Friday, February 20, 2009

How come we all grew up OK?

We are fortunate to receive network stations from San Francisco and Atlanta down here, and sometimes I tune it in to reinforce the reasons why I like life in Mexico at least for now.

There are things that we did, growing up in 40's,50's,60's that need to be questioned. The gradual change that has happened was so minuscule that no one noticed minute by minute, but when you look year by year or decade by decade you have to wonder.

How did we survive being born to mothers who smoked and or drank while they were pregnant? Now a days you almost get locked up, actually you can get locked up for doing that in the states.
We took aspirins, ate dirt pies, tuna directly from a can, drank milk that wasn't refrigerated and were put to bed in cribs and bed frames that were painted with bright colors, most of which had lead paint.

Somehow we survived....

SID's death were unheard of...

We didn't have to stupid childproof lids on medicine bottles that I fumble with even now in my advanced age, hell why not just make them a little harder and I will completely give up.

We were passengers in our family cars, held prisoners while both parents smoked, and raised hell if you tried to crack the window open a tad to get fresh air. We didn't have booster seats, seat belts or air bags. The car often had bald tires and questionable brakes and
We somehow survived.......

If you were thirsty you found any old water hose and turned on the spigot, why would you drink water from a bottle?

Some one of your friends would be lucky enough to get a nickle and buy a soda pop, 3 or 4 kids all got to share it and no one got sick and died from the trauma or germs......

We ate cupcakes, ding dongs, Wonder bread that builds your bodies 8 ways, smeared with real butter and even had bacon and mayo sandwiches. We also drank Kool Aid made with white sugar and for some reason were not overweight.

Maybe having your Mom tell you to go outside and play and be sure and be back in time for dinner had something to do with it.

Often I remember leaving the house on Saturdays around 8 in the morning, getting on the bus, going down to Market St, in downtown San Francisco and my mom wasn't calling the cop every 10 minutes to find out where I was.. everything was cool as long as I got back before the street lights came on and before dinner..... There was no way to reach you all day, (no cellphones) and for some reason WE WERE OK.

Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
Just try that now and see how far you would get.......

We would spend days building go-carts with old wood scraps and wheels make out of ball bearings and ride them down the hill for 20 feet before the wheels would slide off. We then figured out if you hammered a whole bunch of nails into the wood holding the bearings the they would stay on , then the next problem about 100 ft down the hill was not having any brakes on the cart, a stick of wood against the ground would act as your hand brake , or we ran into some bushes or a fence now and then we learned all kinds of mechanical issues.

The only games we had were made by Remco, or Lionel. We got tired of the Remco games since the batteries ran dead in a couple of hours and we didn't have the money to buy new ones. The TV only had 3 stations, no VCR'S or DVD players, no surround-sound or CD'S, just a couple of old 45's with the big hole in the middle which you could listen to all day. Sometimes we would actually listen to AM radio or the ball games.....

Our cell phone was a couple of tin cans with some string between you and your neighbors house. It was pretty easy to operate, no texting, no cellphone, no monthly charges, chat rooms or Internet.

If you wanted to talk to a friend a couple of blocks away, you went outside and hollered or ran around and found them without the aid of a cell phone or text messaging. Knocking on their front door was sometimes done but most of the time we just walked in and talked to them, a lot of the time we would stay for dinner since our friend's food was usually better or different from ours and that was a lot of fun! ( But you called home and asked for permission first)

And we somehow survived......and we learned what it was to be gracious and a good host. As well as being polite and having table manners. (Ever see kids eat nowadays?)

We fell out of trees and phone poles, some kids had broken bones or a tooth chipped, there were no lawsuits from these accidents.......what a concept.

We were given BB guns for birthdays, shot at tin cans, later got a 22 rifle and got really good at shooting cans, played with all kinds of objects and were told to be careful as not to put someones eye out. and we succeeded without blinding any buddies.

Lots of kids played baseball or some other sport. If you weren't good at it, you dropped out and were disappointed for about half and hour. You learned to deal with all kinds of disappointment that kids nowadays can not. We learned that in life there are time when you win and some times when you loose. So you kept trying to win........

If you or your friends did something wrong you were really punisihed. If you really broke the law parents wouldn't think of bailing you out, and actually wanted the system to correct and punish you.

I remember doing something stupid, having the police tell us to follow them to the police station and then give us the 3rd degree, and really scare the crap out of you so you wouldn't ever do any stupid things again.......

The kids that grew up in that era, seemed to have turned out OK, became productive members of society, worked hard and saved money, became inventors and business owners and seemed to have a better handle on what was going on.
At least I though so....

Our time we had enormous freedom to do pretty much anything as long as it didn't hurt or impact someone, we had great successes and with it came responsibilities and we were saddled with learning how to deal with successes and failures.
We had great fortune and luck to have grow up as kids before the lawyers and government regulated every last menusha of life as we knew it.
One of the reasons I am down here now is because there is still some freedoms left, at least for awhile.

You can still ride in back of a pickup truck and won't get a citation which will raise your insurance premium.

You can still build a house without a permit, if you choose to build it with poor design and it falls down, you have no one to blame except yourself. That alone saves a lot of money for people who wish to own a home.
You can still have a hole in the sidewalk, and if you trip and fall because you were not paying attention and break you leg, you should be more careful.
You do not have to put up yellow tape around your garbage cans when the get pushed over and all the stuff falls out on to the street.
You can ride a bicycle or a motorcycle without a helmet if you so choose, even though it would be smart to, in case someone runs you over or you hit a pot hole.
And you can run through the house with open scissors and no one will care......

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with open scissors, doesn't it ?

Mexico seems so simple, just image how IT was 50 years ago, and image how it will be 50 years from now.
I know in Patzcuaro, there have been changes, but there have been a lot of things that have not changed at all, in 50 or 200 years.........
So keep your eye open, so that you don't walk into a tree limb. There's no one to sue down here.
What a concept......

Flash......I just read that a kid was arrested the other day for bringing in a old hand grenade to school for show and tell. The old hollowed out grenade was a souvenir from his fathers WWII stuff and the school was immediately put on lock down when the teacher freaked out. The child was taken to the police station and later released.
When I was going to school, you would not believe what kind of stuff was brought in for show and tell, half of which would now have to be handled with a TYVEX suit and hazmat team.......
See what I mean?


  1. Yesterday we stopped at la tienda "Los Fresnos" on the Tzurumutaro highway to buy eggs and ice. Over in the booze section, there are two small kegs on the counter.

    I asked the propietaria what was in them.
    "Tequila de Jalisco"
    It is possible to get a Tequila and soda, or a straight shot, out of the keg, for 15 pesos or less.

    I then asked her if a pesona came and sat down at the taquería/marisquería "Vicky's" outside, or at Los Pollos al Carbón "El Tejabán" (weekends only), could they drink a cubita or a shot at the table.

    "¿Como no?"

    I like this freedom, even though I may never buy a cubita or a shot in the store.


    PS: I think some of the problems we have nowadays existed back in "the good old days" but we were not made aware of them. However, in the U.S. we tend to go to extremes. Witness the trans-fat ban in NYC restaurants. What a crock!

    No smoking in your own apartment in some California city. It gets worse all the time.

    (I once brought a Wermacht flare gun, my father's war souvenir, to my primary school, and no trouble occured.)

  2. I wish I could find an old posting I saw, the gist of which was of changing times. Back in the 50's , you drove up to high school and you had a shotgun on your rack in the pickup truck, the principal of the school came over and said "nice gun" come check out my Mossburg 12!, Now the kid drives up, they lock down the school, the SWAT is called, the kid is arrested and goes to jail.........



About Me

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From TV News to owning radio communications business, seen technology grow and change the way we live. Hobbies are still some photography and reading, satellite pickup. Did catering and cooking at wineries, taught cooking classes and culinary related ventures. Do a few regional cooking classes down here at my house from time to time, in between visiting and living in this beautiful country. Some tech consulting and lots of opinionated chatter.