A free-verse poem about growing up in the 1950s.
|When I was a young boy in the 1950s …
I played around the neighborhood for half
the day completely out of touch with my parents
and no one worried about my being harmed
in any manner by some adult predator.
Butterflies were so commonplace in my yard
at my home near downtown Macon, Georgia
that hardly anyone took notice of their flitting
amongst the flowers. Lightning bugs came out
after dark to be caught in jars to blink beside
my bed all night.
On Saturday evenings my sister and I would sit
on the floor in front of the cabinet radio and listen
to radio shows such as The Lone Ranger for hours.
When my family finally got a TV, it received only
black and white shows on three channels.
Dad had to climb out onto the roof to turn
the antennae to receive one of the channels.
We slept with the windows open and stayed cool
with a huge, centrally-located window fan that
drew in the night air. We’d wake up wrapped up
in a blanket come morning.
Getting skates that attached to the soles
of your shoes and skating down the sidewalk
was the height of adventure.
All the kids rode their bicycles everywhere,
even to school. Having a basket on front was
the epitome of luxury. All bicycles had no gears
and big, clunky tires. A Schwinn bike was tops.
There was always a pick-up game of whatever
sport was in season constantly ongoing among
the kids in the neighborhood. The game broke up
only when mothers started calling names for their
kids to come in for supper.
Those were innocent times when childhood
was simpler and lived out of doors. We survived
just fine without cell phones, video games, social
media, texting our whereabouts, and selfies.
Today’s young children truly don’t understand what
they are missing or how good we had it growing up
back in the 1950s.
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