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Ah Innocence

Ah Innocence

The late 50s and early 60s were truly a different time.

Why back then cigarettes "soothed your nerves." Camels were the cigarettes "More doctors smoke than any other brand of cigarette." Of course it never said it was good for you, but what did we care. We were calm. Besides The Journal Of The American Medical Association ran ads for cigarettes into the 1960s so we all "knew" <wink><wink> that it was OK to smoke.

Drinks? You bet!! We gladly watched Darrin and Samantha on Bewitched gulping down drink after drink. "Make it a double" was the standard response to Samantha, by Darrin, no matter who was playing the role. And you know what? Even if someone was a drunk he was funny. How do I know? TV said so and that was good enough for me.

Back then X-rays weren't medicine, they were fun. Why shoe stores had these wonderful benign machines that you could stick your foot in and see inside your shoes. I mean how else could you tell if they really fit. It was no wonder that after having your feet x-rayed you'd feel such energy when you put on your new sneakers.

Until the late 80s kids were indestructible. We didn't need seat belts, or helmets for our bicycles. My skinned knees and elbows weren't sores or marks of child abuse, they were badges of pride. And it gave my mother something to do. Besides flying over your handlebars head first gave one needed cooridination useful in later life.

Childproof caps weren't necessary because "real candy" only cost 5¢ so why bother taking mommy's pills when we could buy a candy bar that actually tasted good. And kids back then were smart enough to know that bleach not only smelled bad but probably tasted even worse.

Because we didn't have the Heimlich maneuver we were careful to chew our food. After all we didn't have cell phones, faxes, email or anything else to hurry us up. So chewing and enjoying our food was an option.

Bottle water, heaven's no? My mother's favorite phrase was "Drink out of the hose." Red meat gave us iron and protein, ice cream gave us protein and calcium and candy was the best of all, it gave us energy to play all day.

You see you actually needed sugar to run around all day pretending to be pirates, cowboys, or one of the bad guys. No matter what the game was it involved running around, shooting or stabbing your friends and of course playing like you were killed.

And you ran because if you went home and said you were bored your parents had a way of "finding" things for you to do. Like the walls really needed washing, why bother they'd only get dirty again. Or the garage had to be cleaned, oh please it looked just fine to me. Come on now, that could wait. I was in the middle of an eight hour war with the dog. That was when I claimed the concrete and the dog got the grass in the yard. Then we threw a rag on the border of the concrete and grass and spent the next eight hours fighting over who would win the war of the backyard.

As for strangers, well we only wouldn't talk to them IF they were strange. Actually that is a lie, we didn't talk to the "normal" strangers because they were boring. It was the strange weirdo type of strangers that were fascinating. They were able to tell us all about their visits to Mars. TV had nothing on these guys when it came to telling stories.

Here's a true story from the Washington Post from 1956

Mrs. Julia Chase of Hagerstown MD, slipped away from the tour of the White House. While it was immediately noticed she was missing it took four hours to find her. When found she seemed to be somewhat disoriented and not lucid. During her unaccounted for time she managed to set five small fires in the White House. When Mrs. Chase was found she was taken to the staff kitchen and given a cup of tea and some cakes till her husband came to call on her and take her home.

Interesting isn't it. Can you imagine that happening today? I guess that proves unlike today's scardy cat President who was afraid to fly in the air after the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are crashed into, President Ike was no sissy. Why can't you see, he not only wasn't afraid, he treated his arsonists with courtesy.

Atomic Bombs also were cool. We knew all we had to do was duck under our desks and we'd be safe. In fact when the United States was still conducting above ground test, people used to come to Las Vegas (it was a small city back then of about 24,624 compared to the 575,973 it has today), to see the bomb go, well go BOOM. The radiation would drift over the city of Las Vegas and people used to make money by charging people to run a Geiger counter over them. People were thrilled to see how radioactive they were.

It was just part of the fun and innocence awhile ago


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