Could My Childhood Survive in Today’s World?

When I was pretty young, I was rummaging around in our barn and found a pair of old wooden skiis.  I goaded my parents into buying me a pair of ski boots and ski polls and headed for the nearest hill.  It was a hill upon which I also used to go sledding.  In the summer it was a pasture for grazing cows.  Sadly, they are gone today.  Anyway, I pretty much taught myself to ski on that small slope and graduated to a larger hill in a different part of town that had a rope lift on it.  My skiing career was launched.

Behind our house there were several large pine trees which I used to climb and eventually built a tree house and towards the top of the tree another ledge.  I used to climb it all the time and look off into the distance at a nearby city and marveled at how far I could see.  The summer also found me riding my bicycle, going to the swimming pond and fishing at the local lake.  Also, every summer my father had a portion of our field plowed and made it into a vegetable garden.  I loved helping him with it.

One day, right after a winter storm, a boy who lived next door told me we could earn a quarter if we went and shoveled a neighbor lady’s  driveway.  I was astonish because such tasks were always done without compensation at my house.  Such non-compensated duties extended to lawn mowing and leaf raking, both of which I did, and actually enjoyed.  To this day I enjoy such activity.  But as with the snow shoveling, I learned that I could grow a bit of a business around the neighborhood by mowing lawns and raking leaves.

Some years later, I expanded my money making to delivering the local newspaper, a six day a week operation that cost each customer the enormous sum of 42 cents a week.  Most people would give me 50 cents and tell me to keep the change.  It was great!  I never ran out of candy bars or Dairy Queen milk shakes.  There was a Dairy Queen along my route.

Once I entered high school, things changed, though not greatly.  Most Friday and Saturdays nights there was a dance held either at a local community center or the high school.  Of course, this was before CDs so the music came via records.  Everyone went to the high school football games in the fall, basketball games in the winter, and a smaller subset to the baseball games in the spring.

Television was not a big part  of our lives because daytime tv was mostly soap operas and games shows.  We did watch evening tv.  The exception to afternoon tv were the Mickey Mouse Club and American Bandstand.

We boys seemed to know everything about cars including how to fix them.  Many of us got jobs working in service stations when all gas was pumped by the service station attendant.

When I was a kid the big  threat by my parents was being sent to my room. I think today’s threat is being sent outside.


4 thoughts on “Could My Childhood Survive in Today’s World?

    • Because kids bedrooms come fully stocked; television, video games, etc. Parent sends the kid to his bedroom he has plenty to do. My bedroom had a bed, bureau, and not much else.

  1. Great post! I love that thought, “I think today’s threat is being sent outside.” I’m 25, so my childhood was right when computers/video games were becoming an omnipresent fact of life. I always favored being outside. Those are some of my best memories. I do have great memories of interacting with friends online or playing video games, but they don’t quite measure up. I don’t think there’s anything inherently bad about television or video games, but rather with the imbalance that exists. The world is a beautiful place, it’s fulfilling to get outside and explore.

  2. Good Morning Sir,

    I work with Stetson University’s College of Law Veterans Advocacy Clinic. We help veterans in Florida pursue their disability claims before the VA at no cost. I am trying to assist a veteran in his disability claim. I am trying to find information related to his service in Korea. I know that he served 19 months (4/10/68-11/11/69) in Seoul Korea, as a communications specialist, after being drafted. He was assigned to C Company, USSTRATCOM but tells me that he was required to make frequent trips to the DMZ in order to intercept N. Korean communications. We are looking for someone who can verify that these types of trips did occur periodically to the DMZ at this time and in this unit or similar units. If you have any knowledge of this unit or this area during the relevant time period please contact us. You can email us at Thank you for your help.

    I located a post you submitted (see below) and thought you may be able to help.

    #15; “Dispatched” Truck
    I was stationed in Korea from Dec 1968 – Dec 1969 as part of USASTRATCOM Co. C LL Bn North. I
    worked at the 8th Army Comm center. I was working the mid-shift, 11PM to 11AM one night. We had
    a “dispatch” truck that was locked at the rear of the building. The guys who manned the truck were
    in a small building at the rear of the comm. Center. One night the truck disappeared never to be seen
    again. We always said it was the best slicky boy heist ever
    Submitted By;
    Peter Osgood
    Comm Center
    Co C LL BN North
    1968 – 1969

    Trista Miller, Esq.
    Assistant Director of Clinical Education
    Veteran’s Law Institute Pro Bono Initiative Supervisor
    Stetson University College of Law
    1401 61st Street South
    Crummer 206B
    Gulfport, Florida 33707

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