piece appeared in
The Scottish Banner, with the request to pass it on “to others who have
luck to grow up as kids before lawyers and government regulated our
our own good!”
I don’t know if
originated in The Banner, written by Will Mackinnon, but the copy I saw
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.
and bureaucrats, those who were kids in the ‘30s to the early ‘70s,
shouldn’t have survived. For example
- Our baby cribs were
covered with bright-coloured
had no childproof lids or locks on medicine
bottles, doors or cabinets.
we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
played hockey and baseball without helmets or
mouth guards. Our parents rarely attended shinny games
kids, we rode in cars without safety belts or
in the back of a pickup truck was a special
swimming pools actually had diving boards
– a low one and a high one on which we tested our nerve
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
- We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and soda
with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we always
- 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
and then rode down hills only to find we had forgotten about
brakes. After running into bushes, we solved the
- We would leave home in the morning, play all
and as long as we were home when the street lights went on, no one
- 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,
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
- We had freedom, failure, success,
and yes, disappointments.But we learned
to deal with them
you one of these people? If so,
As I read this, over and over, I kept thinking - THAT
I don't remember ever running into locked doors?
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
bike (it was
expensive, I would NEVER think
of going home without it!!)
mom didn't even bat an eye - she just said, calmly "well, you were
showing off and riding with no hands, so you got what you
deserved. Go get a bandaide".
Thing is..........SHE WAS RIGHT
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
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
and watch TV - waiting for Louise or Elizabeth to finish eating
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
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
One time, he took me down to Lively in the police car, and put me into
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
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
I saw no one else for that moment - just this kind man, with his arms
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
Imagine it - COLOR
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
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
And - to this day, I still think of our neighbours as
Mr. and Mrs.
Murphy, Mr. and Mrs. Moyle, Mr. and Mrs. Briggs,
Ranta, Cappeletti, Fraser, Chenier, Burnside,
Bruce, Peacock, Stevens, Durkos, Ingrahm, Blum,
Craigen, Miller, Gotro, Mulligan, DiFilipo,
They were respected because they were adults - they lived the
and they earned it from the youth of our community.
Yes, it was a much simpler time. But without a doubt, we were
the relationships and friendships that remain 20 - 30 - 40 and 50 years
My sister left Creighton when she was a teenager, yet, she still
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
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
Words of appreciation, praise and support inspire me to do more and try
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
generation after ours - missed out on something very special!