On Facebook, there was a short Power Point presentation about how good it was to grow up as one of the baby boomer generation. Here are some of the challenges that we over came as we grew up:
- First of all was the lack of central heating and cooling in most of our houses. In winter most of the bed rooms weren't heated and I for one, slept under tons and tons of blankets, quilts and anything we could pile on to stay warm. In the summer, we had a giant fan in the attic that sucked in whatever air was outside and I would turn from damp spot cooled by the passing air from the warm spot I was sleeping on.
- One summer as the heat melted us relentless, one of the neighbor girls got sleeping sickness and darn near died. It was supposedly from a mosquito bite and as I recall very few windows in our house had a screen.
- As a kid, I think I had the majority of the diseases that are now protected by vaccination. I Had a recurring ear infection and every summer probably had millions of units of penicillin injected in my skinny gluteus minimus. My skinny little butt was far from anything that looked Maximus.
- For a few years in the early 50's, there were hundreds of cases of Polio and it scared the crap out of us. It was like a mystery disease and there was nothing we could do to prevent or getting sick. I absolutely could not stand the idea that I would be put in an iron lung and it would breathe for me. When it would rain, we would go down to the sewage ditch at the bottom of our street and swim from one end to the other. Later on, I found that the trailer court had a lagoon for the sewage. That very trailer court had a polio case. When it overflowed, it would drain in the parking lot that filled the sewer ditch we swam in.
- For years and years, we rode in cars that were unsafe and had none of the modern safety features of today's cars. In 1961, I was coming home from the State Fair and our driver pulled out to pass and rolled a brand new Dodge Polara. Side to side, end to end, in a car filled with glass shards and not a sign of a seatbelt. Somehow the doors stayed shut and we all crawled out of that wreck alive and bleeding.
- What would you feel like if at least once a week someone told you to crawl under your desk and close your eyes? The threat of Nuclear warfare was first and foremost on our minds. Throw in the threat of tornado's without any hint of a shelter and you might understand that it was possible to suffer from analysis paralysis. Or not, in some cases, I am sure we were the cause of the stress.
- I am not sure if it was because there were so many of us, and or we were expendable, it seems like parental supervision was pretty minimal in my neighborhood. We went places and did things without any hint of the knowledge of our parents. We swam in a pond where one of our friends drowned. I don't remember hearing our parents telling us to keep away from there. We played outside from the first light to way after midnight when the Beech Aircraft parking lot lights were turned off.
- I lived a block north of the Beech Aircraft plant number one on east Central Ave. As the workers drove to and from work there, our neighborhood became like a dirt race track with cars sliding around corners and rushing to get the hell out of the parking lots. The saying was, there were old dogs and there were bold dogs, but no old bold dogs where we lived. Those dogs that ventured out during shift change died. "Denny, why are you crying?" "One of those crazy Beech Drivers hit my dog in the ass." "No Denny, Rectum" "Rectum hell, Killed Him!"
OK, enough of the pity party. We lived, loved, laughed and grew up what was normal for the time. I just wanted everyone to know that if life was like a box of chocolates, they were probably melted or if they lasted long enough frozen.
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