Photo from the "I grew up in West Covina" Facebook page

Photo from the “I grew up in West Covina” Facebook page

I would like to thank Susan Carriere for posting this on my Facebook page.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED The 1930′s 40′s, 50′s, 60′s and 70′s.

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

Photo by Bikes Unite

Photo by Bikes Unite

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms……….WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.
And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!


My comment:

Born in 1958, my childhood was much like the one described here by Susan.  The reason for the bike is that I had one that was similar except that it was green.  It was sorely missed when it was stolen from our driveway one day.  This is the year that prayer was removed from our public schools by the Supreme Court.  Growing up in California, I never heard a Christian prayer in class.  I am blessed to have had a wonderful childhood, however.  I wish I had a picture of the tree house that my Dad and I made in our backyard tree.  I added the “burglar alarm” which was quite dangerous.  One of the three ladders needed to reach the 2nd floor of the tree house was from an old pool.  It had metal rungs.  I unfastened one of the rungs, tied a string to it, and a few pulleys later a water bucket would spill onto a metal “runway” and douse whoever might still be clinging to the tree.  I usually kept my “trap” safe by keeping the bolt in the side tied to the string.  Just about lost a neighbor one day though.


Photo from the "I grew up in West Covina" Facebook page

Photo from the “I grew up in West Covina” Facebook page


  1. 1962… indeed the year when prayer was struck down… Interesting that everything started to snowball in the wrong direction since then. We are at the point where junior high school and high school kids are addicted to pornography, are sexting on their phones, are very accepting of homosexuality as something natural, and are more disobedient then ever.

    You might get the chance to see this first hand Chris if God brings you back into teaching, and maybe you can influence these kids in a positive way there.

    • Chris says:

      As I am preparing to take tests, I am thinking the same thing. I’ve seen a graph of the decline in moral behaviors in America after 1962. No surprise since, as you have mentioned, prayer was struck down that year. If God does indeed bring me into a public school classroom, I hope to have a positive impact. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a classroom as a teacher and things have changed a great deal. Recently, I have been in classrooms for other reasons and the differences are quite noticeable. The culture has changed so much since I was a kid.

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Delight. I always appreciate your comments.

      God’s blessings…

  2. M'Kayla says:

    I too am a child of the 70’s so to speak, born in ’59 and grew up in Fontana, CA, not too far from West Covina. What a small world. I remember playing in the dirt, building forts, climbing trees and heaving rotten grapefruits at the kid next door.

    • Chris says:

      Hi M’Kayla.

      So we are very close in age as I was born in ’58 in Los Angeles. I remember the same things you do. I’d played in the dirt with my plastic dinosaurs, fort building was a specialty (you should have seen my tree-house and I did most of it myself), and we had an orange tree in our backyard. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it was the lemon tree that was loaded every year. Every summer, my sister and I had a lemonade stand. Those are such great memories.

      It is such a small world.

      I always appreciate your comments.

      God’s blessings…

  3. Clearly I am the baby here, starting school in 1981. 😉 I read the descriptions of growing up listed above and they were very similar to my own upbringing overseas. Now I live in a semi-rural area, on a large rambling property (yes, we have a trampoline and a tire swing that swings out from a huge old pine tree to look over the tree tops). At the kids’ tiny school the playground is rough and tumble, surrounded by forest (we call it ‘bush’), not sterile like so many are these days. We also live across from a creek, bike track through forest, and a community farm that you can visit. I hope that they can experience much of what I did growing up, and love giving them the opportunities while I can. They are also safer in other ways, which perhaps balances it out.

    What I notice missing most is the men…no one is teaching my kids (or other kids that I can see) to do wood work, build things from scraps…that sort of thing. Sadly they don’t do these things at school either. We loved the Dads who did that kind of stuff with us growing up, and loved making really useful things. My son would love that. Most people are so busy these days, and I am sad to think that people like my Dad and older brother who have workshops full of nifty tools and projects on the go will not be around in another couple of generations.

    • Chris says:

      It sounds like you live in a wonderful environment to raise kids, Sherryn. What you have noted about men is so true. We have the same problem here. In fact, a man whom I consider great whose story is on this blog (A Veteran Speaks) died last summer and I didn’t even know it. We only get the paper during the school year. Anyway, his military jacket was found by someone who’s grandson is interested in WWII. It was found at a thrift store. I got a call and was able to share more info about a man who will be long forgotten by most. Like your Dad and brother, Mr. B had so much to share but few would seek him out for his story. Thanks for sharing your experiences in, as you have “said” is, such a busy time.

      God’s blessings…and you know I always appreciate your comments.

  4. The only way to reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancy is abstinence and birth control.

    This is a great complement to how parents can be preparing children to manage their sexuality.
    But time and time again the Obama administration has no regard for religion or the Constitution.

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