Saturday, October 17, 2009

Eight Decades

WARNING: This posting is not about Restaurants or Food, only memories of an Ancient

This week, around 3 in the afternoon I was driving by "Summit", a private school in Hyde Park. The first thing I noticed was a pair of uniformed city Police Officers directing traffic. When I passed the long driveway I saw that vans and cars were three abreast as parents inched forward to pick up their children. I could help think of how things had changed.
I was born at the time of the "Crash", 1929, and grew up in the 1930's and 40's. Families had at most one car and the great, great majority of children went to "public" neighborhood schools. There were no public Kindergarten's and so we all started in the 1st grade and were in that school thru the 6th, unless our parents changed locations or the "School Board" changed the boundries. The first week of school Mothers, most of whom were stay at home homemakers, would walk their new "student", age 5 on up, to the school but after that they join the other school mates in the journey. We all walked to and from regardless of grade, weather or distance.
If a family had a car it was all most always reserved for the Father, who was the main "bread winner". The 1930's, of course, were the years of the "Great Depression", and it's aftermath, and so earning a living and having an income was the prime objective. The children revolved around the parents, not the other way around. No comment on which is better. "Helicopters", either mechanical or parental were not in the vocabulary.
I went off to an 8 week, overnight, Boys camp at age 10. Eight hundered miles away and accessible only by train or a 3 day drive, from my home. There were about 120 of us campers and the counselors were mature men, probably school teachers who had the summer off and need the money to supplement there income. The only medications, I ever saw were dispensed by the full time Doctor or Nurse, who ran the infirmary and were used for obvious illness. Now the same camp has approximately 230 Boys and the cabin staff over 25 years old, can probably be counted on one hand. Medications are passed our at meal time and there is hardly a table that does not have at least one camper as a recipient. The meds cover everything from Allergies to Mood changers. I again don't know who were better adjusted.
I have not gone into electronic or mechanical changes or diet and entrainment but in 80 years progress has come in all kinds of fields, including medically, which is probably why I am here to write some of my thoughts. Hope my "pace-maker" battery stays fresh.
By the way, for our children, 1960's, and grandchildren, 1990's and 2000's they are in the "modern" Generation, and we probably are being dragged in also.

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