 50's.

If you were one of them, you know they survived being born to many mothers who smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol while pregnant.  As babies, they were put to sleep on their tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.   They had no childproof lids on medicine bottles or locks on doors or on lower cabinets. Later in their young lives you would even find them riding bikes without helmets.

As infants and small children, they would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts, or air bags.  And for them riding in the back of a pick-up on a warm day was always a special treat.  Some of them even hitchhiked without worrying about being killed or raped.

In the summer they drank water from a garden hose since bottles of water purchased at the local grocery store were not yet invented.  And no one died when they shared soft drink with friends from the same bottle.

They consumed cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and Kool-Aid actually made with real sugar.  But they weren't overweight, always playing outside stretching their lives with immaginations that had no borders.  They would run to play and stay away all day when not in school, returning when the streetlights came on.  No one was able to reach them, but parents knew they were okay.

They would spend hours strengthening their immaginations building such things as go-carts out of scrap lumber, riding their creations down hill not taking time to test the brakes. After being bruised running into bushes and trees, they solved the problems mading their creations even better.

They never had a PlayStation, Nintendo, X-Box, or music videos to entertain them.  They had no cable to watch 150 channels or DVD's to brainwash them with violence, hate, and greed in living surround-sound.  And there were no CD's, cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms to get them into trouble with predators.

They fell out of trees coming home bruised, sometimes even with broken bones.  But there were few lawsuits since their parents kept them to a higher accountability.  Some of them ate worms and created mud pies made from dirt.  And for transportation they rode bikes or walked to get to a friend’s house, sometimes so welcomed they knew they could just walk in.

Some of them were given BB guns on their 10th birthday.  And sports like baseball had tryouts where not everyone made the team.  They also celebrated the idea that someone had to win and someone had to lose.  And most parents wouldn’t bail them out if they broke the law.

These generations produced some of the best risk-takers, innovative problem solvers, and top statesmen America had ever produced.   Those years of freedom and immagintation without borders provided an explosion of innovation and new ideas from them that lead to the products we see today.   They had helped to make America the greatest country in the world.

Yet somehow when they finally grew up, too many forgot to pass these life trials onto their own children, saying they didn’t want them to live such “hard lives.”  As we look around in today’s fast-paced world, we can quickly see the result of those decisions. 

Children are no longer allowed to be kids, free spirits to roam American neighborhoods until they are old enough to leave the safety net of their parents.  And sadly, too many of them find themselves forced into making adult decisions, sometimes when as young as 13-years old.  What a commentary on our times, where we celebrate technology and not life.

In this social environment where the society has abandonded its young, the world can no longer point to America as being that unique society where freedom rejoices for a people that had spoken of “we,” instead of “I.”  That period had been a great experiment of strength that has now had its time, passed into the shadows leaving only memories of what had been and probably would never be seen again.

Hats off to the children who survived, my being proud to have been one of them..





"Freedom is Knowledge"