My Story

Every life has a story to tell. Mine and yours. Everyone has a story of one type or another. I am not young--76. This year I will be 77. So, maybe I should tell my story. If I am lucky, someone will tell me theirs also. We grow and learn through watching and hearing each others stories. We make our mark on the world while we are here.

I was born in 1940, during World War 2. I didn't know there was a war until years later, because I was fortunate to be born into the United States where even though they eventually sent men to fight, nobody was dropping bombs on us or shooting in our streets. It must have been a horrible time to have been born in countries where they were battling each other. I was born in Bellflower, California where my dad worked in the shipyards. He did not get drafted into the army as he was working on shipbuilding.

My family lived in two different towns (that merged with each other) as I grew. It was a peaceful life growing up in the forties an the fifties.  We grew up not worried about dangers in the world. If there were any, the children didn't know.     

Growing up in the 40's and 50's was so different from the experience of children today. We lived in Oildale, California. It was so hot, but we didn't care. We cleaned our rooms and went out to play every single day.  We played games called, red rover, lemonade, and "mother may I". We ran through the sprinklers and sometimes stepped on them and cut our feet. We didnt go into the house for a drink. We just drank from the hose in the yard. 

We (all the neighborhood kids) walked to the movies on Saturday and for some ridiculous amount of money (seems like it was 25 cents) got to see two features, a news reel, a cartoon, and often a serial (these went on and on). Superman or Tarzan or whoever would be about to die and it would be over. We had to come back the next week to see how he saved himself. At the movies we ate popcorn, jujubes, dots, flicks (I think they were called that). They were small chocolate disks that came in a paper tube). We drank cokes. These things were just as cheap as you could buy outside the movies. They had not yet decided that in the movies food prices should be double.

Nobody drove us to school. It was four blocks and we walked with our friends. Our school was across a very busy road, but someone built a subway which went under the street. We walked through.

When I was about nine, we got our first television set.There were no video games. We watched early shows like I love Lucy. and cowboy movies They were in black and white. Nothing had to be censored because nobody would swear in front of children--even on television or at the movies. We were shocked when we were teens and went to see "Gone with the wind" and heard Rhett Butler use the word damn.

There were no cell phones or video games. If we talked on the phone, we were limited by the length of the cord. Some kids were lucky and got a phone in their room. At our house there were only two phones--not in kids rooms. If someone was talking you could lift the other phone and hear them, unless they knew you were on the line. Then you got in trouble. As teenagers we used to play the busy signal. Between the beeps, kids would give out their numbers and we called them. We never gave our numbers though. It didn't seem safe.

Growing up starts out slowly and suddenly you are there

Cholesterol in the 40s and 50s

Did people have high cholesterol? Well, I suppose some did, but we never heard about it. I don't believe they tested for it. In my neighborhood and school, I could count on the fingers of one hand how many people were very overweight. I believe they were all in the same family. There was probably some genetic component. The rest of us (as I remember) were thin.  Hamburger helper and other processed foods were not heard of yet. There were only a few kinds of cereals to buy. We ate Wheaties, Cheerios, oatmeal, malt-o-meal and cream of wheat. Sometimes we had cornflakes. Those are the ones I remember. Oh yes, my parents liked shredded wheat.

I do not believe that anything had been genetically modified. I am sad that genetic modification ever happened. It may be the source of some of our problems now. Or, the problem could have started when children stopped running through sprinklers and playing hide-and-go-seek in the dusk. Those were joyful days--they are gone. Things change, but the memories last, and there will be more memories to make.

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