Isn't It Amazing How Kids Of The 70's Actually Survived ?
Or was it just a different way of life that society has forgotten how to live?
I am going to be honest. I wasn't blessed with the greatest childhood, but that is a story for another blog. But the sad times written in another blog were only part of growing up. There was the normal stuff, well it was normal to us back then I guess. Children today I reckon have lost out on so much compared to back then. I have watched people my own age with their kids and I sometimes shake my head in disbelief. When did it all change? I am not debating whether the changes were good or bad… just noticing the change itself. This is what I see !!!
When we were kids, Mum & Dad never owned a car, but my best friend Mike's Mum did. A bright orange Ford Cortina Mk3, I loved it. When in it we never wore seat belts. We would climb over the front seat or better yet went sliding all around the back of with every quick turn. I don’t ever recall seeing a car seat, mothers held babies in their lap. Air bags were brown paper sacks that you blew air into then smacked it really hard with your hand to make it pop.
This disease seems to have grown rampant. I don’t know how many times I hear parents these days screaming “Put that down, it’s dirty!” or “Don’t play on that, it’s filthy!”. Oh my god… I don’t think there was a day I wasn't covered in dirt after being outside. We would swim in anything that would hold water including lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and even extremely large mud puddles after a heavy rain. (Heck we even played in the rain.)
We played on old rocks, bricks, dirt mounds, fields, junk piles, and everything else that looked liked an adventure on this planet earth. We drank water out of wells, garden hoses, and public fountains. Yes… we got stung now and then, or scratched, or bruised, but it wasn't a big deal. That was part of life, not a reason to stop doing what we were doing.
Like any grown up, I have a fondness for the toys of my childhood. We had toys with small parts, toys that shot projectiles, chemistry sets that required flame, and wood burning sets that required hot irons. We had trains, race tracks, and games that required us to plug leads into sockets without safety plugs. We had hobby kits that required needles, scissors, craft knives, paints and glue.
We had model rockets and gas powered toy planes. We had fireworks, bottle-rockets, stink bombs, smoke bombs, snappits, and guns with caps, blimey caps they were great fun. We had all of this… and my parents old house is still standing.
I lived on a large council estate, my bike was one of my best friends. A red Raleigh Chopper. I didn't have a safety helmet, knee pads or elbow pads. We got banged up? If I would even stop playing long enough for to look at it, you would wash it with a washcloth, slap a band-aid on it and out the door I would go to eventually crash into something else. I couldn't even count the number of times I kissed the concrete while learning how to skateboard, took a tumble while trying to walk on stilts, or slipped and fell out of a tree.
We ate as a family sometimes. On weekends lunch was in the dining room. We watched several television shows together like The Two Ronnies, The Waltons, Minder, The Professionals, and The Muppet Show. My Dad was not my best friend. He was my Dad. He corrected me, he belted me, and he gave me his wisdom. We became friends after I moved out and started a life of my own. Sadly I knew him better in his last few months.
Cooking and Tools:
My Mum was a stay at home Mum until probably about the time I started Junior school. She wasn't a great cook, I taught myself how to cook at a very young age. So when Mum started working again it was nothing for my parents to come home and have seen that I had cooked something. We used hammers, nails, knives, saws and drills to build things like ramps, club houses, and tree houses. A remember a time my brother made a cinema in the shed, it was well cool.
Me and my brother Rob often went home to an empty house after school. I would watch after school programming while eating a snack and then go outside to play. During the summers I would go to a friend’s house or just find something to do at home. What may start out as an adventure down on the old railway line, or the park, sliding down the sun dried grass on old bread bags. Or just go to town on a Saturday,it may lead to an all day extravaganza in town. My parents didn't know where I was 24/7, and they didn't worry. I just had to be home in time for tea. If I was doing something wrong, believe me, someone would have called my parents and they would be fully aware of the situation way before I got home. Everybody seemed to lookout for your kids without you even asking.
I don’t ever remember fashion being an issue while growing up. When we were kids we couldn't have cared less what each other was wearing. There weren't any must have brands. But to be honest most of my wardrobe came from jumble sales, that's just how it was.
The sad realisation of this post is the fact that I grew up with what seemed normal parents, they were not hands on parents, but me and RO survived, certainly not unscathed, but survived nonetheless, and these same parents would probably be considered monsters by today’s standards. I had a great time being a kid, doing the things kids did back then, but our childhood was blighted, so all these fond memories are darkened by that. All in all, the good times were good, the bad times were awful, but being a kid in the 70's was fun,with all that happened in our personal lives, with no care for H&S, sell by dates, and the rest of the stuff that today's parents are so paranoid about. So parents of today let go a little, and kids start living a little.....