As you all know, I like nostalgia items. Several years ago, we attended the American Big Band concert put on by the Piney Woods Fine Arts Association.  It was a musical trip into the past.  I wish they would bring it back.

There was musical history and nostalgia as many of the past band leaders were recognized.  There are many things that will bring back memories of the past and I would once again like to give you a few thoughts to help you drift back into the good times.  See how many you remember……….

My mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter (What’s a microwave?) and I used to eat it raw sometimes too (I liked it with a little salt and pepper); our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag not in ice pack coolers, but I can’t remember getting food poisoning.
     We all took gym, not PE… and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked’s (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can’t recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.  Flunking gym was not an option… even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.  It’s even gone further now; it’s called kinesiology.

Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson [and provided comic relief] by running in the halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet spot. How much better off would we be today if we only knew we could have sued the school system.

In my school in Tennessee, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention, especially if your mother was a teacher (mine was).  We must have had horribly damaged psyches.

I have trouble understanding it; my school didn’t offer 14-year-olds an abortion or condoms. I doubt we would have known what either was, anyway.  Remember, condoms were then sold from under the counter and most were too embarrassed to ask for them.

What an archaic health system we had in my day.  Remember school nurses?  Ours wore a hat and a crisp white uniform. 
  I was taught that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

Do you recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.   Whatever happened to “Kick the Can,” “Hide and Seek or “Simon Says?”  The stories on the radio opened our minds to an imaginative world; an adventure in the old west or a detective on the trail of some criminal or a trip into the twilight zone.

I must be repressing that memory as I try to visualize the dangers that could have befallen us as we boys trekked off each summer day down the road to somebody’s vacant lot, built forts out of branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to be the Lone Ranger.

What was that property owner thinking, letting us play on that lot?  Today, he would have been locked up or fined for not putting up a fence around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an infrared intruder alarm.

And where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got stung by a wasp?   I could have been killed!  I remember using mud on the sting

I didn’t act up at my parents friend’s house either because if I did, I got spanked (physical abuse) right there and then I got sent to my room when we got home.

I don’t think my life was ruined from the spanking and no one called in a child psychologist or the police for child abuse; it was my parents’ right to correct me.

Did you ever make boats or cars out of scrap wood?  Or a car out of orange crates and old wagon wheels you could ride down the hill on?  Today we have a ready made kit for everything including step-by-step directions; what happened to thinking it up on the fly and correcting our mistakes as we go?

I have tried to give you some things to look back on and remember when you were a kid.  If you took only a moment to reminisce and think about your childhood experiences, then I have accomplished what I wanted from this column.  I know I stopped and went back into my childhood more than once.

Sincerely, Scotty