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Thread: Childhood Should Have Killed Us - OK, Boomer Edition

  1. #76
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Yep, this is what I see as the norm around here now. It's also hard to get a taxi around 8-9 am on weekdays, and if you ask any of the cab drivers why, they'll tell you they're on 'school runs'. I never set foot in a taxi until I was about 20 years old, LOL!
    I haven't witnessed it, but I'd imagine that there's plenty of Uber around this time in our area.


    Quote Originally Posted by nosebone View Post
    We had a smoking section in our high school for my sophomore year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    We had a cigarette AND dope smoking section in our high school which was barely tolerated but it was left alone. Which is sort of amazing.
    Wow, that just blows my mind.
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  2. #77
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Andrew Jackson high school(Cambria Heights-Queens) was a tough school.There were riots that cleared the school and brought the police in numbers several times during my stay.A couple of kids from my neighborhood who(like me) were bused in to Jackson to achieve a "better" racial mix or whatever reason was given were beaten up.I narrowly escaped the same fate.

    I don't recall my time at Jackson fondly.
    Last edited by walt; 11-27-2019 at 11:56 AM.
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  3. #78
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    We had what was called "smoker's corner", which was out back of the school, facing the football field. Looking back, it must have been a pretty disgusting area, but at least it was outside. I've looked through photos in my older brother's yearbooks though, and seen plenty of people smoking indoors, including students WITH teachers. Nowadays, that's unthinkable. But then, this was also when there were cigarette vending machines in restaurants, and people smoked in malls and just about anywhere else.
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  4. #79
    Member Gerhard's Avatar
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    It is amazing our house didn't burn down. My dad smoked, so we had lots of matches to play with. We had a wood burning stove, for heat (the chimney would close up with soot so we got to inhale lots of smoke as kids). I did the "light a piece of paper on fire and hold it" game too, lost control, dropped it on the carpet and yelled for my mom. Luckily she was home and ran into the room with a blanket and smothered it.

    I often think back this time of year to how we lit real candles clipped to the Christmas trees each year. Talk about a fire hazard.

  5. #80
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Wow, that just blows my mind.
    It was a very, very different era, Sean....
    Steve F.

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  6. #81
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Contrast that to today. One of the bus stops in the morning is at the end of our block about 100 feet away that's for K-5 kids. The vast majority are accompanied at the bus stop by the parent. If it falls below 50 degrees, some of the parents chauffeur their kids in the car. Most of the homes are within 2 blocks of the stop.
    Yup

    School buses now drop kids off at their front door.

    Sometimes I'll get stuck behind one on a long road and I swear it stops every 100 feet!
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  7. #82
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    At 6th form (16 years old) we had a smokers common room that the cleaners refused to enter it was such a tip, the windows were all horribly nicotine stained to the point you couldn't see through them.
    Ian

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  8. #83
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Anybody remember when you could burn your leaves in Autumn?

    Major fire hazard alert but I still recall the pleasant smell in the memory hub in the brain.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  9. #84
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    My high school had a 'smoking lounge' that was a large area of covered walkways.
    It cut down on fire alarms a whole bunch. Bathrooms were frequently set alight by careless smokers.
    It adjoined a parking lot that was temp classrooms for the 9-10th grade and open 11-12.
    That was where the frisbee playing, pot smoking crowd assembled.
    Different times indeed.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
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  10. #85
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosebone View Post
    Anybody remember when you could burn your leaves in Autumn?

    Major fire hazard alert but I still recall the pleasant smell in the memory hub in the brain.
    I have neighbors who still think this is ok. In the suburbs. Till the firemen show up.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    “A Man Who Does Not Read Has No Appreciable Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read” - Unknown

  11. #86
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosebone View Post
    Anybody remember when you could burn your leaves in Autumn?

    Major fire hazard alert but I still recall the pleasant smell in the memory hub in the brain.
    Yes, we did that every year.
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  12. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Weenie. A few years ago I returned to the neighborhood where I grew up, and used the odometer on my car to check the distance I walked every single day between home and elementary school. It was 4.2 miles each way.
    Hah. When I walked to school in Connecticut it was 6 mi or so. Up hill both ways. In the snow.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  13. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    We had a cigarette AND dope smoking section in our high school which was barely tolerated but it was left alone. Which is sort of amazing.
    In high school everyone would have to smoke in the bathrooms. One time one of the vice principals came in to catch smokers and they turned off the lights and kicked his ass. He never came into the bathroom again.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  14. #89
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    In high school everyone would have to smoke in the bathrooms. One time one of the vice principals came in to catch smokers and they turned off the lights and kicked his ass. He never came into the bathroom again.
    Well, he was obligated to go in there to bust the smokers. He was the Vice Principal, after all

  15. #90
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    This post might grow to guitargeek length - don't say you weren't warned. I grew up in the small town that I'm back in now, typing this in my office/man cave that used to be my parents' bedroom. The population of this town rarely got above 800. My graduating class had 28 souls. We still have a farm six miles out of town and I worked there every summer from late grades through college. Let's just say I am very familiar with riding in the back of a pickup truck while flying down bad roads.

    Smokers in my high school were forced to go across the street to smoke in the alley. It was tolerated. Grade school/junior high/high school were all in the same convoluted building. My guess is the administration didn't want the smokers to be seen by the grade school kids.

    Fireworks were legal in my state but for the true explosives you had to know someone who was going to Montana (fifty miles west). Montana had cherry bombs and the cherished M80s. The volunteer fire department used to do the fireworks show for the 4th, which was at the small lake at the edge of town. When I was about ten, my friend showed up with a couple of M80s. We used the first one as a test and shredded a galvanized steel bucket with it. My friend had brought an enormous plastic steamboat - it must have been a couple feet long. We walked down the tiny dock and set it down in the water. By now, the entire town is wondering what the fuck is up with these two boys. Our dads sure were. While I held the boat steady, my friend lit the quarter stick of dynamite and dropped it down one of the plastic smoke stacks. We shoved the boat hard and it floated away from the dock. The resulting explosion caused a geyser ten-fifteen feet high. Accounts vary. We were legends for the rest of the summer. One Fourth of July we discovered if you held a pipe that was at least five feet long you could put a bottle rocket in one end and aim it like a rifle. No one caught us. In high school, a farm family close to ours had a car from the 1950s with the hood, trunk, fenders, doors, and all the glass taken off. It was used to run errands on the farm. They brought it into town for the Fourth and we drove around, tossing out Black Cats out the sides, roof, and out the back (over the exposed gas tank). This was one case where the town cop caught us and read us the riot act.

    Like I said, this was a small town. Buses ran only in the country. The whole town is probably about a mile long for my walk to school was a little over half a mile. But we'd do it in any weather. This is the northwest corner of North Dakota and that meant walking into the wind when the actual temp could be far below zero. And they'd still throw us outside for recess. We started driving to school once I got my license but until then it was get kicked out the door and walk to school with the army of kids steadily building as we made our way down the street. I can remember maybe a couple of times where dad thought the weather was too brutal and he'd give us a ride. We had zero supervision once we got outside. Come home for meals, that was it. Oh, and you'd get in a lot of trouble if you went to the abandoned gravel pit north of town, with steep walls, deep pools of water, and lots of loose rock. I might have got spanked for that one. But we could roam all over town, in and out of everyone's yards, stealing fruit and carrots now and then, playing baseball in any vacant lot we could find or playing our mutated version of cowboys n' Indians - we just called it "guns", basically just running and screaming over a radius of a couple blocks. I see the kids on my street (fewer kids than in my day and they still run around in the summer). Nothing is likely to happen here and there's plenty of retirees keeping one eye open. But I do see more kids getting walked or driven to school when the weather really sucks. In high school, the snowmobile craze hit and being we have 5 to 6 months of winter it was a big hit here. The guy at the farm cooperative where we bought our Polaris would "modify" them beyond factory safeguards if you asked. I could hit 55 in less than a quarter mile. We ran those things all over town and into the countryside. "Don't kill yourself" was all the warning we got. It was a miracle we didn't at the speeds we drove those things. Everyone considered drinking and driving a given. Even in high school. Especially in high school.

    Even going out of town meant a lack of supervision. It was common if you were visiting the hometown of one of your parents, it was likely that you were going to get left in a running car while your parents met friends in the town bar. This was not regarded as neglect. Just don't kill your brother. I remember going to conventions and other events with my parents, we were allowed to run wild in the hotel. Who the hell would want those annoying kids around? Now days the brats are helicoptered doing EVERYTHING. Sheesh, we were driving unsupervised to rock concerts a couple hundred miles away by the time I hit high school. Drive safe was all we heard. My brother drove with a friend to my university 400 miles away so he could then go another 250 miles with me to see Led Zeppelin in Minneapolis. C'mon mom, they only tour the US every couple years. We'd go to major league baseball games a lot as a family - my brother and I would explore each and every stadium with utter disregard for safety. Would anyone let a ten year old do that now?

    Farm stuff - this is where it really get dangerous. Next time I drink with my cousins and brother, we should review all the ways we could have died. I'm quite familiar with riding with someone on a tractor by either sitting on a fender or hanging off the back end. At twelve i was driving a tractor that weighed over ten thousand pounds. I was just taught the basics to drive it and thrown out to work the summer fallow. When not working at the farm, we would explore abandoned buildings and swing in the hayloft without a lick of common sense. My brother and I once went into an abandoned farm house, climbed the stairs to the second floor, and found a bobcat lounging on the springs of an old bed. Track records were set getting the hell out of there. We'd drive down section lines (single lane trails that ran every mile NSEW) at ridiculous speeds. We knew which hills would have enough incline where you could get all four wheels of a beatup pickup off the ground. There were no seat belts on anything. There was a pickup my dad and uncle bought that had a 500cc engine with the manual tranny on the steering column (three on a tree). We found out we could burn rubber in all three gears. After replacing a clutch the second time, my uncle moved the diesel fuel tank to that pickup. Nothing like a few hundred gallons of fuel to take the piss and vinegar out of a vehicle. The only really strict rule was never never never touch a power take off while the engine powering it was running. Those damn things cost folks arms and legs. But hey, send a kid up a fifty foot elevator ladder with no safety rail, that was fine. Ride a semi-wild horse bareback - sure, go ahead. OK, that one cost me a broken arm but it was worth it.

    I drive out to farmyard now and it's quiet. The actual farm land has been rented out, my cousin stopped farming last year. Now it's just a bunch of sagging buildings, old machinery, and steel grain bins. My wife thinks it's a peaceful place where she can sit and hear birds sing that you don't hear in town. But me, I hear all the memories of a careless youth.
    Last edited by Jerjo; 11-27-2019 at 03:42 PM.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    He was the Vice Principal, after all
    I see what you did there.....lol

  17. #92
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    Well, he was obligated to go in there to bust the smokers. He was the Vice Principal, after all
    Now I get it. Ha!
    Lou

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  18. #93
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    ..., tossing out Black Cats out the sides, roof, and out the back (over the exposed gas tank). This was one case where the town cop caught us and read us the riot act.
    Haven't read the entire posts yet, but will. When I go to the Black Cat part, I had to respond. Black Cat where the firecrackers to get in my section of Providence. We called all such firecrackers, about 20 or so small ones all entwined together by their fuses so you could light the whole pack at once or unravel the individual ones for single action fun, salutes. Black Cats were in big demand. You'd settle for Maple Leaf brand if you had to. Other brands, forget it. Black Cats were a dime a pack, Maple Leafs were a nickel, and the also-rans could be had for 2 or 3 cents a pack in bulk. There was a guy named Spike, supposedly a mob associate, in the Silver Lake section of Providence, who sold salutes to kids out of his "variety" (code for hot merchandise) store. The guy was legendary; nobody I knew ever saw him. The story was once a year he'd get arrested but would be back in bidness in a day or two.
    Lou

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  19. #94
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    I remember having to go to Chinatown to buy firecrackers. Black Cats were like the primo brand. It was like buying pot. I'd just walk around and look for some kid and ask if they were selling. Sure enough. Hilarious.

  20. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post

    Black Cats were like the primo brand.
    I had cousins one state over who could get Black Cats. My older brother and I didn't know how to hide them from our parents so that we were sure we didn't get caught taking them back home. Then one of us thought of the hubcaps...

  21. #96
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Growing up, our TV didn't have a remote control. If we wanted to change the channel, we had to get up and walk across the living room...5 miles through the snow.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  22. #97
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    I always avoided the crazy ones who liked playing with M80s. My god those things were loud and dangerous. You'd hear stories of kids losing their sight and hearing playing with them.

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Growing up, our TV didn't have a remote control. If we wanted to change the channel, we had to get up and walk across the living room...5 miles through the snow.
    if you’ve got snow, you need to hold the antenna higher.

  24. #99
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    if you’ve got snow, you need to hold the antenna higher.
    Nah.......just wrap aluminum foil around the end of each rabbit ear.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  25. #100
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    Good Morning Folks!

    Whole summer days, at a creek, turning over rocks and gathering 'crawdads'.
    Yeah ~ Playboy magazineS under my mattress.
    I carried my share of golf clubs as a caddy at a private country club. My first car, a slightly used 1974 VW Beetle(bright orange), was purchased with said caddy money. Caddy Shack was sooooooo ON hahahahhaaaha
    No.... spanking seemed to be quite normal back then.
    Estes Rockets and H.O cars
    Jethro Tull Songs from the Wood $3.99 on vinyl release.
    18 years for 3.2% acontent beers, Pizza Hut, smoking allowed at table... all in one trip with buddies! I couldn't stand eateries having smoking these days. Seems so...… dirty!

    Really have enjoyed this thread and the one on being geezerish.

    Carry On
    Chris Buckley

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