Take a Stroll

...author unknown


If you are old enough,

take a stroll with me...

close your eyes and go back,

before the Internet,

before semiautomatics

before SEGA or Super Nintendo...

way back...and remember...

Hide 'n Seek at dusk, Simon Says, Kick the Can, Red Light-Green Light, Jacks, Hopscotch, and Mother May I, Hula Hoops and skates with keys, Whist, Old Maid and Crazy Eights, circle pins and bobby pins, Mickey Mouse Club, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Fran & Ollie, Spin & Marty--all in black & white, lunch boxes with a thermos, chocolate milk, going home for lunch, penny candy from the store, wax lips and mustaches, Mary Janes, saddleshoes and Coke bottles with the names of cities on the bottom, bedtime, climbing trees, making forts, backyard shows, lemonade stands, Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, sittin' on the curb, starin' at clouds, jumping down the steps, jumping on the bed, pillow fights, getting "company," ribbon candy, angel hair paper chains and popcorn balls, Jackie Gleason, white gloves, walking to church, walking to the movies, being tickled to death, running till you were out of breath and laughing so hard that your stomach hurt, Don't Step on a Crack or You'll Break Your Mother's Back, silhouettes of Lincoln and Washington, the smell of library paste and Evening in Paris, sock hops and the Stroll.

Remember when...
There were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyer)
and the only time you wore them at school was for "gym."

Around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like going somewhere.

It took five minutes for the TV to warm up.

Nearly everyone's Mom was at home when the kids got home from school.

Nobody owned a purebred dog.

A quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter, a huge bonus.

You'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.

Nylons came in two pieces.

All the male teachers wore neckties and female teachers wore high heels.

You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time,
you didn't pay for air and you got trading stamps to boot!

Laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.

Any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries, and nobody,
not even the kid, thought a thing of it.

It was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

Being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that waited at home.

Remember when...
the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum and the prom was in the auditorium and we danced to an orchestra, and all the girls wore pastel gowns and the boys wore suits for the first time and we stayed out all night.
Remember when...
a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream car...to cruise, peel out, layrubber or watch submarine races, and people went steady and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped dental floss or yarn coated with pastel frost nail polish so it would fit her finger, and no one ever asked where the car keys were 'cause they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked and you got in big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key.
lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like a horse" and playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game because back then baseball was not a psychological group learning experience, it was a game and when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.
Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Laurel & Hardy, Howdy Doody and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow Knows, Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk, the sound of a reel mower on Saturday morning, summers filled with bike rides, playing in cowboy land, baseball games, bowling, visits to the pool and eating Kool-aid powder with sugar.
And don't you wish that...just once...

you could slip back in time, savor the slower pace again, and share it with today's children?

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