We were the lucky ones…….

A few reminders from our childhood.......thought it was worth sharing........

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THOSE OF US BORN IN 1930's, 1940's, 50's, 60's, 70's and Early 80's !!!

First, you survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a tin, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, your baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

You had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when you rode your bikes, you had no helmets ..

As children, you would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a van - loose - was always great fun.

You drank water from the garden hosepipe and NOT from a bottle.

You shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

You ate cakes, white bread and real butter and drank pop with sugar in it, but you weren't overweight because...... YOU WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

You would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach you all day.

And you were OK.

You would spend hours building your go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out you forgot the brakes.

After running into the bushes a few times, you learned to solve the problem .

You did not have PlayStations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, video games. at all. Zip. Nada. Zero.

No 999 plus channels on satellite TV.

No DVDs. No surround sound.

No mobile phones.

No text messaging.

No personal computers.

No Internet or Internet chat rooms..........

YOU HAD FRIENDS and if you didn't you went outside and found them!

Not post suicide notes on Social Media or self harm.

You fell out of trees, endured cuts, bruises, lacerations, broke bones and lost teeth.

But ...there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

You played with worms ) well most boys did) and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although you were told it would happen, you did not poke out any eyes.

You rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

You played sport in a local team and not everyone got picked to play every week.

Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing you out if you broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law ( as it was, before Political Correctness.

Our generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!!!!!

Those past 50 years were an exponential explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and, best of all, we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

And YOU are one of them!


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Published in Childhood & Memories


    1. len1932

      I was born in 1932 during one of the bad years of the depression. Dad had a Ford Model A but traded it for a bicycle as no gas or upkeep money. We could not have a dog as costs too much so dad got my brother and I two white rats with long tails. We even slept with them and they ate table scraps, not much left over. We were told to eat every thing as there were other kids dying in the world as they had no food. We played outside in all kinds of weather till dark. When TV came in 1947 we got a TV set and all the neighbors would visit to watch. Now on the farm we wave at our neighbors

  1. starlette Post author

    I would just love for the kids of today to experience some of the above, I think they miss out on such a lot………they don’t even have to use their own imagination in making games up to play, its all done for them without even having to leave the house………but times have changed and the safety of our children is paramount…..

  2. Drummer

    You have me seriously worried – I read and enjoyed your blog – so many salient points – but like I say – I am worried as I was born in 1929 so I must have missed out don’t you think?

  3. rose1943

    We drank and smoked when we were pregnant?, most of us did. The women who were breastfeeding drank beer for the yeast.? In our homes we only had radios and phonographs but went to Saturday matinees at the show to watch 3 cartoons, 3 Green Hornets, the news and a double feature all for 25 cents. Parents took care of all our owies and boo boo’s with alcohol, witch hazel, boric acid, oil of eucalyptus, oil of wintergreen rubbed in with a woolen scarf wrapped around. Mom would steam our heads with us inhaling in the tub of steam covered with a towel. Played jump rope, Red Rover, the Farmer in the Dell, Cakes and Pies. In summer got a Dixie cup ice cream from the corner store, or popcicles, fudgecicles and Snaps and Buttons. We could not get fat! No one on our block owned a car. A few were parked and we walked on the running boards. I miss the smell of the burning leaves in the fall. In our neighborhood was the Reed candy company so we got to smell the wonderful fragrances of root beer, butter rum, they were the best. Also the smell from the Butternut bread factory.
    Most of the commercials were about foods, cleaning agents, beer and cigarettes when the tv came. Never heard words like cholesterol. I guess it didn’t exist then. The nuns were mean, we survived. Our moms swatted us when we deserved it. We survived. Our dog ate our table scraps, she survived. Was it tough living in the city then? Are you kidding? We had a ball…and became very streetwise just like my children did! Thanks, Star, for writing this!

    1. starlette Post author

      Hello Rose…….hard times but good times…….you would only have to smell a few of those childhood smells and you would immediately be transported back to your childhood………..just wondering what the young of today will be storing in their smell memories………..traffic fumes maybe………

  4. foreveryoung2

    Yes we are the lucky ones – I was born in 1943 – didn’t have a happy home life, but we made our own fun doing many of the things as mentioned above, being out all day after school and going home when the street lights came on. We knew everyone in our neighbourhood and there was always help when needed. I say hello to my neighbours now but that is all – everyone keeps to themselves.
    Another reason I am glad that I was born then, is that I don’t like what is happening in the world today and I am fearful of the future. Hopefully I will be gone by the time the world gets much worse.

    1. starlette Post author

      Hello forever……….in my childhood I remember people were not materialistic, I lived on a council estate and I would say there was no one there that you would consider posh……..one neighbour did have a car……..but there was no competitiveness and keeping up with The Jones as it were……..open door policy at most of the neighbours……..borrow a cup of sugar here and there……..key left under the brick outside of the front door when you went out, just the one key for all the family to use, so that’s where it stayed till the last one was home ……my neighbour taught me to knit……….now days I don’t even know my neighbours surnames………the community spirit is dead……….

  5. rose1943

    Same here forever young, home life was not that great but we survived it and that’s gone now. Also born in 1943 things were very different. All neighbor’s knew each other and we sat on front porches in summer at night. Still in the same neighborhood but the people here leave in the morning out the back to their garages come home the same way. Only to say hello sometimes. I can chat with the nannies and housekeepers, they are the friendliest. Also glad I was born at that time when the world was younger and happier.

  6. starlette Post author

    Rose in parts of Ireland the community spirit is still very much alive……..I think because they tend to have large families and lots of gatherings they remain close……….always a Wedding, Christening, Communion Wake, funeral to attend……and usually big affairs with pre parties after wedding parties……they love the music and the craic and welcome all to join in………..

    1. roseinbloom

      Starlette, Air conditioning is one thing that killed neighborhoods. People had to get outside to cool off. All the computer games and social media keep us inside. I have started walking in my neighborhood and met two neighbors. In the city, people have block parties and street festivals, and in the more country places there are county fairs and such, For the most part community is lacking. My town has started a neighborhood blog to post news items like lost animal or items for sale or to be given away. I lived in the country and people depended on one another.They had to. We bought from farmers and the brothers helped when extra workers were needed. Sometimes they were paid and sometimes they were not.
      I agree we grew up in a great time. Parents who went through war and depression, really push a work and education agenda. And our music was the best.And for the most part we prospered. A greater sense of equality prevailed and I know I was the first in my family to graduate from a university. I little was a lot to me and I had skills to cook, shop and clean and the “can do” attitude. Paint walls if needed and strip furniture, and make clothes, curtains. What I did not learn from Mom, I learned in Home Ec, eonomics. and from 4H. Now, I am older and I have the internet, which may or may not be a good thing. LOL.

      1. starlette Post author

        Hi Rose, the internet has to be a good thing or we wouldn’t be here now, if used correctly and not for unsavoury things its a positive move……… the skills we learnt at school stand us in good steed……..general chores we were expected to help with in our daily life also taught us how to make do and manage, use what was available and improvise on what wasn’t……..do they even teach cooking and sewing in schools today…….I have no idea……

  7. Rockflower

    Hi Starette, everyone,
    Don’t forget some houses had the water coming in through lead pipes. No central heating , bedrooms were freezing in the winter. you got dressed under the bed clothes in the morning. A hot brick had been put in your bed at night but it just warmed one spot, so you lay stiff as a board until your body had warmed an inch or two close to your body , then you relaxed into that bit and waited for the next few inches to warm and so on. If you breathed out you could see your breath. Misery of drying your hair in front of the fire. Chilblains who remembers those,?Cold leather soled shoes in winter. Boys had short pants, we had short skirts! All washing of clothes done by hand on Monday, the kitchen and back hall was a maze of hanging damp clothes to walk through on wet days. Tuesdays was ironing day, still a maze of hanging ironed clothes an linen airing before being put away.
    My brothers did two rounds delivering papers before going to school, I had to make beds before school. We walked a mile and a half to school in all weathers. If you had forgotten something you ran back home to get what ever and back again to school at lunch time. We went on school field trips, walking through bogs up to our knees in mud and water, traipsed across moors. Did rock climbing no helmets, no special gear to wear!!!! Even our toys…..we had chemical sets with real chemicals! You could get refill chemicals from the drug store. We had a recipe in one such set for an explosive, you mixed it together into a paste and hid it in model spiders, which we also made. Then if some one hit this spider or
    moved it …it exploded!!!! Great fun to scare the heck out of our grown ups. I saw a scientist doing this on TV., he told us that one of these ingredients is so unstable when damp that even lab’s now have to have a special license to have it. I was very young and had a small toy cooking range, it was made out of thin sharped edged metal and had small candles with naked flame to heat it,
    My worse memory that still makes me shudder…. our school had a swimming pool where we all learnt to swim. It was filled with sea water which changed at high tide. Our sea was the River Dee estuary and often conger eels got washed into this pool. The water was murky you could not see to the bottom at the deeper end. Jeeze! I swam with my feet tucked up as high as possible LOL! The horror of toes meeting something long and slimy, not to mention the cold in late May. Knitted swim suits????
    Young girls often have period cramps, we did not mention it at school because the remedy was to run up and down the main stair case, three stories, three times. It’s just a cramp exercise clears the blockage?????? we were told.
    Oh my! our responses , mine anyway reminds me of that Monty Python sketch……… You think you had it hard, well I ???????

    Yet despite all this we survived and speaking for myself I was happy a happy child.

    1. starlette Post author

      Hi Rock……the beautiful icy fern patterns on the inside of the windows in Winter were nice to look at….but brrrrr…….I remember the bricks and the oven shelves in the bed also……..soooooo many memories…..

  8. vonMichael

    Dear Star, I have gone through each point of your wonderful blog and now I#m asking myself; have I been brought up in Germany or have I spend my child hood in the UK???
    Nearly 90% of your points fit into the upbringing of children of my age.

    Thanks for posting it,xxxM

    1. starlette Post author

      Hello Michael, seems wherever we are in the world we all have our childhood memories……..and not that much difference from each others…….xxx

  9. rose1943

    My sister and I had our bed in the dining room next to the coal stove. The wash would hang through the kitchen and dining room and I can still see the shadows on the wall of my dad’s long underwear. Looked so scarey! And how many people know what it’s like not to have a hot water tank? All water for dishes, washing clothes, etc. had to be heated in a big kettle on the stove. EVERYThing was washed with American Family soap and the wrappers were saved for free stuff. Hair was rinsed with vinegar to get the soap out but never smelled like it after. Gosh, this is so much fun!!! Except the swimming pool episode from Rockflower, yukkee!! For cramps we had blackberry brandy and scrubbing floors for relief. Coal for the potbelly and coal stove was stored in the coal bin in the basement. We were on the 2nd floor. By age 18 I had a herniated disc. Well worth it though. Had to shake the ashes and take them out. We used them outside for the snowy days not to fall. Everything was used!! We, certainly, did not cause what’s in the atmosphere….I think….

    1. Rockflower

      Rose ,
      Hair washing I hated it as a child, if the soap got in your eyes it hurt, and the vinegar. later on when we finally nagged our mothers into getting our hair cut and then wanted to curl our hair, there was that bright emerald green jelly, sticky stuff, it did not curl much LOL! You could use those metal curlers they were painful. Remember when the boys combed ( just grease, ) into their hair? The tooth paste we had ,stuff in a small flat tin like a shoe polish tin. Bright bubble gum pink and the taste was foul. Shoe polishing, they had to be polished everyday. Summer we had white kid leather shoes, these required some white stuff you kind of painted them with it. Lord I’ve not thought about that for years! No sneakers, we had plimsoles for gym’ and you could feel every stone through the thin crepe rubber soles. We also wore navy bloomers, elastic at the leg openings. They also had a tiny pocket on the leg? What were you supposed to keep in there?
      Then their were all the crazes you Americans sent to us LOL! The poodle skirts, circular skirts. the yo yo, What did we call those paper streamers on a stick that we waved about ? I was forgetting the hoola hoop. The cheap perfume we bought to give to our mothers for her birthday with our pocket money, from Woolworths, California Poppy, Evening in Paris, that came in an exciting blue bottle. Also in a bottle, cod liver oil. ugh! There was malt, dark brown very thick and brown with a green sheen it, a war time vitamin and mineral supplement. A gunky ball of this stuff off a spoon, seemed intent on choking you as you struggled to swallow it. Rose hip syrup was better. Fun dragging these out of the memory banks. Got any more?

      1. starlette Post author

        Hair Lacquer, you took your bottle to get it filled at the chemist, Gawd your hair didn’t move with that stuff on it…….but it dried and looked like nits…lol…Max Factor Pancake, Lilly of the Valley perfume…….into the 60s i am now……..full skirts with about 4 net underskirts starched…….and how many hours did i spend sewing sequins onto them………similar dresses around today……..wish some of the other stuff would come full circle too…..

    2. len1932

      Rose1943 You bring back so many memories I experienced like you did. The Saturday night bath in the big old round metal wash bucket with water we pumped from the well and heated on the wood stove.

  10. starlette Post author

    We didn’t add much to the pollution I don’t think……well we did have smoke puthering out of the chimneys, but in all fairness that fire provided us with heat, hot water and cooking facilities……..copper in the corner of the kitchen where the clothes were washed and boiled………hand wringer, wooden tongues…..Oh the Joys !!!…lol…..

  11. Scorpio

    Born in 1946 absolutely all the above applies to me , apart from the fact my mother never smoked or drank whilst pregnant with me. I’m still here at 70 and hope to carry on for a good few years yet. ?

    1. starlette Post author

      One wonders how we survived………lots of the stuff big no nos today…….but here we still are……Pheww…….how lucky are we…..

      1. LoneRogue

        Wonderful subject and so great to read all the different and much the same in many ways, responses. We were and are lucky. Llucky that we didn’t have the conditions of our parents or the conditions of our children and grandchildren and for some of us Great Grandchildren. My dad never owned a car. My mother had 4 kids and none born in a hospital. They just lived, did what it took to get by. Now if others would know that we lived in the conditions that our parents lived in, they would pity us, and they would be wrong.

        They call the men of WWII the greatest generation and I think they were. And so were the women and children.

  12. starlette Post author

    Hi LoneRogue…………our children’s and grandchildren’s life’s are worlds apart from what ours were………not their fault of course, progress has been made, some good, some not so good………….to me I think that perhaps we had to be stronger mentally……..we developed the ability to cope, to use out imagination and not rely on our parents to keep us entertained, they neither had the money or the time, men went to work and women spent all day doing the chores, no labour saving devices in those days…….. a day at the seaside once a year on the local club trip….ten shilling to spend………my dad made up stories to tell us……..”.Rosy Red Eye” and “Ginny Green Teeth”….don’t even ask…..lol……all I will say he was a Yorkshire man with a brilliant sense of dry humour…….we had what was called a fuddle on a Friday night, bag of sweets and a Mars bar cut into slices to share……..sing songs, tunes played on a comb with tissue over it, made your lips tingle………but I like to think should really hard times hit us again that people would unite and pull together…….. I don’t remember the war years, but I do know everyone was there for each other….together we stand strong

  13. tessa

    Sounds like a nightmare. I can relate to a few of the things mentioned. Most of that stuff is only applicable to very poor people or very ignorant ones. Sadly many children actually did grow up like that tho. And had mothers who had no desire to educate themselves about pregnancy.?

    1. starlette Post author

      Still happens today the ignorance of some…and so it goes full circle to the children……now and again a child will break the chain……..

  14. foreveryoung2

    Hi starlette your blog has certainly brought back many childhood memories – I can relate to many of them. Even though I didn’t have a happy home as a child, I still feel it was a much better time without the threats of drugs, terrorism, etc. Most of the parents in my area drank, so we kids had a lot in common and enjoyed each others company till our parents got home from the pub. I still have contact with some of these friends, and the bond is unbreakable. A great blog xoxo

  15. starlette Post author

    Ty foreveryoung………out of a somewhat negative childhood you found some positives, your childhood friends, so glad the bond was made……….couldn’t agree more about the drugs and terrorism problems we have today……..so much more frightening than what we had to contend with in our childhood…..

    1. len1932

      I read all the comments and recall several of them. I was born in 1932 and had a heart murmur and mom later told me I was not expected to live. Here I am 85 next month and out lived my parents and brother by several years.
      We had tough times as dad had no money for gas so traded his car for a bicycle even up. My brother and I most of time had cardboard liners in our shoes to keep the pebbles out. We lived a block from the mom and pop grocery store and we would run to the store to get a 11 cent loaf of bread. We were allowed to spent 2 cents each for candy if we had been good that week.
      Later we moved to small farm on edge of town where we had a milk cow. Milk was important for our family as was now my brother and I and young brother and sister We hand miked the cow if she stepped in the bucket we would take her foot out and keep milking. Mom said the milk is dirty today so i will strain it twice.

  16. starlette Post author

    Hello Len……..tough times indeed……..but did you ever once think life was unfair, I’m thinking not because many were in the same situation and we knew no other, there was the odd family who had a car, but by and large all my childhood friends and I had pretty much the same……..thank gawd I didn’t have to milk cows,there would have been a serious calcium deficiency in my family………..cows one side of the fence and me the other….lol…