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The following piece appeared in The Scottish Banner, with the request to pass it on “to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before lawyers and government regulated our lives for our own good!”

I don’t know if this piece originated in The Banner, written by Will Mackinnon, but the copy I saw had been edited to apply to North America, not just the British Isles. It generates a feeling of wistfulness for days that are no more, and a time that’s unlikely to be repeated.

According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those who were kids in the ‘30s to the early ‘70s, probably shouldn’t have survived. For example
  • Our baby cribs were covered with bright-coloured lead-based paint.
  • We had no childproof lids or locks on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets.
  • When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
  • We played hockey and baseball without helmets or mouth guards. Our parents rarely attended shinny games
  • As kids, we rode in cars without safety belts or air bags
  • Riding in the back of a pickup truck was a special treat.
  • Public swimming pools actually had diving boards – a low one and a high one on which we tested our nerve
  • We actually went swimming without a lifeguard or adults present to make sure we didn’t drown
  • We drank water from a garden hose, not from a bottle. Horrors
  • We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we always outside playing
  • We shared pop with four friends, all drinking from the same bottle and no one actually died from this
  • We spent hours building go carts out of scraps and then rode down hills only to find we had forgotten about brakes.  After running into bushes, we solved the problem.
  • We would leave home in the morning, play all day and as long as we were home when the street lights went on, no one worried.
  • No one was able to reach us all day.  No cell phones.
  • We didn’t have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes.  No video games, no 99 channels on cable, no videotaped movies, no surround sound, personal computers, no Internet chat rooms.  We had friends.  We went outside and found them
  • These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, inventors and self-sufficient citizens in our society
  • We had freedom, failure, success, responsibility and yes, disappointments.But we learned to deal with them

Are you one of these people?  If so,  congratulations.

As I read this, over and over, I kept thinking - THAT WAS CREIGHTON!
I don't remember ever running into locked doors?
Do you?

One time, I fell off my bike up by the garages at the end
of Wavell Street, and took a chunk out of my knee.  I hobbled home
WITH my bike (it was expensive, I would NEVER think of going home without it!!) and
mom didn't even bat an eye - she just said, calmly "well, you were probably
showing off and riding with no hands, so you got what you deserved.  Go get a bandaide".
Thing is..........SHE WAS RIGHT!!  I WAS driving with no hands - HOW did she know?

When I acted up in school, I remember Miss Mulligan gripping me by the
ear, and taking me just outside the door to give me the strap.  I wouldn't DARE
tell my parents, because - again - if I got it, I deserved it!

And the street lights!  Boy, the minute they came on - no matter where I was,
or what I was doing - it was time to hoof it home!

I remember Mrs. Bella Moyle, always having time to just SIT and talk at
the kitchen table with a precocious 7 year old, who loved to visit.  And John Moyle,
he always had room on his knee for the little girl who lived next door.

I remember welcoming the chaos in the Kiley home - a place I could just go
and watch TV -  waiting for Louise or Elizabeth to finish eating dinner.

And Mr. Kiley - bigger than life!  When he tied one end of a string to my loose tooth,
and the other end of the string to a doorknob, I never even THOUGHT of
questioning him!  To this day, I remember the shock when he slammed
the door shut - but I also remember thinking this man was my hero!
And my parents - laughed when I got home, minus the tooth.
Today that kind man who took a few minutes to *help* me out, would be sued!

One time, he took me down to Lively in the police car, and put me into a cell!
He only left me there a short time, but he taught me a valuable lesson!

Years later, when my father passed away, I returned to my home for his funeral.
I walked down the hallway, and rounded the corner inside Lougheed's
and there - in the middle of the room, was Tom Kiley - still bigger than life.
I saw no one else for that moment - just this kind man, with his arms opened
wide to give me a comforting hug.

I babysat almost every weekend so that I could buy the things I wanted.
Thank you Erna and Alex Fex for entrusting those darling girls to my care!

I remember the day our color television was delivered!
It was amazing - I thought we were one of the luckiest families in Creighton!
Imagine it - COLOR TV!?!?  The world just plain opened up - we were
mesmorized watching Ed Sullivan - amazed at the flesh tones, and the
seemingly endless shades and hues that suddenly filled our living room.

I remember crying when Tommy Hunter ended his show
with a most touching poem - oftentimes about families, love, fathers and daughters.

Every Saturday - it was Hockey Night in Canada.

If anyone was looking for us, they could find us at the club under the
watchful eye of Stella or Armenio.

And - to this day, I still think of our neighbours as
Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, Mr. and Mrs. Moyle, Mr. and Mrs. Briggs,
Luck, Resetar, Ranta, Cappeletti, Fraser, Chenier, Burnside,
Lynne, Bruce, Peacock, Stevens,
Durkos, Ingrahm, Blum,
Craigen, Miller, Gotro, Mulligan, DiFilipo, LeBlanc, Mosher
...

They were respected  because they were adults - they lived the good life,
and they earned it from the youth of our community.

Yes, it was a much simpler time.  But without a doubt, we were shaped by
the relationships and friendships that remain 20 - 30 - 40 and 50 years later.
My sister left Creighton when she was a teenager, yet, she still travels and
talks frequently with the friends she made in 1955.  I can still pick up the phone
and call *Weezie* - we continue a conversation started in 1963.  I visited with Darlene
Wellings a couple years ago - isn't it strange how none of our friends have aged ONE day?

Creighton was filled with good people, warmth and genuine caring.
The building of this website has reminded me just how kind everyone was.
It amazes me to read and re-read the email that comes in on a daily basis.
Words of appreciation, praise and support inspire me to do more and try harder
to keep us all connected.  It's worth it - every single moment spent rummaging through
old photo albums are moments to be valued.  Because each page reminds me of
my roots - and the amazing people that nurtured my growth and development.

The generation after ours - missed out on something very special!

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