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Forum topic by scottishrose posted 12-02-2009 05:35 AM 1196 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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110 posts in 3128 days

12-02-2009 05:35 AM

I spent my early years on Mercer Island which is in the middle of Lake Washington east of Seattle. Each summer, first weekend of August would be the climax of Seafair: Thy hydroplane races. Back then it was the Gold Cup – I think they have that somewhere else now.
For the week before the races everyone on the Island could hear the roar of the engines as the hydros raced to qualify. Back then the farorite was SloMo which is now housed in the Museum of History and Industry. They didn’t have the pontoon type bodies that they have now, nor the cowling to protect the driver – just a windshield. As kids, we used to get a nice flat piece of wood – longer than it was wide and nail another piece of wood on top to be the cockpit. Then we would put a nail in the front, attach a piece of string and tie it to our bikes. All the kids in the neigborhoods had hydro’s attached to their bikes around the first week of August, and they rode the asphalt about like they rode the waves in the lake. By the time School started the strings had all broke or they had fallen off, but next year we would all build another one. Funny how a couple of pieces of wood and a couple of nails held the attention of hundreds of kids as we rode our bikes around the neighborhood.
I was reading a toy catalog the other day and it was a pretty good one as toy catalogs go – lots of imaginative toys. I was struck with the description of a castle that contained a dragon which was described as having “real life like sounds” Where is the imagination in that! Aren’t kids supposed to supply the real life like sounds as their imaginations gives them forth? I remember the boys in the neighboring yard playing for what seemed hours with their plastic army men ( and probably jeeps and tanks) You knew they were playing because you could hear them making the “real life like noises” little boys imagine that army men and jeeps and tanks make.
I notice that my nieces and nephews don’t really know how to pretend. They are so enmeshed in TV culture, when you force them to turn off the TV, they don’t know what to do with themselves. They would never be amused with a homemade hydro flying through the waves behind their bikes.

3 replies so far

View studie's profile


618 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 12-02-2009 08:05 AM

Kids long ago had a real role in life, chopping wood and or being quiet at the supper table. We had playing cards clothes pinned to the bike so the spokes would make a motor sound, remember that? T V is the ruin of many a fine mind & is addicting. Teaching a kid to make something is a lot of fun tho & they will always remember it. I remember my folks making things fun.

-- $tudie

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110 posts in 3128 days

#2 posted 12-02-2009 11:20 AM

Yes, I remember well the old clothes pin and playiing card trick back when clothes pins could be found in most back yards and all laundry rooms :-)
The one bright side that may come out of this recession is that families may not be able to afford so many extra curricular activities and may eat dinner together a few nights a week – cheaper and healthier than fast food. Also the reappearance of “Family Game Night” hopefully without electronic games. My sister tried to do that at least one night a week with her son. He loved the Game of Life, and Monotony.
Oprah once did a show where she took all TVs, Video games, computers etc away from about 3 or 4 volunteer families for a month (i think) The first week the kids didn’t know what to do with themselves, By the second week the families were eating all meals together and having family game night, Then the kids started getting interested in reading. They would go on long walks together and just talk. The kids panicked at first but by the end of the month a couple of families said they would do it all over again. They rediscovered each other, started doing things together and slept better. The kids grades went up as there were no distractions.
Did you ever play conkers with Horsechestnuts in the fall?
Ever Build a tree fort?
Was there a vacant lot in the neighborhood where all the kids used to gather?
Remember Penny candy?
Remember when you could make yourself sick on 25 cents worth of candy, soda and ice-cream
Did you catch fireflies in the summer or grasshoppers in the fall?
Maple tree helecopters?
Willow whistles?
When I was maybe 6, I used to love getting up on a freezing saturday morning and going out at 7am, walking around the block and being the first to break the ice on all the mud puddles. I remember how silent and calm everything was at that hour, then coming in for hot chocolate.
My niece and nephews get up and go to McDonalds on Saturday morning – even though there is plenty of food in the house.
Of course Saturday morning TV back then was good too. First there were cartoons, then the cowboy shows, Roy Rogers, Sky King etc, Then Soupy Sales. Once Soupy Sales came on you’d better be getting a move on. After that was usually sports shows, but the grown ups were too busy to watch most of the time.

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404 posts in 3230 days

#3 posted 12-02-2009 11:59 AM

Thanks guys for the wonderful waxing nostalgic down memory lane.

It was once said, television is the single greatest invention of the 20th-century…and, the worst!

Today, of course, all of us “kids” spend our time addicted to this LumberJocks site.

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