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Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’


Several thoughts colliding in my mind made me think of what I'm posting today. The first thought is of all the news of toy recalls because of the dangers they pose to children. The second thought is an amusing/disturbing event this week. I'll try to relate this as concisely as possible. A colleague stopped me in the hall to ask my age, to which I replied, "I'm 56." She said that that's what she thought, since she thought we were about the same age. She went on to explain that one of my students used me as an example in a project on Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development for her class. My student said that I was an example of someone in the "Integrity vs. Despair" stage of life - the eighth and final stage of life! She said that I was a grandfather in his mid-sixties. Yikes! I must look really old! Maybe I need a make-over....

Well, anyway, thinking about safety concerns for those in Erikson's stage 1 - a stage I went through WAY back in the last millennium - and about the fact that as doddering as I am, I've somehow still survived reminded me of something I've received about other survivors like me.

Can You Believe We Survived!?

According to today's over-zealous regulators, those of us who were kids in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and maybe even early 70s, probably shouldn't have survived.

First, we survived being born to mothers who took aspirin, ate bleu cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We slept on our backs or our stomachs, whichever way was more comfortable. And we slept in back rooms or upstairs with the doors closed so no one would wake up.

We had no childproof lids or locks on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts, or air bags. It was a sad rite of passage, when as a child, you were too tall to stand up in the back seat and look out!

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat, and the more the merrier!

We drank water from the tap and even the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one got sick or died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we had forgotten the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would also build our own skateboards from a board and an old pair of skates. We rode our homemade skateboards and our bicycles, and we skated - with no knee pads, no elbow pads, and no helmets. We learned that falling hurt, and we learned to avoid falls.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, and often well into the evening after supper. No one was able to reach us during any of this time. No cell phones or pagers, just Mom yelling out the front door or calling our friend's house in an emergency. And we were OK.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 256 channels on cable, DVD movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, Internet, or chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS! We went outside and found them!

We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt. We fell out of trees, got cut, some even broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? They were what we called things that happened usually because of our own carelessness.

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks, stones, string, and cans, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with the disappointment, to get better at the game, or do something else.

Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.

Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of parents bailing us out if we got in trouble in school or broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the school or the law!

Those generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors, ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility - and we learned how to deal with it!

If you're one of the kids described above and survived to read about it, CONGRATULATIONS!


Now I will say that we have learned somethings through the years, and my generation probably took some unnecessary risks because we just didn't know better. But it is interesting to consider how out-of-proportion some of aspects of life have become. I guess it's job security for those who know better than we do what's best for us....


"Our fears always pale when compared to the power of an omnipotent God." - Jon Daulton

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If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?

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Black and White

When I did a word search in my files in preparation for my last post where I mentioned Sputnik, one of the words I used in the search was "satellite." One of the files that turned up is what I'm posting today. It's something I read and saved years ago and frankly had completely forgotten about. When I reread it, I thought to myself that it would be a nice piece to post on the blog sometime in the future. Well, the following morning I heard on the radio that the program Leave It to Beaver was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. They had a little sound clip from "the Beav'" and from his older brother "Wally." Wally's voice sounded the same, only more mature!

My mind went back to some of the really good, family-friendly shows from my childhood, shows that had valued right and didn't glorify wrong. Not only were the images black and white, but most of the issues were also. Looking back on those programs now as an adult, I realize too that those old shows were laced with "little white lies" and situation ethics. But there were generally always uncomfortable or even unpleasant consequences for the wrong doing and good triumphed in the end. I must admit that I am not a big TV watcher and haven't been for years now. I simply hate to be assailed with profanity, innuendo, violence, immorality, calling wrong right and right wrong, and on and on I could go with the litany of what TV has become.

Today I'm posting the words to a song about the "good, ol' days" of black and white TV.

(If you're under the age of 50, you probably won't fully understand or appreciate this poem about a period of time when, even though it took five minutes for the TV warm up, there would be something actually worth watching...)

Black and White
by Steve Vaus

You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go,
Pull a chair up to the TV set,
"Good night David, Good night Chet!"
Depending on the channel you tuned
You got Rob and Laura, or Ward and June.
It felt so good, it felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I Love Lucy, the Real McCoys,
Dennis the Menace, the Cleaver boys,
Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train,
Superman and Lois Lane,
Father Knows Best,
Rin Tin Tin and Lassie too,
Donna Reed on Thursday night.
Life looked better in black and white.

I wanna go back to black and white.
Everything always turned out right.
Simple people, simple lives,
Good guys always won the fights.
Now nothing's the way it seems
In living color or on the screen.
I wanna go back to black and white.

In God they trusted, in bed they slept.
A promise made was a promise kept.
They never cussed or broke a vow.
They'd never make the network now.
But if I could I'd rather be
In a TV town in '63
It felt so good, it felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I'd trade all the channels on the satellite
If I could just turn back the clock tonight
To when everybody knew wrong from right.
Life was better in black and white.


Here are pictures of a dozen shows to evoke good memories for some...

The Little Rascals (a.k.a. Our Gang)

Spanky and Our Gang

Sky King (and his niece Penny)

Out of the blue of the western skies comes Sky King!

Howdy Doody (and Buffalo Bob)

It's Howdy Doody Time!

Rin Tin Tin

the troops at Fort Apache adopted the orphan Rusty and his German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin

The Lone Ranger (and his faithful companion Tonto)

Hi-Ho-Silver and away!

I Love Lucy (our favorite episode - in the candy factory)

Lucy in the Candy Factory

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo

Leave It to Beaver (the Cleaver family)

the Cleavers - Wally, June, Ward, and Theodore (Beaver)


Lassie and Timmy the boy who loved her

Father Knows Best

the Andersons - Bud, Kitten, Jim, Margaret, and Princess

The Andy Griffith Show

Barney, Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bea

The Beverly Hillbillies

Granny and Jed


"Make every decision based on doctrine. Doctrine is not peripheral - it is foundational." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Have you ever noticed that nostalgia isn't what is used to be?

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The Memory of an Elephant

I'm constantly amazed at what I forget these days and also at what I remember! (It's *not* because I'm now a grandpa, I'm sure!) I sometimes find myself wishing I had the memory that elephants are reputed to have. I received a story this week about an elephant's memory, and I just *loved* it! It might bring a tear to your eye ... it did to mine.

The Memory of an Elephant...

In 1986 Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son, Tapu, were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs, and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant....


Becka, Nora, and I had an uneventful trip back to Greenville yesterday, thankful for the opportunity of being with our loved ones in Detroit, for the improvement in the condition of both Megan and Drew, and for our safe arrival here. The baby has gained an ounce a day in the past 2 days. If he continues to do well, he may get to go home by the end of the week. As Megan read her discharge papers from the hospital, she learned that, although the hospital personnel kept talking about preeclampsia and her preeclamptic symptoms, the diagnosis on her release was HELLP Syndrome. Though the two conditions are similar, there are differences, and what she encountered lines up more with the description of HELLP Syndrome. Hmm.

Earlier today I put a few pictures on the blog for those who might be checking for something new. You can see them in the blog post below this one. Here's another picture that Grandma thought should be shared with the blogosphere also - Drew in his first preemie clothes....

picture of Drew in his first preemie clothes

chickadees again...

Some of you might remember that we had a nest of Carolina chickadees in our bird house last spring. There's another nest of chickadees in there this year. If you'd like to check out last year's adventure, click on "birds" in the Tag Cloud in the right sidebar


"God doesn't expect us to be perfect, but He expects us to be making steady progress toward what we ought to be." - Dr. Gary Anderson

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My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

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