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8 Reasons Children of the 1970s Should All Be Dead

By on 9 June 2014 | comments 439

The way things are going, every kid is going to go to school wearing bubble wrap and a helmet.  Back in the 1970s (and earlier), parents didn’t stress about our health and safety as much as they do today.  It’s not that they cared less – they just didn’t worry compulsively about it.

Parents of 2014 need to be reminded of how less restricted, less supervised, less obsessively safety-conscious things were… and it was just fine.




should be dead (10)


Can your mind comprehend a more deadly toy than a weighted spear that kids hurl through the air like a missile? No one ever obeyed the actual manufacturer’s rules, we just flung these damn things everywhere.  We threw them. They stuck where they landed. If they happened to land in your skull, well, then you should have moved.

After roughly 6,700 emergency-room visits and the deaths of three children between 1978 and 1988, they finally outlawed Jarts on December 19, 1988. I suppose it needed to be banned, but a part of me is sad that kids today won’t have the battle scars and Jart survival stories we had. Goodbye Jart – you were an impaling arrow of death, but I loved you anyway.




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Cars came with seat belts in the 1970s, but no one used them except maybe out of curiosity to see what it was like to wear one. Of course, you’d have to fish them out of the deep crevice of the backseat cushion where they often came to rest, unwanted and ignored.

The only “click” heard in the 1970s automobile was your dad’s Bic lighting up a smoke with the windows rolled up. (cough!)

I should also mention that, not only were there no seat belts, child seats were nowhere to be found.  Whether it was the front seat of your mom’s station wagon or her bicycle, chances are, you were entirely untethered.




should be dead (8)


Remember when playgrounds were fun? Sure, there was a pretty good chance you’d be scalded by a hot metal slide, or walk away with tetanus, but that’s what memories are made of.

The ground wasn’t coated with soft recycled rubber or sand as most are today – they were asphalt.  Remember being hurled from a spinning merry-go-round, then skidding across the gravel at full speed?  Good times.

I remember my school playground had a metal ladder “wall” that I swear went up three stories – it didn’t connect to a slide or anything. It was literally a ladder to the sky. I remember fully believing the oxygen was thinner at the top.  One false move and I’d have been a flesh colored stain on the asphalt.

According to the New York Times we are making playgrounds so safe that they actually stunt our kids’ development.  So, while blood was spilt and concussions were dealt on the playgrounds of the 1970s, we were at least in a developmentally rich environment – and we had the bruises and scabs to prove it.



should be dead (4)

“Tanfastic lets the sunshine in.  It’s not loaded up with sunburn protection like old folks and kids want.  Tanfastic’s for you 15-to-25 year olds who can take the sun.  Especially if you want to get superdark.  Superfast.”

Back in the 70s, your goal was to get as brown as your skin would permit.  Sun BLOCK or sun SCREEN was basically nonexistent. You wanted to AMPLIFY your rays, so women typically lathered on Crisco and baby oil to get that deep baked look.

For the kids, SPF numbers hovered around 2, 4 and 8.  The idea that you would spray an SPF of 50 or even 30 wasn’t even an option, except perhaps from medical ointments prescribed for albinos.





should be dead (7)

Whether you were riding a bike, roller skating, or skateboarding, one thing was for certain: you were not wearing a head protection.  You would have been looked at as a sideshow freak by other kids, and parents would assume you had some kind of medical condition.




should be dead (5)

Hey, who’s watching the kid in the stroller?  YOU MUST HAVE YOUR EYES ON THE KID AT ALL TIMES OR ELSE HE WILL DIE!

My mother routinely left me alone in the car at a young age while she ran errands.  Today, this will literally get you arrested.  You see, once upon a time it was okay to leave your kids for long periods without supervision (remember the so-called “latch-key kids” of the 70s?), or let them free roam without constant surveillance.  Today, parents won’t let their kids go out to get the mail alone, and any fun with friends has to be scheduled, closely monitored “play dates”.

On summer break or weekends in the 1970s, parents kicked their kids out the front door and didn’t let them back in until the sun went down.  “Go play,” were their only words, and you were left to your own devices for hours upon hours.  Neighborhoods looked like Lord of the Flies.





should be dead (3)

This poor kid is about to get rammed in the nuts by a goat, and the nearby adult isn’t the least bit concerned.  In fact, he finds this all incredibly amusing!  As hard as this is to believe, but when kids got hurt back then, adults didn’t come running with first-aid kits.  More than likely you’d be left alone with your pain, with no alternative but to get over it.

In the 70s, parents watched their offspring fall from trees and fall off bikes with a smile.




should be dead (1)

From airplanes to your family car, it seemed the world of the 70s was shrouded in a haze of cigarette smoke.  It wasn’t just the fact that many more people smoked, it was the absolute 100% lack of concern for those that didn’t, including children.  Teachers smoked, doctors smoked, your parents smoked…. and they didn’t take it to a secluded smoking area, they did it right in your face.

Please don’t interpret this as condoning it.  There’s no question that engulfing your child in a thick carcinogenic cloud isn’t a good idea.  I’m just stating facts – this is the world we lived in.  It was full of adults who didn’t seem to have anxiety attacks over our safety, and we turned out just fine…. right?

  • JT

    Politically correct liberalism is lame…. return us to our liberties and freedoms chosen by WE THE PEOPLE…, not someone the government!

    • breed7

      Like the freedom to marry the person we love, the freedom for a woman to choose what she does with her own body, that sort of thing? Yeah, liberals are the ones who don’t believe in freedom…..

    • androphiles

      If you think the more restricted ways of raising kids came from “liberals” you just don’t know history or reality.

  • Just

    Omfg you people totally went all the way down the rabbit hole! Step away from the frelling ledge and enjoy the article and memories.

    • leelabelle

      u said frelling :D

  • Super Amanda

    You picked the wrong ones. Many kids are dead from skin cancer.

  • Super Amanda

    Start/mid of the 70s was better. By the end there were too many molesters and freaks teaching in schools. The US just became too hedonistic.

  • Mel Johansson

    “…and it was just fine.” Except, of course, for those kids for whom it was not “just fine.” Especially the no-seat-belt thing.

    • Guest

      No question bad things happened. Being stowed in your mom’s bicycle basket was a recipe for head trauma. I guess the point being made is whether we’ve gone too far in the other direction and worry too much….. food for thought anyway.

    • Yeoman Lowbrow

      No question bad things happened. Being stowed in your mom’s bicycle basket was a recipe for head trauma. I guess the point being made is whether we’ve gone too far in the other direction and worry too much…. food for thought anyway.

    • Brian

      Plenty of kids in today’s world end up not “just fine” too. Stuff is gonna happen.

    • Jim Snyder

      At least we thinned out the herd the natural way back then. Some things were unfortunate, and some things happened because some kids were not that bright. Now that percentage non-bright ones make it to adulthood and are allowed to reproduce.

      • Guest

        Well, if that’s the case, why is there so much complaining about how “stupid” kids are these days or about how it’s all the “stupid” people reproducing?

        • evianalmighty

          Public schools and liberalism.

      • Jack Stone

        Natural way? My friend died from second hand smoke because his mom thought it was ok to smoke in the house.

        • FisherofTruth

          i am sure your friend died of a specific ailment. would be amazed if the cause was the mom’s smoke

    • Thinker45

      Here’s the thing to keep in mind: we have become a society of ‘no tolerance’ and what I mean by that is, we see these situations in black and white. Take seat belts. Sure, wearing your seat belt is safer than not. But, then again, not driving is the safest way to prevent getting hurt in a car accident, and hey, not leaving the house at all will prevent all sorts of possible harm.

      But that’s ridiculous, right? So what measure of ‘safer’ are we aiming for? A percentage? A number? Or, do we often default to this absolute, which is what I mean by no tolerance – we don’t tolerate the idea of any number being good at all.

      In 1975, about 20 people per 100,000 (or 44,000) died in auto accidents. In 2012, that was 10 people per 100,000 (34,000). The majority of seat belt laws came into effect in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but there’s no correlation in the peak of deaths in 1980, nor the recent drop, because until a few years ago, the percentages were much closer, around 15 out of 100,000.

      So we look at those numbers and think, ‘less deaths are better!’ and, true, it is, but the reality is that seat belts aren’t keeping us that much safer – for whatever value you want to place on ‘that’. And the drop in deaths are speculated to be more about cracking down on drunk driving, people driving less and better auto design, airbags and electronic alerting systems than seat belts.

  • AB

    sounds like my childhood, though I was born in the mid-80s. But my parents were definitely 70s children, so I’m sure they just did it the way their parents did.

  • Lacey W

    And yet we survived. My family had lawn darts and NOBODY ever got impaled. I played on playgrounds made of metal, and even brought wax paper to make you go faster down slides. No damage. Every July 4th we had our own fireworks and I still have all my fingers and toes.

    • Sally

      To get a sheet of waxed paper for the slide was stupendous fun! (I grew up in the 40s and 50s, much the same as the 70s, but even more so!) Would not trade it for the world!

      • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

        I’m with you,Sally. We also folded waxed paper over a comb to play music!

    • bayma

      I never heard of this and now my childhood seems like it was less fun.

    • NickRepublic

      Did not know about the wax paper. Worst thing that ever happened to me on a metal slide was the kid in front of me (who shall remain nameless) peed on himself going down the slide and well, once you started down, there was no going back up…eewww!

      • Priscilla Engelhard Wille


  • Chris Wienke

    This is awesome. I feel nostalgic. You forgot that we also all walked to school, even as kindergarteners

    • Miranda Mattingly Grim

      My boys walked to school from 2nd grade on! One is in middle school is and one is a freshman. But to be fair, our school is literally a block and a half away and there’s a dedicated walkway leading all the way to the door of the school from our outermost neighborhood street…no busy streets to get across. We are just lucky we have that. Any further or with a busier street to cross and I may not have.

    • Rosey P

      Thanks for steering this right back to the original subject!!! Ahh, the humor and idiocracy in comment boards. Lame reality shows for those who prefer to read it and not watch it.

    • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

      I was on the Safety Patrol (remember that?). I stood on a corner ,by myself,for 10 mins before lunch and back on the corner for 10 mins before lunch ended.My corner was only 1 block from the school and 2 blocks from my house. I walked home,to an empty house,and made my own lunch. Yes, I even used the stove! I sat down and ate my lunch with Chief Halftown hosting the POPEYE cartoons. Then walked back to school.

      • Jeff Blanks

        They let you out of school for lunch? I don’t think mine would’ve let us do that. Was this an elementary school or a middle school?

        • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

          2nd through 6th grade.

      • Claudia Ritter

        I let my 7 year old heat up his own food on the stove and my dad (a Boomer) freaks out. Go figure.

        • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

          @ Claudia Ritter – I’m a little surprised that it’s not the other way around! When I walked home from school at lunchtime, I usually fried an egg or a “Chopette” on the stove! No one else was home – my mom was a teacher in a different school district than mine & my dad worked an hour away. And this was elementary school! I would never let a kid do that,now. Haha!

      • J. Longstreet

        Great memory, Priscilla. I remember the safety patrol kids. And I remember walking home for lunch in Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade, too. I’d forgotten all about that. :)

    • Walter Wall

      Yup, and the only one with us was our big brother/sister who would usually take off with their friends cause they didn’t want you hangin with them!!!

      • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

        Hahaha! That’s the truth!

  • Chris Dedrickson

    kids today are waaay too sheltered and protected! they are not allowed to be kids. just clean up the blood when you’re done was a familiar response to some of our activities. and it is good to eat a little dirt, it strengthens your immune system to be exposed to germs and grime. i was born in ’69 and remember every one of these and am sad to see the way things are now.

    • robingee

      I agree that slathering a kid with Purell every five minutes harms more than helps, there are plenty of “kids being kids” these days. I see them whipping by on a skateboard with no protective gear and climbing trees in the backyard.

      We’ll be fine.

      • lucascott

        i see nothing wrong with making a kid wear a helmet when biking etc. but yeah the whole Purell etc is way much

    • Brian Katcher

      Darn kids and their be bop music! Back in my day, we knew the value of a dollar! And knew how to respect our elders, dad gum it! Face it Chris, we’re getting old.

      • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

        And,where did we hear those words before? LOL

    • GentlyWaftingCurtains

      Is this what you take away from the article? Because a lot of these things sound really stupid and dangerous. Maybe we have gone too far the other way, but we should never go back to this.

      • Brian

        That’s the whole point of the article. A lot of stupid and dangerous things were commonplace, and we still turned out fine.

        • Jeff Blanks

          I’m not so sure we turned out quite *that* fine. After all, we’re the generation that later turned into those “helicopter parents”.

          • Charlie

            We did not turn into “helicopter” parents because our parents did a bad job, we turned into them because of fear mongers with their 24 hour news cycle constantly alerting us to dangers that although they exist, are advertised way out of proportion. The nanny state and people with not enough to do turning their phobias into legislation are the main culprits.

    • lucascott

      too much of a degree yes. Leaving a young kid in a car is a bad move but so is demanding air mattresses under playground gear, coddling their every desire, demanding scores aren’t kept so no kid feels like a loser etc.

      there needs to be a balance

      • YaqubHassan

        The only dangerous thing about leaving your kids in a car is if the AC or heat aren’t on when it’s hot or cold out. “Stranger danger” is a complete canard begotten by a for-profit news media that runs on fear. A child walking home from school alone today is in no more danger than their grandparents would have been at their age.

  • Miranda Mattingly Grim

    I love it! I make sure to not get too absorbed with paranoia and give my kids a healthy mix of 1979 and 2014. I am proud to say that my 12 and 14 year old boys grew up going outside to play and ride bikes. I didn’t let them go alone until they were 7 or 8 (unheard of in the 70′s and 80′s) and then it wasn’t off the street or it was directly to a friend’s house stay around there for a while, and then a phone call before they added home. By the time they were 10 I let them go around the neighborhood. Everyone is fine and they are healthy, not overweight, and smart about bike safety and street safety. They love their computer me and PS3 time, but they still “go outside and play” every day. My daughter is 7 and I haven’t gotten brave enough to let her do the same. I do let her walk 2 houses down to the neighbors, but she stays there. The poor kids down the street the other way from us are 14 and 12 (girl and boy), and their Mom STILL only lets them ride their bikes when she walks with them. To me, that’s insane. The more you smother them, the harder they’re going to rebel when they finally do get a taste of freedom. I guess if my teenager had never been anywhere without me, I’d be nervous too. How are they going to know how to handle themselves until they do it?

    • Evgeny Shamo

      Exactly. Children NEED some alone time to learn about the world and themselves.

  • dt

    The sun tanning thing was spot on. We use to go out on Friday nights partying and on Saturday mornings we would head to the beach and sleep it off. Spent the entire day in the sun with no sun screen just sun tan lotion and sun in for our hair. Still alive and kicking at 51.

    • Bimmerman

      Unlike some of your contemporarties who are dead from melanoma.

      • dt

        Sorry if this hits a nerve, but it doesn’t change the fact that we did this.

      • punstress

        I have read that melanoma has increased montonically with sunblock usage.

        • richcreamerybutter

          No. You can see below why it might appear that way; as of the mid-90s, we’ve started to reverse the damage we inflicted on the ozone layer, which protects us from UVB rays. Kids in the ’70s do have some damage (and it’s good for everyone to regularly get checked), but if anything those who tanned in the ’80s-early ’90s without protection probably have the greater risk for skin cancer.

          Previous generations will show overt damage caused by UVA rays, since those are ones primary responsible for tanning. However, UVB rays tend to cause mutations (and cancer). Special photography reveals cumulative UVB damage in the face, even without obvious surface wrinkles and spots.

          Regardless of UVA vs UVB and the gradual repair of the ozone layer, why would you want to look like a piece of leather?

          • J. Longstreet

            (“We’ve repaired the ozone layer”) Backing away slowly…

          • Bergey66

            The more accurate statement would be “We’ve begun to repair … ”


          • nm

            If we’re being accurate, it’s more like “we’ve slowed our destruction of the ozone layer, and it’s slowly repairing itself.” :)

          • WW4

            In fact the poster said “We’ve started to reverse the damage,” which is factual.

    • punstress

      Every time we went down the shore we came back as little lobsters.

    • Sally

      Go to the dermatologist and get checked out, OK?

    • Kathy Wattula

      I have many memories of Mom spraying me with Solarcaine after a day at the pool.

    • richcreamerybutter

      See my response further down. Most of your childhood tanning would have occurred before significant ozone layer damage. The ozone layer protects us from UVB rays, which are the ones that can cause cell mutation and cancer. This damage is permanent, and can be a ticking time bomb, so be sure to regularly have your moles checked by a dermatologist. Trust me, you don’t want to see someone die of skin cancer.

      • Kristine Rizzuto

        Actually sitting in the ER with my sister now. Her brain tumor is back. Stage 4 melanoma ain’t no joke. She’ll be 41 in a couple of weeks. If she makes 42 it’ll be a miracle

        • be kind

          I’m so sorry, Kristine. That’s terrible.

    • Cancankant

      …and spraying water on ourselves to “darken on tan” (or “burn to tan”). Eeeek. I’m a sunscreen wearer now. That shizz was mental.

      • Luvmylab

        I remember using baby oil or whipped butter to quicken the tanning process.

        • allie

          We used baby oil with a touch of iodine. The iodine was supposed to help you get darker, I think!

  • Daniel

    A moment of silence for our fallen comrades. Some of us were truly lucky to survive!

  • Faye_Oney

    Lol, thanks for the memories! I remember playing on a see-saw with my brother. When one of us decided to get off, the other one got slammed to the ground. Yes, we all survived, and are the better for it. At least back then, nobody was shooting up schools.

    • Melanie Miday-Stern

      I both front top teeth on a see saw in Kindergarten!

    • ridesunvalley

      Not quite Faye. The mids- to late-1970s is considered the second most violent period in U.S. school history.

      • GreyWolf62

        Violence was a daily occurrence at my inner-city Baltimore school, but that pales in comparison to what children are facing daily at the best schools. We can and must do better.

      • KC

        FYI Wikipedia is one of the worst sites to use when using/checking facts.

        • Jeb Hoge


          • Denise Ainsworth

            Yes , cite, timbo59 used the word correctly. Get a dictionary and look it up!

          • GiGi

            I love when people either try to correct or question a word not in their vocabulary. It’s rather sad, but still hilarious!

          • ex2bot

            That’s not what happened. Check the arrows and indents. The indenting (and arrow next to his / her username) shows that Jeb Hoge was replying to KC above. His / her message is challenging KC to prove his / her assertion that “Wikipedia is one of the worst sites to use when using / checking facts.”

          • GiGi

            Ok smart ass, this was what I was referring to: timbo59 rgibby7 • 4 days ago
            Sorry, but I’ve actually tried correcting them on some apocryphal details they cite on some of their pages and they refuse to accept them.

            Jeb Hoge KC • 7 days ago
            17 • Reply•Share ›
            He wasn’t talking to KC, he was referring to this word, as if used incorrectly…I know how these posts work…no need to feel superior!

          • Jordan

            You obviously don’t know how these posts work…

          • Jeb Hoge

            I was, in fact, “talking to KC” and challenging the assertion about Wikipedia’s value. What I have found is that it is generally well moderated and it also makes a good springboard to finding other sources of reference. If I’m looking up information and find a Wikipedia article that has strong footnotes, I’ll usually follow those to the original source for referencing instead of referencing the Wikipedia article simply to avoid dealing with certain types who choose the kneejerk “Wikipedia is one of the worst sites to use when using / checking facts” response. Clearly it’s time well spent.

          • ex2bot

            Timbo59 was asking KC to give specifics, not questioning the word. See the arrow next to his/her username. Shows who he/she replied to.

        • Tarah Pyka

          actually it is moderated, and is extremely useful

          • Derrick

            If you use wikipedia for facts, you are seriously misguided.

          • Jordan

            Many things on Wikipedia are actually sourced and provide links to sources. You are seriously misguided because you clearly have never used Wikipedia.

          • Lori Koonce

            Because it is crowd edited, one can never be sure if what you are reading is fact or not. Use it to get basic information, but not as a primary source.

        • rgibby7

          Try to contribute something inaccurate to a wiki page and see what happens.

          • LaurieMann

            It depends on how carefully particular pages are watched. You’re right that some of them are as accurate as Faux News, but, generally, Wikipedia is a good place to go for a sanity check (though not deep research).

          • Guest

            Ladies and gentlemen, thank you to Laurie for illustrating why Wikipedia and “crowd editing/moderating” is NOT an accurate source.

          • Van

            I’ve jacked up my own wikipedia profile and those of friends (with their permission) – it’s hysterical to see the inaccurate information get cited by people who don’t double check wikipedia!! :D

          • timbo59

            Sorry, but I’ve actually tried correcting them on some apocryphal details they cite on some of their pages and they refuse to accept them.

      • David

        Did you actually even look at the link you provided? There’s no way you can compare the late-70′s with what’s been going on the past 15 years (since Columbine, really). Most of the stuff in the seventies (except for the girl who just set up sniper practice across the street and inspired “I Don’t Like Mondays”) were generally isolated incidents involving what seemed to be a single particular target.

        • Greg Miller

          I blame the media for inadvertently glamorizing the killer by broadcasting nonstop after one of there incidents.

        • Linquel

          Two of first items in the list are the National Guard shooting up Kent State and police shooting student protesters. Like David said, it’s not the same. I wonder how skewed that “second most violent period” statement is due to violence against student protests during the Vietnam War.

          • LaurieMann

            Also it was the ’70s and early ’80s when you started to see metal detectors at inner city schools, as guns proliferated in the cities and turf wars broke out.

        • Christopher S. Johnson

          U.S. murder was worse in the late 70′s 80′s 90s compared to now according to the FBI. The recent mentally ill school shootings are horrible but they do not begin to make up for over all murder rates dropping like a brick.

        • George Armstrong

          I think someone missed the “[citation needed]” part of that statement.

      • Greg Davis

        Funny how “school shootings” is a term only used to describe those incidents that occur in suburban, WHITE schools. I mean, it’s not like schools made up mostly of minorities, mainly black for that matter, have not had this very issue for decades.

        But, that was no big deal until it hit white America. Am I right?

        • DBirch

          Oh shut up with your race shit

        • TimT9999

          Good Greg. Play the race card about a comic article. Personally I think if someone killed 20 black second graders it would be seen as a similar outrage in this country. Many people don’t care if gang-bangers kill each other. But any killing of innocent kids is recognized for what it is, a tragedy. And if you can’t see that, it says more about your own racial preconceptions than about our country.

          • EV

            You realize that the “race card” isn’t a real thing, right? It’s a way for white people to lazily write off a person of color talking about race in a way that they don’t like. Or really, for talking about race at all. When you begin an argument with the word “race card,” you’re just signaling to rational people that whatever’s coming next is going to be kind of ridiculous. In that way, it’s actually quite handy.

          • evianalmighty

            Actually you are very much mistaken. The race card is real and has been so over played since obama was elected that it now has no meaning. The number of times the MSM ha called every white person a racist is so out of hand that no one cares. An elementary school group wanted to act like the village people. They were not allowed as it is racist. I think that is an affront to gays.

          • EV

            “The race card is real because Obama and the media.” Yeah, you are really disproving my point here. :D

          • pokinsmot

            You realize that just because you say it isn’t a real thing, doesn’t make it not a real thing right?

          • EV

            It’s not a real thing. It’s like the Easter bunny for dumb white people. An imaginary friend to help them understand things in a way that’s a bit easier for them. And, like I said, an easy way to let everyone else know not to listen to the rest of your sentence.

          • Annoyed

            Do any of you even know when the term “the race card” really became a staple in American households? Who remembers the O.J. trial?? Well, some of you on here probably were not even born yet but l digress. Johnnie Cochran said he played “the race card” in attempt to paint Mark Furman as a racist due to his use of the n-word on occasion. and thus the term “the race card” came to be, of course it has been twisted back and forth between black and white alike when it is needed so to speak. Now for those about to go Google crazy on what I just typed let me make it clear that I am NOT saying Johnnie Cochran “invented” the phrase simply that he and the whole Simpson trial being blasted through every TV caused it to become a common term. Now moving on, Greg what you said is exactly what “playing the race card” is. Why you felt the need to go there makes no sense seeing as how you are not exactly black or white (yes I know all races can be used in the whole race card thing) meaning you made that comment in order to get attention and nothing more. EV as for you, the race card is real and it is not a “lazy white people” thing. Perhaps you should read the first part of my rant again. If you are not old enough to to who Johnnie Cochran is then let me point something very important about him that makes it relevant to my argument…….he is black. That being said it really kind of makes what you said, well ignorant. Next up the whole “Obama” name throwing….While I am not a fan of Obama I have to say that I am tired of people blaming him for things that are just well, ridiculous. “I got a sunburn today cause Obama said we should not use sunblock.” Yes, my sarcasm was a bit absurd but so are some of the things I am hearing people blame him for, which was the point of my sarcastic statement. This whole article was about things some of us remember as kids and was quite amusing and then some of you went WAY askew. I don’t understand why people today feel the need to just complain about EVERYTHING. We can’t just read something amusing like this article without posting something negative just to start confrontation, it is like a bad drug habit that people are extremely addicted to and can’t kick. Rant over.

          • John Cross

            very well stated, I can still remember my family doctor coming in to stitch me up with a camel no-filter hanging out of his mouth!!! LOL

          • Van

            And EV plays the race card. :p

          • Greg Davis

            Actually, Tim, it’s not “the race card”, just the truth. Inner city schools were dealing with school violence, including gun violence, in the 60′s and 70′s. That early. No one batted an eye in the rest of the country though. As soon as Columbine happened however, it was a different story.

            I’m the last person that would use race as an excuse, hell, I’m white/cherokee, but this is just a fact. A simple truth that people like you don’t want to accept. It is not a “preconception”. Now what does that say about you?

          • Jeff Blanks

            It goes back earlier than Columbine; disaffected white kids were shooting up their classes (well, first themselves in school, then their classes) years earlier than that. It was even already a meme years before Columbine; just think of the video for Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”, from their first album.

          • TimT9999

            You really don’t get the difference, do you. You are comparing apples and oranges and your particular soapbox mindset doesn’t allow you to even see my basic point.

            Let me make it as clear as I can. The kind of inner city violence you’re referring to was typically one kid getting into a fight with another. Maybe gang related, maybe just two guys with anger issues. Maybe one kid bullying another. And maybe one of them knifes or shoots the other and their friends get involved.

            The Columbine or Sandy Hook violence isn’t personal. It’s not a fight that gets out of hand. It is one or two people with major psychotic issues that plan a mass murder of people they don’t even know. They amass a stock of high powered weapons and kill as many people as they can. With Sandy Hook, the victims were 7 and 8 year olds.

            How can you not see the difference? Come on Greg. Roaming the halls looking for 8 year olds to kill is just different. And please don’t tell me that you don’t have any preconceptions or mindset. Whites (and yes, even Cherokees) have mindsets that can get in the way of acknowledging the value of another person’s point of view.

          • GiGi

            Greg’s indoctrinated thought process won’t allow him to see anything but what has been spoon fed for decades. The differences are quite obvious. Unfortunately though, the 30 under crowd just doesn’t get it. I fear when they actually have to fend for themselves in the future, unless they have been taught “actual” life skills and by that, I mean NOT a useless video game forte….then the next world catastrophe will swallow them up.

          • Jordan

            I think you’re close-minded and ignorant. Many people of the under 30 working force right now (including myself) own properties, have investments, are working on technologies and theories every day adding value to their lives and their communities. Many people in my generation can use technology for much more than sitting in a “video game forte”, as you so aptly decided what every millennial uses a computer for, and apply it to the real world. Perhaps that’s something you’ll never understand, GiGi. Just because you know a few apathetic 20-somethings does not indicate what a generation encompasses. My generation is about life-balance, which is something else you may never understand. I sincerely hope you haven’t or will never reproduce.

          • TheRajLOSAngeles

            Is there a point to your self love fest? You call everyone stupid, but you haven’t necessarily provided any evidence of any of your intelligence. I mean, you’re telling us how smart you are, but other than a few generalizations, opinions, and compliments to yourself, you haven’t said anything.

          • Guest

            Now this is the only race card that should ever be played.

          • Charlie

            This is the only race card that should ever be played.

        • Guest


          • Leah Doughty


        • Charlie

          It’s not so much that it is a new activity, it’s the 24 hour news cycle that has to be stirring something up to keep on getting ratings, so they can keep on getting advertising revenue. Previous era shootings made the news, but usually only the local news because most news was local. There was 30 minutes a day of national news, not like today with multiple 24 hours news channels, internet and Twitter. News travels faster now to a larger population. And I don’t want to even get started on “copy cat” crimes. A disturbed kid sees where another disturbed kid shot up a school and thinks, “I can kill more than they did.”

      • Dennis Ray Wingo

        Well hell we had to do something to survive that damn peanut farmer!

    • Lisa

      I remember getting splinters on my thighs from those see saws. Fun times!

      • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

        Me too!

      • MeAndJuliaDownByTheSchoolYard

        My kids got ‘em in a little town in Mexico a couple of years ago :)

    • Roger Emmerick

      oh yea i almost had my ankle broke in first grade because there wasn’t even a handle on the see saw at school and u had to wrap ur legs under to hold on and when my buddy jumped off well i wasn’t fast enough but i survived and got over it and they didn’t send me home they just had me sit in my seat and finish the day including walking to the lunch room.

    • Autumn

      LOL Your seesaw story reminds me of one my mom used to tell about how she was on a date with my dad (and somehow her younger brother was around) and she was talked into riding a seesaw at the park with her brother, who proceeded to jump off & cause poor mom to bruise her thigh…and yeah that was probably 1972 or whatever.

      Also, the other park equipment, the metal bobbing duck/elephant/horse on a spring, along with the metal jungle gym…yeah I remember that well from my childhood as well, from the park & the school playground. Merry-go-rounds, jungle gyms, parallel bars, ladders, a pinning saucer/dish thing, etc. all available and usually just on grass or stuck in blacktop…and now almost all entirely replaced in the past 20 yrs or so with wooden structures or metal & plastic ones.

    • Rdhddramaqn

      Omg I remember playing on one with my brother which was very high. He got off with me up at the very top…well…I went straight down and almost cracked my tailbone…that was so painful!!! I don’t think my mom did anything lol Those were the days

    • Barbara Craker

      ha! there were several guns at the school incidents in my middle school…no one got shot, no one got arrested, except Buddy did one time, I think…but don’t be fooled…Sandy Hook was a hoax…those kids aren’t even dead…there are photos of them alive…look it up…

      • Jeff Blanks

        OF COURSE there are photos of them alive. They were taken WHEN THEY WERE ALIVE. For cryin’ out loud…

      • Helen Wood

        That’s a hoax by the gun lobby, airhead! They died and they died horrifically. Then sick perverts who were afraid their guns were going to be taken away started faking photos of some of the dead, because that’s how low they will sink.

      • Teddi

        Barbara, try telling that to the parents of Sandy Hook kids. Just once I wish one of you looney tune conspiracy dorks would say that in front of a parent who has lost a child to gun violence.

      • F.Jaime

        That is disgraceful and offensive to the parents of the children. You should be ashamed of yourself!

      • TheRajLOSAngeles

        yeah Barbara, and take your IRS conspiracies with you too!!!! The emails were lost!!!! It happens!!! Obama is the best President we’ve had, ever!!! The Middle East loves us, the economy’s doing great, people are working, what’s wrong with you teabaggers?!

      • steviebhoy

        Cuckoo Cuckoo

      • Colleen Proudler

        Stop it and shut up. Those children are most certainly not alive and you are a sick, twisted piece of garbage to say otherwise. Those are people’s sons and daughters. You want to debate guns fine, but SHUT THE HELL up with your paranoid delusional conspiracy theory. It is hateful and ignorant.

        • Laura B

          It was a hoax, a drill made to appear their were deaths. Most of the adults were hired actors. They appear at many of these staged events. The school was not even being used, it had been closed for years. No busses, no medvac, no ambulances. No bodies brought out. Obama was trying to freak everyone out so he could push his gun control. If any adults died, they died at the hands of Obama’s cronies who staged all of it. Do some research and you will find for yourself the truth. There are a few parents out there who said someone took their child’s picture from the internet and displayed it as one of the children who supposedly died. Everyone in that town are not allowed to discuss anything, I was stunned when I first saw the news about the shootings, but as time went on and more and more people were finding evidence of it being a hoax. There was a little boy who stated he was told they were just having a drill at that school and was told not to be scared. So our government is capable of doing anything they want and making us believe something bad happened just to get a point across. Obama is evil.

          • Helen Wood

            Pack of lies, only believed by idiots. The story of a hoax is itself a hoax by perverts who want to keep murder weapons at home.

          • Leah Doughty

            this was a joke. a silly article. chill out everyone. please. THIS is why I miss the 70′s:)

          • Colleen Proudler

            Listen you twisted freak, I grew up there… happened, it was real, and you are a sad, sick, misguided person who clearly needs intensive psychological help. It frightens me to my very soul that people such as yourself are allowed to walk the streets.

          • Annoyed

            While I do NOT agree with Laura’s opinion on the “Sandy Hook Hoax” you can not exactly call her a “freak” or “sick” or even a “pervert” (really Helen Wood…….pervert?) because she is entitled to her opinion on the whole matter. I know many people who believe the same thing as she does and I assure you they are none of those descriptive words you chose to use. Let’s say, for example, you are atheist and I am a devout Christian and I call you “a sad, sick, misguided person who clearly needs intensive psychological help” simply because you don’t believe in God and I do. That doesn’t make you any of those things, it would simply be my opinion. Before you rant let me just say that I do not think it was a hoax and I am neither an atheist or a devout Christian and I was not knocking any of that or preaching it, I was simply using those as relatable examples.

          • Bimmerman

            Evidence trumps opinion every time. Barbara/Laura are allowed their opinions as long as they are prepared to admit that they are idiots for misinforming without evidence.

          • Teddi

            cite your B.S. laura….don’t use Brietbart or Alex Jones or Faux news. PROVE YOUR PSYCHOTIC BABBLING.

          • Jordan

            You are so god damned delusional. You’re an awful human being if you discredit any of the pain and torture those families went through losing children. I fucking hope you never reproduce, you fucking halfwit.

      • jeremy_hh

        Please tell me you’re trolling.
        You can’t really be that f**king stupid.

      • Nils Breckoff

        it is my sincere hope that you can neither vote nor reproduce.

    • pam112251

      or shooting up in schools

    • timbo59

      Oh, the old ‘bail out from the see-saw’ trick, eh? Makes you wonder that half the kids in the world from back then aren’t walking around with spinal injuries! Come to think of it, I do have mild scoliosis…hmmmmm!

  • susan r

    the reason we didn’t wear sunscreen was that we hadn’t made giant holes in the ozone layer yet. Still my grandfather got skin cancer from the sun reflecting off a tractor all day.

    • Bimmerman

      The main factors for melanoma ( and other skin cancers) are UV exposure and genetics. Exposure increase occurs due to occupation (working outdoors e.g. farming) and lifestyle (tanning). Australia is experiencing a bit of a melanoma crisis, mainly due to a predominantly lighter skinned population immigrating to a hot climate and adopting an “outdoors” lifestyle. There’s a very good reason why the aborignal people have darker skin tone.
      The ozone hole is only relevant to New Zealand where, although diminished, it can still impact on UV exposure levels in some regions.
      For reference:

      (Edited for grammar)

      • richcreamerybutter

        No, the ozone hole was relevant to everyone. If you look at UV photos of people in their 30s and 40s compared to previous generations, you’ll see almost identical UVB damage. Thankfully we’re in the process of reversing the ozone depletion.

        • Bimmerman

          Hi RCB, you’re right; I was confusing ozone mid-latitude depletion with polar depletion. The former was relevant to the UK, the latter less so (although may be relevant to the US and parts of Australasia). Both depletions have been recognised since before the 1970s, but the lowest levels appear to be during the 1980s and 1990s. Occupation-related melanoma (correlating with time spent outside working in the sun) has been recognised for a long time. It is our more recent habit of tanning through foreign holidays, salons and emigration which has caused a more recent increase in melanoma incidence in a new demographic.

    • Nita

      If they had sunscreen back then, my mom would have soaked me in it, daily. I’m (was) a ginger and I would look like a lobster for most of the summer.

      • Guest

        I’m a redhead and my mom soaked me in as much as she could find. I remember when 4 came out- She let my blonde sisters have the “2″ but she slathered me in 4. Then when 6 came out- OH BOY! The protection! 15 came out when I was in late high school and I remember thinking it was some sort of over the top freakzaoid sunscreen. I was always so annoyed…but the one time I let it go at the beach, I got the worst blistering/cracking sunburn ever. And I will say this….my over the top sun loving friends’ facial skin is a bit more leathered/wrinkly now than my ginger white over the top protected skin.

  • Lisa Stetler Insana

    Is it a bad thing that kids are safer today? I mean come one. The second hand smoke thing? It’s more dangerous for someone than actually smoking themselves. I have COPD to prove it.

    • FisherofTruth
      • Kevmo

        From your own link:

        “The study doesn’t cover the many other ill effects of breathing somebody else’s cigarette smoke, of course, which include asthma and possibly cardio-pulmonary disease.”

        Gee, maybe cancer isn’t the only potential problem? You should have read the story.

        • FisherofTruth

          just reread the article. i didn’t see anything in the article about it causing asthma. and if you already had asthma you should avoid areas with smoke. I also didn’t see anything about the 76,000 person study suggesting potential cardio-pulmonary disease.

          i would much rather live in a society without seat belt, with lots of trans-fats, some second hand smoke, exciting playgrounds, and unprotected sex. this super protective society we live in is getting more nanny-ish all the time. thank God, vegans haven’t banned meat.

          • Lisa Stetler Insana

            Kevmo pulled that quote right out of the article. It can indeed cause asthma. And people with asthma should have a right to go out to public places and not wind up breathless. Thank God for public smoking bans.

          • FisherofTruth

            ok saw the sentence. went to epa website where they made the claim second-hand smoke could cause asthma but sited no reference material. I then went to the cdc website on second-hand smoke and they had much the same info as the epa but in their big list of bad things second-hand smoke does they did not have ‘can cause cancer.’ if you can provide a link with scientific data showing a direct causal link between second-hand smoke and the creation of asthma in individuals i would appreciate it.

            and, no, society as a whole should not have to bend over for peanut allergy people, or asthma people or whatever minority you are in. they have no ‘right’ to special treatment. they should take steps to prepare themselves for the environment or avoid the environment.

    • Ed Browning

      The COPD is probably from the aerosol hair spray. I highly doubt that second hand smoke did it unless you shotgunned the smoke.

      • Lisa Stetler Insana

        I highly doubt that I have COPD from aerosol hairspray considering the fact that I don’t, nor have I ever, used aerosol hair spray. I did, however, live with two chain smokers for 12 years. Two and a half cartons a week between the two of them. My daughter had constant ear infections. Magically, once I left, no more ear infections. I kind of think my doctor, a pulmonary specialist, knows what she is talking about.

        • FisherofTruth

          your story is anecdotal. i could cite hundreds of people from my home town who grew up surrounded by chain smokers in closed environments. and, yes, kids are too safe these days. we are creating generations of wussies unprepared for a tough world

          • sony2005

            This is the problem: ignorance. You think data on second hand smoke is made up? There are hundreds of scientific studies showing this. Please educate yourself!

          • FisherofTruth

            it is not ignorance. i am probably better educated than you. i think a healthy human body can deal effectively with the tiny bit of crap in second-hand smoke. and i do believe most people who set about testing second-hand smoke go into it with the goal of finding it bad. there are semi-dangerous things all around us. i do not want people forcing me to wear seat belts or motorcycle helmets or bike helmets, or stopping places from using beef fat to make fries, etc. etc. when i hear of towns removing monkeybars or teeter totters cause they are too dangerous i want to hit somebody in the head. the kid with the peanut allergy shoudl avoid the school cafeteria. they shouldn’t ban all the other kids from bringing peanut butter sandwiches to school.

            oh yeah, and quit putting safety warning on everything. do i need to know to not use a hair dryer in the shower?

          • timbo59

            No, but ultimately it’s you and others that pay, through increased premiums and costs, when some idiot turns around and sues because no one told him not to iron his shirt while he was wearing it.

          • FisherofTruth

            i also like the large scale study i posted.

            people used to freak out about cholesterol in eggs and many people still avoid the ‘scary’ yolks. even when the facts came out that eggs aren’t really bad for you, it was too late, the false scary info had become accepted as ‘fact’

          • mcpierogipazza

            You’re the one with anecdotal evidence. Lisa is right, and there is a ton of research to back her up.

          • FisherofTruth

            the large scale study i posted was not anecdotal

    • J. Longstreet

      Everyone in my family smoked when I was growing up, except one of my grandmas. All of my friends’ parents smoked, too. Many of my friends began smoking in H.S. (which was allowed, you just had to do it out on the loading dock with the teachers whose classrooms were too far away from the teacher’s lounge to grab a smoke there during the passing period). I smoked from age 15-35. To my knowledge, none of us have lung diseases like you ended up with. Either you got it from something else or you’ve got a really weak immune system.

      • Lisa Stetler Insana

        I do not have a weak immune system and an immune system is for fighting off bugs, not toxins breathed into your lungs. You must have lucked out. My ex father in law smoked for about 10 years. In his 60′s they discovered scarring in his lungs from smoking and stage four lung cancer. I can’t believe in this day and age people are still defending smoking. I also think my doctor knows more than you do. I have scarring in my lungs. She can’t believe that I’ve never smoked in my life but only lived with two chain smokers for 12 years.

        • Brian

          Nobody is defending smoking. But nobody is buying your ridiculous exaggerations either.

    • Kaylee6

      I think the author makes the point, especially on that, it’s a *good* thing we are taking steps not to expose children to second-hand smoke. But with all of the smoking that was going on, it’s surprising that the majority of us *don’t* have serious pulmonary diseases.

    • Brian

      From the American Lung Association: “moking, a main cause of small cell and non-small cell lung cancer,
      contributes to 80 percent and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in women
      and men, respectively. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop
      lung cancer. Women are 13 times more likely, compared to never smokers.”

      Secondhand smoke is nowhere near as dangerous as actual smoking.

  • Danny Wade

    One wonders how kids who were raised under these conditions grew up to be so overprotective.

    • J. Longstreet

      That’s actually a pretty good observation, Danny. I’m not sure the GenX crowd is the ones treating kids like they’re made of glass. The ’70s was my time of kidhood and most everyone my age has grandchildren now. Mine are H.S. & college and we were right on the edge of all this bike helmet, car seat, sunscreen craze. My kids never wore bike helmets and then the older they got they were more and more the minority of kids. I think all this overprotective nannyism started in the mid-late ’90s. I’d guess.

      • Jeff Blanks

        Right–when the ’70s kids were at their peak of having small-to-medium-sized kids of their own.

      • Vicki

        “bike helmet, car seat, sunscreen craze.” Ahh yes, head trauma, death from car accidents and melanoma are all such a ‘craze’

        • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

          No one is saying that. We’re just laughing at how different our lives were back then.

        • Evgeny Shamo

          You can’t control everything.

        • J. Longstreet

          That’s not what I said. I feel sorry for you. Your ignorant smugness in your comments are embarrassing and you don’t even seem to know it.

          • Rosey P

            That’s because she looks like she’s about 20. Give it about a decade and few kids later and see if she still has the same smug undertone.

      • Sophie

        This article brings back great memories, although I
        do believe there can be a 75/25 happy medium: 75% childhood of the 70s/25% improvement over the last decade. On a side note, J. Longstreet, Did you and your
        children marry AND have children when you/they were 18? Otherwise, I’m
        not sure how you were a kid in the 70s and now have grandkids in
        college. Puzzling.

        • Jeff Blanks

          I’m afraid we’ll wind up keeping all the wrong things and getting rid of all the wrong things, pretty much like we’ve been doing for the past few decades.

      • Sophie

        This article brings back great memories, although I
        do believe there can be a 75/25 happy medium: 75% childhood of the
        70s/25% improvement over the last decades. On a side note, J. Longstreet,
        Did you and your
        children marry AND have children when you/they were 18? Otherwise, I’m
        not sure how you were a kid in the 70s and now have grandkids in
        college. Puzzling.

        • J. Longstreet

          No, my kids are in H.S. & college. :) No grandkids yet. But a fair amount of my contemporaries have grandkids now. I only mention that because the original commenter mentioned that Generation Xers are overprotecting our kids. I was just pointing out the GenX is almost entirely past the having little kids stage of life. Maybe the Millenials?

        • roseba

          I was born in 1970 and have a 9 year old. I could have easily had kids when I was in my 20′s, even early 20′s and have elementary aged grand kids. Some of my old classmates do. It is possible.

          I love the part of the cigarettes. I told my daughter it was everywhere and people passing by would constantly burn us children. (Now she gets knocked into, but at least the people don’t have cigarrettes in their hands.)

          I’m absolutely baffled why I see some teens trying out smoking. I can understand my generation getting into it, because it really was EVERYWHERE, but before we graduated JHS we knew it was terrible for you. Dial up two generations later, and it just makes me shake my head in disbelief. Heck, it’s been banned in public places since I was in college.

    • mothra1

      See my response above, Danny….. yes, it sucks, but we literally have different societal norms and expectations, legal ramifications for the simplest mistakes, etc….

  • Cathy Kifer

    Many generations of children survived many a family gathering where Jarts were played and beer flowed like water and no one was blinded, impaled or otherwise maimed, beyond an occasional adult hangover. I recently bought a set of Jarts on eBay in pristine condition- in the original packaging. The tradition lives on!

    • Jim

      Wow you should really get your facts right before you sound off. Ebay does not allow the sale of jarts, they are banned from resale and manufacture by the federal govt as well. And there are confirmed deaths and impalement’s by jarts.

      • J. Longstreet

        I believe you about ebay. But I’m not sure jarts are “banned by the federal government”. I’m pretty sure that’s an urban myth. I’ll check it out, though.

        • Carnwennan

          I have two sets, one are actual Jarts® and the other a Sears® knockoff. The sale of them is not banned by the government, but the products were recalled and resale is discouraged. The most frequent victims of Jarts were family pets attempting to chase and catch.

          • J. Longstreet

            Good info! Thanks for the note. And I suppose it makes sense that there were more injuries to family pets than to people. Sad to read, but makes sense.

  • Mapster68

    Great list!! I remember the Jarts – good stuff. You can also add to the list “Allowed to Play with Guns Unsupervised.” My friends and I would spend hours cruising the local fields shooting up cans, bottles, and the occasional rabbit. And nobody gave a second thought to a bunch of Middle School kids walking around with 22s and shotguns slung over their shoulders – admittedly this was probably only true out in the country.

    • John Krawczyk

      BB gun battles! Those were fun,

  • Jennifer Dahlgren

    Loved growing up in the late 70′s and early 80′s!! I was a dirty little farm kid and spent all my time outside “blowing the stink off!” Sure, I did things that were dangerous, but thankfully, I made it through. I was driving a double-clutch tractor by the time I was three! I was a latch-key kid, watching my younger sister at the age of six. But, that’s the way we did it in the country I guess. Good times…

  • KingLarry

    I never saw no Mom on my block like the one with the kids on the bikes!

  • Christine Paul

    ohh… thank you for the memories!!

  • Chris Byers

    jarts. Yes. My ex wifes brother threw one straight up and it impaled itself in the top of his head. He had to be rushed to the hospital. He lived.

    • FisherofTruth

      did you take a picture?

  • Andrew Roling

    I waver on stuff like this.

    Some of the negligence and lack of forethought during decades like the 70′s went too far, but then again, today, helicopter parents and bubble wrap parents sometimes go too far, too.

    • Barbara Finger

      sometimes parents go too far today – I would hate to be a kid today or have my kids today – grandkids are different as I am not in control – but I told my kids ‘go out and play’ – no going in and out the door – ride your bikes and no helmet – helmets were considered for sissy’s – my son had a bb gun and did manage to shoot his sister in the stomach but it just bounced off and hit the ground – they and I had slip ‘n slides and water wiggles – they walked to the bus stop and waited for the bus with the other kids – no I did not walk them that block except in kinder – they stayed alone if we weren’t able to be there and if they didn’t act right in public they went and sat in the car – we all survived

  • breed7

    I realize that younger people can’t believe this, but everything in the article is actually true. We never ever wore a seatbelt in the 1970s. Kids regularly broke bones on playgrounds. No one ever wore a helmet for any reason. Kids would go out unsupervised and play for hours in parks or swimming pools without an adult in sight.

    I’d add one to the list that might not have been universal, but for many of us living in a big city, there was a major theme park We had Astroworld in Houston, and when I was as young as 10, my mother or a friend’s mother would drop us off at Astroworld in the mornings and pick us up in the afternoons almost every day during the summer. It became known as Astroworld Day Camp — just abandoning your kids to the theme park for the day. In the days when a season pass cost $15, this was a great summer activity. Would parents ever drop kids off at a theme park unsupervised today?

  • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

    Okay,people -this was just to be for some fun reminiscing. We wouldn’t let our grandchildren do these things in today’s world. We’re just thinking about how life was different back then. Lighten up.

  • lisey

    There once was a time when surgeons used to operate without washing their hands first, and we once put depressed people in asylums. Hopefully, we learn from our mistakes, which is what all the “new rules” are about.

    • androphiles

      Wrong. As one who lived not only through the 70′s but through the 50′s, the “new rules” are the mistakes.

      • Lala

        I agree. The “new rules” are often overboard. The whole bullying issue is a great example of that. We need to go back to basics and teach REAL life lessons rather than enabling a generation of whiners and crybabys. You lost a baseball game. So what? Try harder next time. You misbehaved, great lets lay down the law in stronger ways than just saying “now Johnny, you know that isn’t the right thing to do. Don’t do it again” and then letting the kid off scott free. What lesson do they learn? Tough parenting. That’s what saved us all. Responsibility and teaching respect. If our teachers were mean to us it was OUR fault. Our parents didn’t get on the phone and call the school complaining. They laid into us even more at home! That’s why we could be safe to run around outside all day unsupervised. We were tough enough to handle any conflicts. We were wise enough to stay out of bad situations. We stuck together, safety in numbers. We lived in a world where people were held accountable not getting away with things because they hired the best lawyer (Liar). Yes…life was definitely much better back in the day.

  • Renee Martin

    LOL, my apartments have 2 of those old, “hazardous” metal playgrounds. There are even the old metal 20′, break you arm if you fall, slides. Of course there is no safety cage on top like new slides. And they are fast!

    When the kids here aren’t playing on the playgrounds, they are climbing the trees, roaming unattended in groups, having water fights, and biking and skateboarding (most do wear helmets, its state law for the under 15).

    While I don’t miss all the smoking, and prefer seat belts, there IS a lot we could learn from looking back. The idea of risk for reward is pretty much ignored by the “safety by all means necessary” crowd. My kids are very small, but still do lots of things considered dangerous, like Parkour, BMX, rock climbing, swimming. They learn a lot from it, even though there is a real risk of injury.

    • maudelynn13

      I remember horror stories about the monkey bars above asphalt. I seem to recall, vaguely, someone from my neighborhood cracking open her head and dying, or being seriously injured. It was a long time ago.

      • David Goodwin

        I knew a boy who fell off a monkey bar thing (they were wet) and bit his tongue open. I think it was quite a serious wound as soon after all the local schools had their monkey bars removed :-(

  • Claudia Ritter

    The truth of #6 is hitting me hard this summer, as I’m a single parent who will likely have the cops called on me if my kid is found outside playing on his own for more than 10 minutes.

  • punstress

    So true! Anybody remember click-clacks? Supposedly the clacking balls could shatter and put an eye out. I remember wondering what all the fuss was about, I just wanted them!

    • FisherofTruth

      at first they were made of glass and one or two stupid kids did smash them and get hurt. then they started making them out of super hard plastic. which turned out could also shatter. then they went to a different material and by then nobody wanted click-clacks anymore

  • SuzyQuzey

    I can relate to ALL of this! The only “seatbelt” was my mom’s outflung arm if she stopped short.

  • Jeffrey Dean

    It’s insane how over protective things have gotten. In my opinion it’s all
    part of pushing the nanny state agenda and conditioning an entire
    generation of kids that being constantly controlled and observed is the
    norm. I mean, it’s literally illegal to do these things today. We are
    figuratively suffocating our kids and then wondering why the new
    generations have absolutely no concept of things like privacy rights or
    proper independence.

    • J. Longstreet

      Well-stated. Kudos.

    • roseba

      It’s not the nanny state, it’s the litigious state. It’s all about lawyers and getting sued.

    • RobSiegmund

      If the agenda is to push the nanny state then this is a very sane strategy. You can’t sell nanny statehood to brave people, you need to find fearful people. Once you do, they’ll buy your regulations by the bushel.

      Hell, once you get them going, they’ll even call brave folk stupid for “clinging” to their freedom. Didn’t some smart guy once say something about nothing to fear other than fear itself? He was on to something.

  • robingee

    “Sun BLOCK or sun SCREEN was basically nonexistent. You wanted to AMPLIFY your rays, so women typically lathered on Crisco and baby oil to get that deep baked look.”

    And that’s why a lot of us have melanoma now. As things progress we figure out ways to not die or be injured.

    • mcpierogipazza

      And I remember the older women who tanned and smoked to the point of having faces that looked like catcher’s mitts. Like the little old lady in “There’s Something About Mary.”

  • Jeffrey S King

    no mention of “Klackers”? Those things were lethal.

    • t jackson

      Klackers!!!!OMG I had a couple sets of those and ended up breaking 2 fingers but it was because I was doing it wrong! I perfected the way to use them while wearing a nice ”plaster’ ‘cast! In my opinion, it was brutal to wear, but saved me from anymore broken fingers and at the end of the day I was the ‘cool one’ so I taught many from my street how to use them hahahaha

    • scubadiver1

      I only had the real ones for about a week before my dad took them away once they started shattering and word got out,

  • LaMonica Williams
  • mojorisin73

    The millennial generation will never know the fun we gen xrs had growing up.

  • Estelle

    Yep. a kid at my primary school died after falling off the monkey bars, and I can remember quite a few injuries that required stitches, plaster casts and a fortune spent on cosmetic dentistry. Happy days. Tree-climbing was much safer. As was the Jarts equivalent, a game called Split the Kipper which involved (1) taking a knife to school and (2) throwing it into the ground near our playmates’ feet. Occasionally into our playmates’ feet. The school did eventually ban the game, ostensibly because parents had complained we were damaging our shoes.

    • timbo59

      We simply called it ‘splits’ in Australia, if you’re referring to the game of trying to make the other person spread their legs out further and further depending on where you could successfully impale the knife into the ground.

      • Estelle

        Yes, that’s the one. It was all the rage at my Cheshire primary school in about 1968. I even got a new knife for my birthday that year.

  • Jim

    Truth! LOL

  • Kaylee6

    What about the giant trenches under the swings, from hundreds of kids using their feet to stop? Not my feet…because my standard method of getting off the swings was to jump off whilst at the top of an arc. My grandmother saw me do that and practically had a coronary. (Dad said “Well, if she busts an ankle, then she’ll stop doing it.”)

    • Jim Snyder

      I have a friend who recently felt she was the worst Mom in the world because her kid got splashed while waiting for the bus from a car going through a puddle. I think the kid will back up next time and be better prepared for the world from the experience.

    • timbo59

      Hey, you must be my long lost sibling! I used to love doing that! My other favourite was trying to see how far up I could make the swing go without killing myself- usually at the point where the pendulum effect would stop and you’d simply start crashing down vertically!

      • Priscilla Engelhard Wille

        The girls next door and I would swing high enough to make the swing set legs start jumping out of the ground. One day the swing set totally collapsed all around us. No more swing set.

  • Cannw

    I grew up running barefoot all over the neighborhood with my friends. Rode mini-bikes barefoot. Drank water from hoses and the water fountains at the park.. Petted many neighborhood dogs and probably did not always was my hands before I ate a snack. – Always before meals though. I climbed trees and fell out of them and miraculously did not break anything. Remember slip n slide? Yea… No seat belts and leaded gasoline. No car seats in the backseats and lots of smoking. Somehow, I survived to be quite healthy. I think of my grandparents and great grandparents who I had the pleasure of spending lots of time with as i grew up. And they all had long lives to almost one hundred and none of them were vegan or vegetarian. Biscuits and gravy were served regularly at breakfast along with bacon eggs and toast with real butter. Biscuits were made with Crisco (lard). We all ate food from the grocery store. I have often wondered why my grandparents and great grandparents lived so long if everything was so bad.

  • Derrick

    How in the hell did this comment section turn into a political soapbox for the ignorant???

    • Tommy Maq

      Because you were allowed on?

      • Derrick

        Ahh, one brain dead illiterate chimes in. Thanks retard.

        • Tommy Maq


          Also, nice sig!

  • Dave Hawkins

    Playground picture is OBVIOUSLY too new. 12′ high slides monkey bars and that spinning thing (carousel?) ALL on BLACKTOP parking lots, not grass or wood chips…. :-)

  • Brian Katcher

    Every generation thinks they were the last to take risks and the first to have sex. My father’s generation said this about me, my daughter will be saying this about my grandkids one day. It’s a rite of passage when you get…OLD.

  • peter_wexler

    God, things were better, then.

  • Steve Mills

    The only people who need helmets when riding bikes are people who race them or maybe those who ride in city traffic. Little kids whose heads are closer to the ground when they’re riding a bike are more at risk when they’re walking than when riding a bike.

    • Bimmerman

      If you bother to ask at your local Neurosurgery Unit, you’ll find it’s speed of impact and impact area whcih dictate the amount of brain damage. Yes, you can trip up, hit your head on the kerb and suffer major neurotrauma (seen it happen). Equally, on a bike you can fall off and get away with a dose of gravel rash (done it). However, the faster you are travelling and the less protection you have, the more likely you are to injure the brain. The most frequent trauma customers at the above mentioned Neurosurgery Unit are drunk people falling down the stairs, horse riders (those helmets aren’t the best design when falling off dobbin) and cyclists involved in RTCs. We can’t do much about the drunk people, but we can educate/inform cyclists and horse riders and save a few lives in the process. If you look at a modern car you can see how much engineering has gone in to saving lives and you can quantify how many additional lives have been saved by that engineering. Equally, you can legislate for safety measures (e.g. motorcycle helmets and car seat belts) and do the same. I’ll happily accept some education and even some legislation if it improves my chances (although I would like to have access to any evidence that the latter is based on, since legislators are like journalists, generally useless).

      • MarkD

        So the neighbor kid shooting an arrow straight up in the air was probably not a good idea? This was the fifties. It didn’t matter, the Russians were going to nuke us all anyway.

        It was “go out and play, come back when the street lights are on.” Mom and dad did care.

  • BookGoddess

    I would say we survived but when we know better, we should do better. Of course those that are not “fine” are not here to talk about it!

  • Edward Bliss

    Today kids have counseling and hotlines for bullying. Back in the 70s we just dealt with the problem ourselves…with our two fists! End of story.

    • Evgeny Shamo

      You’re right. I was bullied at school for the first three years and nothing seemed to help much until one day I got angry (and lucky) enough and smashed some bully’s fingers with the door (ten points for me) Later the same year I got berzerk and caught one of the bigger ones unaware and just hit him with everything I had, including heavy plastic-and-metal pencil-case right in the face. And you know what? I became friends with most of the class after that, no one tried to pull shit on me anymore. God knows how many times this expirience helped me in me adult life. Might have been dead already if I didn’t learn to stand up for myself at early age.

    • sony2005

      didn’t work out for many but of course you wouldn’t know. You want to explain how a 75 pound kid is supposed to defend himself from 3 kids twice his size? are you ok with drugging girls at parties and then posting their naked photos online?

    • mcpierogipazza

      You sound like a bully yourself. I was a quiet, shy kid who was bullied terribly. I loved school in general but dreaded going for years, which is especially sad since my father was violent at home, so no place was safe. And the problems at home are why I got bullied. The worse my dad’s violence, the more I withdrew and got quiet, so the more bullies picked on me. By age 15, I was suicidal.

      Oh, and as a guy you probably never had to deal with being grabbed in the crotch or the ass at school or the local pool as young as age 12. I remember the street harassment starting at that time too, and girls were told not to respond to these creeps because if you angered them they might do worse.

      I hope you’re not a parent.

  • BMW_rider

    YES! I have a jart wound! Impaled through my left knee, right under my kneecap. And I’ve got a scar on either side to prove it. My how times have changed. It was the Lord of the Flies, indeed.

  • Rebecca Simon

    Loved the mom helping the kids ride bikes in the short shorts and heals. SO practical and, I’m sure, realistic!

    • racknstack

      70s MILF

      • Tommy Maq

        Who are you kidding? She’d be a milf in any decade.

        • Tim Mueller

          Right, but this picture is from the 70′s.

  • Ashley

    I was born in 1983 and remember doing (or not doing) all of these things. With kids of my own now, I do find myself being MORE protective than my parents were of me, not necessarily overprotective. It’s not so much about the cuts and scrapes (or falling to your death from a piece of playground equipment), but all the crazies out there that force me to prohibit my children from playing in the front yard by themselves! It’s truly a sad thing. My kids are missing out on some of the awesomeness of being a kid not because I don’t trust them, it’s that I don’t trust everyone else.

    • Synnamin

      Out of curiosity, to which “crazies” are you referring? The ones who’ll call CPS on you if you leave your child out of sight for a moment, or the threat of predators?

      Given the fact that there aren’t any more predators than there used to be (some argue that there are fewer than there were, but I’m not certain whether that’s due to lack of opportunity or better policing or what), I’m personally way more afraid of other parents calling CPS.

      • sony2005

        do yourself a favor and search the sex offender list in your area code. Your jaw will drop. And do go in an read the convictions so you can see these are not minor offenses by many.

        • Synnamin

          Oh, I’m aware of the databases and have looked at them. Scary stuff. But just because I’m now aware of the proximity of bad people doesn’t mean that there’re now more of them in the world, nor that I or my children are more at risk. It simply means that I and local law enforcement are more aware. The databases also don’t take into account people who are truly rehabilitated and who are absolutely no threat to anyone any more.

          With that information I can either a) hide in my house and distrust everyone and screw up my kid’s ability to interact with the real world or b) use it to encourage myself and children to learn common-sense precautions in the very-unlikely event a predator does approach one of us. And statistically, I should be WAY more afraid of my family members than I am of strangers.

          • sony2005

            nobody is advocating hiding away in a house. For example, there is safety in numbers. So having many kids together and at least one adult nearby is enough. That doesn’t screw up any kids. And for the record, child molesters have the highest rates of recidivism. The only reason more crimes are committed by family members is because they are 1000 times more in contact with a relative than a stranger is. Man some people don’t understand statistics!

          • Synnamin

            wow. way to end a discussion. “I hope you’re not a parent.” No wonder civic discourse is the way it is.

          • sony2005

            You think is civilized discourse to imply that protective parents are screwing up their kids? Just because you say it in the first person doesn’t change the insult. It is also inflammatory and offensive to imply that being a protective patent means hiding your kids in the house. You have to make it sound extreme so that it fits your narrative. My statement was offensive , true. But you don’t fool anybody with your passive aggressive comments!

    • mcpierogipazza

      You’ve fallen for the 24-hour news cycle induced paranoia about stranger abductions. Look into the actual statistics and you’ll see that these are actual rare, and that the numbers haven’t gone up, just the public perception.

  • crateish

    The damage of these kids’ systems from secondhand smoke is done, and will affect them for the rest of their lives. Secondhand smoke these days to children should be classified as child abuse.

    • Cathy Royer

      Oh please..Blah Blah Blah I guess all the crap in the food we feed them is ok though. Think before you speak!

  • sony2005

    not sure I get the point of this article. wearing a helmet to ride a bike, having soft surfaces on playgrounds only make fun activities a lot safer, and dont take away the fun. Inhaling smoke and not wearing sunblock is no fun for anybody nor does it enhance the learning experience, and while being in the car without a seatbelt may be fun, it is not worth the risk. Not one of these examples enhance the learning or fun experience and we should not shame or belittle parents that follow these reasonable guidelines backed up by tons if research and statistics! the only one that does interfere with fun is not letting kids outside all day to go play without some supervision. I agree that interfers with the childhood experience. However, I dont accept the notion that for those not comfortable with that idea tht there is no equally fun options , and enriching ones at that. Let people be!

    • Stephanie M Gutmann

      Of course wearing a helmet takes away the fun! Helmets are hot they make your head sweat and mess up your hair. There is nothing like the feeling of zooming along the sidewalk on a hot day with the wind blowing through your hair

      • sony2005

        fine. then don’t YOU were a helmet. I’m pretty sure kids riding their bikes up and down all day could careless as to whether they are wearing a helmet or not but certainly are happy to have an intact skull, when their bike hits the curve and they go head first into the pavement, lol

        • Evgeny Shamo

          Some people argue that helmets actually make riding a bike LESS safe because they can cause accidents that would not happen otherwise. being uncomfortably hot, having less mobility, false feeling of safety – these all add up to the accidents that might have not happened otherwise.Wearing a helmet should be a matter of choise.

    • alwr

      Letting kids play on their own is actually an important part of development. They learn problem solving, independence, conflict resolution, and are forced to be creative. Research is not in your corner on the idea of never leaving them alone and never allowing them unstructured time.

      • sony2005

        alone doesn’t mean unsupervised and play dates don’t have to be structured at all. You can leave your kids alone to play without any structure for hours and still have some degree of supervision. When I grew up in a dangerous country, we had a large back yard full of trees and swing sets and make-shift toys and we spent hours there imagining, role playing, and just plain having fun with my friends.My mom, would peak through the window at times, and that was just fine by us. In my area alone (within a 10 mile radius), a nice area too!, there are at least 30 registered sex offenders, 12 of them with significant abuse convictions on very young children. While the probability is low of something happening, it it very high that it will be an unsupervised child that will be the target and such a child will stand no chance whatsoever against an adult. Do we have more of these people these days? do they have better ways of getting away from an area (better highways, cars, less interaction between neighbors so a stranger is immediately recognized, etc), are they more prone to act out given images from TV and internet? I don’t know the answers but I sure wouldnt test it if I were one of these parents. Your utopia doesn’t exist and people who understand that are intelligent, dedicated parents that want the best for their children and number one item is the list is safety.

  • CherryhB

    You must blame your own generation for the coddling of today’s kids… who do you think their parents are??? YOU! LOL

  • sony2005

    not sure I get the point of this article. wearing a helmet to ride a bike, having soft surfaces on playgrounds only make fun activities a lot safer, and dont take away the fun. Inhaling smoke and not wearing sunblock is no fun for anybody nor does it enhance the learning experience, and while being in the car without a seatbelt may be fun, it is not worth the risk. Not one of these examples enhance the learning or fun experience and we should not shame or belittle parents that follow these reasonable guidelines backed up by tons if research and statistics! the only one that does interfere with fun is not letting kids outside all day to go play without some supervision. I agree that interferes with the childhood experience. However, I dont accept the notion that for those not comfortable with that idea tht there are no equally fun options , and enriching ones at that. Let people be!

  • Paramarine

    A nice lighthearted post nearly ruined by the comments of people who take things (and themselves) way too seriously.

    • Tommy Maq

      No, I think your post was an example of someone who takes things (like comments sections of websites) way too seriously, not lighthearted at all.

  • jon_levy

    Yes, the playground at my grade school was a mine field. I remember a kid flying off the swing set and landing on whatever gravel/dirt surface there was an had one of those fractures where the bone juts out of the skin.

    And a metal platform tower thing complete with ladders on two sides and metal bolts sticking out of it. Once a kid slipped off of it and tore a gash through their leg clear through the muscle.

    The 70′s were also where you’d find random items of printed porn on the ground sometimes in the woods or on a dead end street. If it wasn’t going to physically maim you at least it could mentally warp you.

    • LongLostFriend

      My first encounter with porn was just that: a torn-out, close-up photo of fellatio found in the woods near my house. I still remember my neighbor’s dad sitting down with the two of us to have a talk about how the image was inappropriate.

      Good thing we have the Internet now so that our kids can have their first accidental run-in with porn in the safety of their own homes…

  • jon_levy

    Halloween we went trick or treating until pitch dark or you were called in, without adults dragging you down. We brought the loot back to a friend’s house, spread it out on the floor (while drinking hot chocolate) and sorted it by candy, chocolate, fruit (went in the trash), and miscellaneous. If it had a wrapper on it, we ate it, despite the urban legends of candy being laced with LSD or nails or blades.

    There were also the supposed LSD-laced tattoos in boxes of Cracker Jack. :)

    • sony2005

      pretty sure people still do that. lol. just not with toddlers…..

  • racknstack

    Action Park in New Jersey was the pinnacle of danger.

  • mothra1

    In response to Chris Dedrickson, yes, I totally agree, but that was a different world. Now people get shot up everywhere, anytime, for no reason, by some entitled, mentally ill, (usually white) guy. The world is *literally a lot sicker, scarier, less warm, ironically less connected as humans (even with all our fancy tech) than it was then, oh, and did I mention people are ready to sue over ANYthing… ?!? Playgrounds are ripe with lawsuits waiting to happen, so they have to make it sterile and shitty now (yes, it blows, bigtime). Kids HAVE to be protected a lot more, we have no choice, the innocence is gone. And I am quite confident that kids from the 70′s who *now have kids resent the nonstop stress incurred by this reality. And like robingee states, yes, there are still plenty of kids wanting to mess themselves up! :)

    • Synnamin

      except that the country is not more violent (with the exception of school shootings – definitely a lot more of those – and certain urban areas). We’ve all been conditioned to think it is because those are the stories we see on the news every day. If it bleeds, it leads, regardless of the fact that there’s less to worry about now than there was in the 70s. We just hear about it a lot more, making people paranoid.

    • genki831 .

      Shot up…by some…(usually white) guy? Well, people get mugged in the cities by some (usually black) guy. How does that make you feel?

  • TC

    I don’t miss the second hand smoke at all.

  • Dog Pound

    We just have to get rid of those law suits, then things will get back to normal.

  • D S Dunlap

    The Tantastic ad: “Tanfastic lets the sunshine in. It’s not loaded up with sunburn
    protection like old folks and kids want. Tanfastic’s for you 15-to-25
    year olds who can take the sun. Especially if you want to get
    superdark. Superfast.”

    Getting superdark was NEVER an issue for me…

  • The Tim Channel

    Jarts were definitely deadly. We did have seat belts in the sixties and seventies, but the more usual restraint device was your mom’s arm hopelessly trying to keep you from slinging into the (metal) dashboard on a quick stop. Enjoy.

    • F’mal DeHyde

      I thought it was just my mom that did that. I laughed at her once, asking how she thought that would keep me from going through the windshield and she got a little huffy. No more superarm protection for me after that!

      • LongLostFriend

        I am unclear: did she make you wear a seatbelt after that, or just leave you to your own devices? :)

        • F’mal DeHyde

          We had a ’63 Ford Falcon station wagon, I’m not sure it even *had* seat belts.

  • Patricia Hayden

    I fell out of the apple tree, it had recently been trimmed, a trimmed branch gouged the inner thigh of my right leg on my way down, that hurt worse and caused more damage than the fall and landing, also fell out of the hay loft. Now when I fall it usually results in torn tendons

  • Michelle

    We did all these things. And the article is awesome…the comments…meh, not so much. We’ve just turned into a surly bunch who love to snipe at each other, haven’t we?

    Oh, and I have no sources to cite for that just came out of my head.

    • genki831 .

      I agree with you on that second observation. It’s what makes me hate Facebook. I’ve seen it literally ruin friendships between people that would never have had the arguments they do in person that they do on Facebook. In a way I think the internet is ruining us. Or maybe in a different light it is changing us.

    • Scottilla

      It’s the lead in the pipes, gasoline and the paint that we drank from and inhaled.

  • William556

    Also BB guns and pocket knives. Granted we weren’t allowed to handle them on our own until we were 12 or 14 or so (longer for the idiots who might never have been allowed to have them, usually by other kids who don’t trust those kids with weapons).

  • Terry

    Yup we all survived, except the kids that died for not wearing bike helmets (in my family this happened) and not wearing seat belts. Oh and all that skin cancer, no big deal right?

    Sure, lots of people over do the helicopter parenting and the playground thing is funny but many of these are pretty serious improvements in life. I do miss lawn darts though!

    • Tommy Maq


    • Lala

      The problem is, kids still die even while WEARING bike helmets and seat belts. Skin cancer STILL happens even with sunscreen. The lack of ozone and pollutants in our atmosphere is causing the need for sunscreen. It wasn’t so easy to get burned back then. We could run around all summer with no protection and never burn. Nowdays, you go out for an hour and your a lobster.

      • Peaches

        If you look at the statistics, while yes, people do die even doing things safely, helmets and seat belts are preventing deaths. To pretend otherwise is idiocy!

  • MeAndJuliaDownByTheSchoolYard

    This list should probably be children of the 60s & 70s, but that may just be me being unexpectedly old.

  • JPB

    The Jarts ban wasn’t parenting. It was lawyering.

    Most of these I agree can be dispensed with, but bike helmets are a good thing. I’d be spoon feeding my husband and teaching him how to walk and talk again if it weren’t for a bike helmet.

    • FisherofTruth

      that’s cool. but let helmets be optional for those who want to use them. don’t force everyone to use them

  • Sarah M. Wood

    One of funnest things to do was to swing as high as we possibly could (we’d get what we called the “bumps”) and then jump off – sometimes we were badly hurt but that didn’t stop us from trying to fly – at least, not when we were young!

    • Laurie Jeanne Jackson

      YES! And by seventh grade we’d get the swings up as high as possible and let go and do a “penny drop” back flip. If you landed on your feet you win, on your butt or face–not so much. Good times.

  • FloatingOnAir

    My dad used to smoke right in my face during dinner. I’d sit there squirming because it smelled so bad and he didn’t give a crap.

  • IA_Adam

    Fantastic gams in #5.

  • GM52246

    This is a strange article, because the fact that 2,4,5,7,8 don’t exist anymore are all *good things.* No second-hand smoke, more seatbelt use and helmet use.

    3 and 6 *should* still be happeneing; it’s bad that they don’t, as is parents’ generalized anxiety. Of course kids should be given more freedom to roam. But it’s very weird to mix in things changing for the worse with things changing for the better. It’s ideologically confused, makes no sense, and strongly suggests the writer is trying to have it both ways while generating nothing more than clickbait. Unless, of course, people think kids should have more second-hand smoke, brain damage, and violent vehicular deaths.

  • rhorvati

    Today we get to sit back and have fun being nostalgic about how we managed to survive such disregard for safety. Sadly a lot of people didn’t survive the 70′s, be it a Jart to the head, a skull smashing onto pavement as a kid falls from his bike, or getting your sternum crushed into your heart and lungs as the steering wheel attempts to stop the momentum of your body as your car crumples around you. Changes have indeed saved lives and were likely the result of massive lawsuits were lawyers got really rich. Some can argue the gene pool may be a bit cleaner today because safety measures weren’t in place to prevent people with poor judgement from hurting themselves.

    • sony2005

      seriously. we can only see the comments from those lucky enough to make it, which is a majority since these events are low probability but not so low when it happens to you!

  • fmorgan09mm

    Metal dash boards

  • WishyWashy

    I’ve often thought when I read these, ‘toughen up kids of today’ articles. We children of the 70′s and 80′s who are reading this did survive. But the ones who didn’t, aren’t really here to defend the alternate position.

    • Peaches

      Voice of reason. My best friends brother died at 8, from an accident that he would have survived with a helmet (according to the doctors). Sometimes, I think things are going too far, but other times, we are headed in the right direction. Helmets, seat belts, car seats? Those are amazing at saving lives. To say you miss the good ole’ days, it might mean you never knew people who died during them.

      • blackDog

        Yes Peaches, some people have died and injured while experiencing life. While you want to reduce risk, it is impossible to completely be risk free. Wrapping everyone up in a bubble of 0% risk only make the problem worse, because everyone believes they have no responsibility for their personnel well being. In my opinion it’s better to get a scraped knee by not watching where your going when your young, than stepping in front of a bus while texting when you’re 25. We have become such a nation of whiners and want to blame everything on someone else.

        • Peaches

          So you are against helmets, seatbelts, and carseats? Really? That’s not bubble wrap. It’s using your brain instead of smashing it.

          • Rick

            Awareness of one’s environment saves a lot more lives than helmets, seatbelts, and carseats.

            (Though ideally one has both. I walked away from a near head-on car accident where both cars were doing about 50 mph because I was aware enough to take the impact to the side of the vehicle _and_ because I was wearing a seat belt _and_ the car’s air bag deployed.)

          • Joanne

            I witnessed a vehicle rollover yesterday morning. Both of the men in the truck were belted in and neither appeared to be injured at all, despite the force of the roll. I’m very grateful for advances we’ve made in safety in the past few decades, that’s for sure.

          • Julian Hall

            There’s a good argument backed by apparently sound statistics that cycle helmets at least actually *increase* risk rather than decrease it. The argument runs: a culture that encourages (or requires) cyclists to wear helmets increases the perception that cycling is a dangerous activity, which decreases the number of cyclists on the roads. The biggest threat to cyclist safety is car drivers who aren’t watching for cyclists, which is more of a problem if there are fewer cyclists.

          • Joanne

            Oh my goodness, THIS. My husband is terrified of me cycling in our city due to the number of times I’ve nearly been hit. Seriously, nobody here seems to know what to do about cyclists, and the fewer of us there are, the less pressure there is on the government to create safer roads for cyclists. It’s brutal!

          • Captain Jack

            That’s all well and good but seems like car makers are protecting us from ourselves..30 airbags and daytime running lights? If you can’t see me in the day time without lights, you shouldn’t be driving.

      • Risky Business

        Yes. and if you lock yourself in a dark room and never leave, you’ll REALLY be safe. But what are you trading for safety? Becoming a secure and confident adult means taking risks, making mistakes, and learning to navigate the world around you. But if the world is wrapped in bubble wrap, you’ll be in for a shock when you grow up and there is no safety net. At the very least, you’ll be be a whiney, irritating adult who freaks out about everything.

        • Whooooooop

          You can leave your room with a helmet on. Not that I would. but I just saw on the news that a guy BLEW BOTH OF his hands off on on the 4th of July right in front of 30 Family members. How embarrassing. How Embarrassing. You know Balance is the key to life. Not going to hardcore in any direction.

          • Risky Business

            I think that’s called Social Darwinism.

            Risks are risky for a reason. But no risk, no reward. Seriously, however did the human race survive until this point? Until this generation, we must have just been a pack of wild animals playing at Lord of the Flies. Thank goodness, we have it all figured out now. Wrap everything in safety and work on college and career readiness in a dark corner of the library. Take a break for a bit of gruel. Repeat.

          • Peaches

            Many didn’t survive, but they are not here to tell about it. I’m realizing it’s pointless to try and convince you anything however. You just want to argue for arguments sake.

          • Risky Business

            Not sure how you come to that conclusion. I just have a different point of view. But if you’d rather end the discussion, just say so. It needn’t be contentious. It should be interesting and intellectually stimulating. If it’s grown unpleasant for you, we can stop.

            However, I would like to point out that here I am modifying the experience for you to make it more palatable because you’ve grown frustrated that you cannot “convince me of anything.” Not saying you’re proving my point or anything, but….ahem **whistling

  • TheRajLOSAngeles

    Well, it’s obvious to me why “millennials” come off as such pussies. So sad how Liberalism has turned our society into a litigious wasteland of people afraid of their own shadow.

    • Jordan

      Calling millennials pussies even though the baby boomer generation raised them? You seem VERY smart………….. I don’t think Liberalism did that to your shitty wasteland of people.

      • TheRajLOSAngeles

        I can’t tell what you’re trying to say? You do know what litigious means, right?

      • TheRajLOSAngeles

        I have no idea what you’re trying to say, but It’s clear you don’t understand the premise of my comment

    • Spaz

      I think a bigger problem is that too many people (such as yourself) have to turn everything into a liberal vs. conservative argument. As nice as it is to be nostalgic, I think most people would agree that it’s a good thing that most things on this list are different today. Smoking? Seat belts? Sun protection? Removing hot metal jagged items from the playground? Wearing a helmet while riding a bike? I do agree that people coddle their children far too much today, but that’s a general societal problem that has nothing to do with liberalism or conservatism. It’s lazy parenting and it’s a problem that affects both conservative and liberal families equally.

    • Evan Louis

      Yup, because people that obsess their guns – and are powerless without – them are somehow NOT pussies? Uh huh… Tell you what, when we see a pickup truck with NRA, Romney, etc stickers plastered across the back, we all know that we are looking at the vehicle of a frightened and pathetic little man.

  • HelenL1

    Except my brother and my neighbor who died at 16 because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt and my sister who has skin cancer yes we did, didn’t we? I hate these stupid posts because not everyone turned out fine and it just irritates me. Your family turned out fine, mine didn’t and at some point it’s just not funny to relive. Hahaha isn’t it funny, we all inhaled second hand smoke and people are now dying of cancer but hey we all survived right? hahahaha Our parents were just so cool! Let’s celebrate how stupid we were in the 70s and call ourselves over protected now. It’s just so FUNNY!!

    • Jeysoos!!!

      looks like the wrong person died, I bet your siblings weren’t so up their own ass

      • sony2005

        you need therapy.

  • Jordan

    This was literally the worst article I’ve ever read, if you can call it that. There is zero semblance of why parents should actually allow their kids to experience life holistically, rather than be attended to every minute of every day. Potentially your worst arguments were no seat belts and no skin protection. The only reason so many of you turned out “alright” is because there were twice as many of you as any other generation thus far.

  • sony2005

    I’m a little confused about something. Why are some of these comments here implying that playgrounds are not as intricate or fun as they were before, unless they think hitting your head in the asphalt is fun? the playgrounds these days are filled with twice or three time as many sets as those in the picture above, are just as high and just if not more varied in activities. Google playgrounds parks and see images. Some of them are amazing! yes the ground is softer but so what?

  • roadgeek

    Bruises, sprains and broken bones abounded. I only know of one classmate that was seriously hurt; he put one of his eyes out when he provoked a discarded car battery (found behind a garage) to explode. After he recovered, he came to school and entertained all the boys at recess by taking his glass eye out and passing it around. Cool beans, as they say. Some of my best memories were made playing in this enormous drainage ditch behind out subdivision. After a good rain, it ran pretty fast, and was a lot of fun. The thought of drowning never entered anyone’s mind.

  • rhorvati

    Voice over by grumpy old man. “Kids these days are so weak. Back in my day we put gas in our cars that contained lead. Painted our homes, kids toys, bikes, with paint laced with lead. Plumbed our houses with lead pipes. Everyone walking around, kids included, ingested enough lead that their
    blood had lead levels that would make a doctor today prescribe
    corrective therapy. Put asbestos in the insulation in our homes and in the brake linings of our cars. Used mercury in the fillings in our teeth and in our light bulbs Got rid of pests in our gardens with pesticides laced with PCB’s. My shoe store used X-ray machines to determine shoe fit. We were swimming in a sea of toxic chemicals and radiation…and we liked it. By golly it worked for us it should work for future generations.”

    Some people forget how good, the “good ‘old days” really were and the lifespans that were painfully shortened because of it. I know this article is a nice jab at helicopter parents. There is a better way. To say you survived the 70′s playing Jarts, riding a bike without a helmet, and riding in a car without seat belts doesn’t mean everyone survived the 70′s.

    • LongLostFriend

      Lighten up, Francis.

    • Scottilla

      They may have survived the 70s, but they are the voters of today.

  • HeathersFriend

    #9) Abortion

  • Clydicus

    Also – riding in the back bed of pickup trucks!

  • racknstack

    I love the mom out with her kids on the bikes with shorts up to her hoo-hoo-dilly and high heels.

    • tapu

      What does that have to do with ANYTHING? Other than your own questionable obsessions?

    • Comradebg

      Daddy, is that the way sweet old ladies used to look way back in the 80′s?

  • sony2005

    Most kids in the 70′s were born in the 60′s when most moms fed their baby formula instead of breast milk. Nowadays, helicopter moms make the rest feel bad about giving formula to their babies. Right? Me guessing those praising the 70 ways won’t be agreeing with me on this one !

  • cordycord

    Gawd I miss those days. :)

  • Sandra Wellens

    No seatbelts either and babies could sit on your lap in the front seat. Those were the days

  • Mary Lou Caswell

    Wow, brought me right back to my childhood. Some of the safety measures in place now are good, many are just ridiculous. Poor kids are all turning into little cowards afraid to take a step. Seriously parents, send your kids out to play!

  • Barry Arlington

    Kind of left out quite a few like riding in the back of a pick up truck. or laying on the back seat of a car (Between the window and the seat. drinking out of a hose. or sharing a can of soda with the entire group. just to name a few…

    • LJB_65

      Never forget my friend’s mom cramming like 10 of us into her little Datsun B210, driving us back to school!

    • Sherri Shaw

      Borrowed horses, no saddles,polyrope on the halter, borrowed rowboats in the moonlight, garden raiding for carrots and fresh peas……oh yeahhhh. ……it was so cool dude! Poor kids these days…stuck in the basement with a freakin computer…..its not even raining outside!

  • Cathy Adams

    I live in China, and the lack of safety standards described in this article are the way most everything is here, right now. The funny thing is, we don’t see any plethora of accidents the way Americans fear will happen if they don’t wrap their kids up in bubble wrap and watch them 24 hours a day.

  • saysomething

    Ha ha ha. Boy those were the days. Such memories. Especially about tanning with no protection. Of course, I’m now fighting stage 2B melanoma skin cancer. But good times everyone!

  • loupman

    Seriously? You stated “Parents of 2014 need to be reminded of how less restricted, less supervised, less obsessively safety-conscious things were… and it was just fine.”

    it was just fine?

    the death rate for children aged 5-14 years was around 40 deaths per 100,000. Now it’s 15. Do ya think part of the reason is that we don’t do the things that this article is so nostalgic about? Source:

    You double down on your ignorance in your final paragraph – ” I’m just stating facts – this is the world we lived in. It was full of adults who didn’t seem to have anxiety attacks over our safety, and we turned out just fine….right?” NO. NOT RIGHT. But the dead children who never lived to see your article are too busy being dead to remind you that they are NOT FINE.

    • LongLostFriend

      You are right. That reduction has absolutely NOTHING to do with advances in medicine.

      In any case, the fact that .025% more children survive now (according to your figures) does not justify the state’s over-reaching invasion into how I raise my kids.

      And, as the author mentioned, none of the changes mentioned are bad ideas; it’s just pathetic how we are doing a disservice to our kids by wrapping them up in cocoons and discouraging even the slightest bit of risk-taking.

      • loupman

        Excuse me, I linked to the wrong article. I intended to reference CHILD mortality, not INFANT mortality. Clearly, infant mortality has much more to do with medicine than jarts and seatbelts. Here is the correct link:

        A reduction of 25 per 100,000 from 40 per 100,000 is 0.025%? Where are you getting that number? The reduction is 62.5%.

        I really don’t think that wearing seatbelts and not giving our children death machines as toys is “over protecting” them. If someone can’t figure out how to help their child become a risk taker without giving them a death machine, then that person probably shouldn’t be a parent.

        Of course, I would say the same about the caricature of a parent that you describe – the cocoon-wrapping parent who doesn’t allow any risk. The reality is somewhere in between. As a father myself, I just prefer that when my kid takes a risk and loses, the result is a life-learning experience, but not a life altering one. And regulation of companies is an acceptable way to do that in my view.

        • roseba

          Not arguing for or against. However, the original post is right. The infant mortality rate from 0.04% to .025% is a statistically insignifant difference. The measures taken to decrease that rate by .015% were many. Whether the trade off is worth it or not is up to the readers of this article.

        • LongLostFriend

          “A reduction of 25 per 100,000 from 40 per 100,000 is 0.025%? Where are you getting that number? The reduction is 62.5%.”

          It is a 62.5% reduction, but 25 out of 100,000 kids is .025% of the total number of children.

          In other words, there weren’t that many kids dying in the first place.

    • Chris Wienke

      As the chart shows, rates of child mortality fell throughout the 20th century, including the 1970s, and into 21st century, suggesting that something beyond a shift in parenting practices explains most of the difference in child mortality over time.

      • loupman

        Chris, I’m uncertain which chart you are referring to, since I posted the wrong link in my original post. I apologize for that. Here is the correct link:

        Of course many factors affect child mortality. Child labor practices in the early half of the 20th century, various diseases, and yes, dangerous products. Eliminating each of these reduces the death rate, and while we may be nostaligic for the “good old days”, let’s remember that there was a reason that people who actually lived then decided that something needed to be improved. The good old days weren’t always good, and tomorrow’s not as bad as it seems.

  • Shelly Price

    This world is getting TOO POLITICALLY CORRECT TO LIVE IN!! When a parent complains that “My child is so sad they lost a baseball game” the answer isn’t “Let’s NOT keep score” the answer is tell little Timmy “Shut the fuck up! Deal with it! Bummer, you didn’t win. Maybe put down the video game controller & practice throwing a ball!”

    • Whooooooop

      The very REASON video games are so popular is BECAUSE it is the ONE place competition rules, that is left for kids today.
      ONLY Winners or Loosers. It doesn’t get more competitive in SOME games. You know you’re playing against real people these days. Not like pac-man of days past. It’s mental sports, it REALLY is. Every little thing you do is kept track of with stats and you can even review your yearly progress in any aspect you choose to look at. Every game is different too. Some are just art. Know before insulting.

  • LongLostFriend

    You forgot the most perilous one of all: NO HAND SANITIZER!

    Can you imagine hordes of youngsters relying on nothing but their God-given immune systems to combat the potential tragedy of touching a door handle after someone else? It makes me shudder just to think about it.

    Also: I teach teenagers, and you would not believe how some of them are absolutely unable to initiate a conversation with an unrelated adult, even in a completely populated and public place of business, because of “stranger danger.” I am not trying to minimize the importance of protecting our children, but when almost-adults see every grown-up they do not know as a potential kidnapper or child molester, it has crossed over into “ridiculous” territory.

  • Michael Riggans

    The neatest thing about the seventies was that people didn’t seem as divided as they are now.

  • Red Pill

    I’m a child of the 70′s, and as a teen in the 80′s I went to The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever (Action Park). The video truly is a Must-See.

    • FisherofTruth

      action park was awesome! the alpine slide was great!

  • Scottilla

    And these are good things?

  • Brian Preble

    I’m a child of the 70′s as well. Most of those things were fine, though I never saw lawn darts anywhere, and smoking was always a bad thing. Those children ARE dying, and rightfully so.

    • tvance929


  • tvance929

    Jart chicken, Roman candle chicken, bb guns & slingshot wars, no friggin bike helmets even with homemade giant ramps (that at some point were GUARENTEED TO fall apart — sucks if you’re the one it breaks on), hot metal slides of searing flesh, climbing trees, laying in the back window area of the vehicle, rolling down some hill inside some large pipe we found… good times, good times…

  • Graham King

    As a kid my summers were spend playing in the woods with my friends for hours on end. We’d come home when we were tired or thirsty. No water bottles, no snacks, no cell phone. Get lost? Well figure it out. I’m going to try the same with my kids.

  • Stacy Garinger

    these are all true and I did every one of these… and my family contributed bountifullly to the second hand smoke… I made it through though. phew!!

  • Ddub

    For all of you who are enjoying this read and are not into the arguing… And who really do have fond memories of growing up in the ’70s… and who might want to spend a little more time reminiscing…

    You might want to check this fun nostalgic summer read:

  • Wrongperson53

    I used to play on a huge rocket slide at a local park. We’d go to the very top and shake it as other kids were getting on lol. Those days were so much fun.

  • Bob

    “and we turned out just fine…. right?”
    Except the ones who died or were severely injured/paralyzed of course…

    Why the hell do you think regulations for helmets, smoking, seat-belts, etc were implemented? Random government intervention?

  • Harry Lounsberry

    lawyers and lawsuits, insurance companies

    • androphiles

      We don’t have those now?

    • ActaNonVerba

      Correction…..Lawyers, Insurance companies and slimebag populist politicians playing on fear to get votes.

  • Nora-Adrienne Deret

    Hell, I was a latch key kid in the late 50′s. I had a city bus pass to get to school also. Oh and sunbathing on Brighton Beach in Brooklyn? BABY OIL AND IODINE… got a great tan. LOL

  • Zac

    I don’t remember the neighborhood convenient store getting shot up every week when I was a kid. Now, yeah it is. If you don’t live around the violence you can pretend it doesn’t exist. Believe everything you read. Go ahead.

  • mtnester

    Love how the mom in # 5 looks like she is wearing heels while pushing the kids on their bicycles..!

  • kacie

    Not right. I grew up in this era. My brother died in a bicycle accident that he would probably have survived if he had been wearing a helmet. My son had a similar accident, it destroyed his helmet, but fortunately, not his brain. I have myself checked each year for skin cancer because I am fair skinned and grew up in an era without any real sun protection. And I’ve known people who have died from this cancer. Most of these risks are real, our parents just didn’t know what could happen, until it was too late.

  • Pamela Alexander

    Yes and baby’s in a basket on the back seat for safety, nothing else… No straps no nothing. And I remember travelling in my uncle’s car with no back seat at all, myself and my cousins bouncing up and down on the springs……….we had a ball and we are still all here to tell the story.


    - NO seat belts – you learned to sit down – for a good reason (Dad would spank, or you might hit seat in front of you if he stopped fast!!) metal slides were H O T – we learned to stay off them with shorts on or cover our legs, jungle gyms we high – we learned daily how to use arms and legs to become agile and strong; see-saws (interesting lessons reguarding weights) were usually home made unless in school yards/playgrounds, swings had heavy chains with heavy boards as seats – we learned to NOT get in the way AND not to swing to high, cause really felt like you’d go over the suspension bar. Ther were in 50′s/60′s – pea shooters, BB guns(prerequisite for real guns – a training must) cap guns, bows/arrows, sling shots, go carts with out brakes – downhill- until brakes were devised, roller skates/metal rollers (also a device to try downhill) – guess what was LEARNED by that one?!!! Stilts !!! Got first knife @ 8yrs old in Girl Scouts – taught us HOW to use knives correctly! Our age is the baby boomers that gov is worried about, cause there are so many of us! I have all my fingers, eyes, toes, both legs and arms, ears, etc. I LEARNED how to live, exist and thrive in life.

  • Kate Bruce

    I’m totally a child of the 90s with one of those burns from leftover 70s playground structures. Scarred for life!

  • CaptainBlake

    This seriously made my morning, thank you. And for those who weren’t around to experience it, let me assure you it’s all true. One of the many joys I find in revisiting 70′s cinema comes from spotting examples of these lost delights. Recently, and I can’t remember which film this was, I gasped at the image of a doctor lighting up in a hospital room. Better yet, turns out he was looming over a cancer patient as he puffed away, both oblivious to any potential hazards. And this scene was clearly not played for laughs. That was the magic of the 70′s.


    And eating things that came out of the ground – including the ground!

  • Jack Stone

    Not everyone turned out fine. Looks at the stats around seat belts. How many people died from second hand smoke that cant post here today. Bike helmets may look stupid but they do save lives. Just because we can laugh at this and post comments about how we turned out ok, there are many people who did not and are not alive to comment.

    • timbo59

      Very true. Motorbike helmets have to be legally enforced in Australia for years, and I can personally vouch for the fact that it may well have saved my life – and what little looks I possess! came off a bike at high speed and went skidding along on my front for what seemed like forever. Got badly cut on my legs and arms, and only later, when I looked at the helmet, did I realize how well it had protected me. From the chin guard on up, all the paint had been scraped away down to the fiberglass. Little imagination to realize what damage would have occurred without it. Riding bikes is dangerous enough – people who ride without helmets, especially recklessly, are basically idiots waiting to be hospitalized. Nothing is more ludicrous than living in a country like the USA where bikers are freely allowed to jeopardize their safety every single day while cops nail regular motorists constantly for not wearing seatbelts! Anywhere else people would die laughing on hearing omething like that.

  • timbo59

    Only problem with No. 7 is that I think it’s a girl supposedly about to cop it ‘in the nuts’! Could be wrong of course – just looks like a hint of a pony tail behind that head of hair, or it could be someone standing there mostly obscured from view.

    For boys like myself growing up in Australia back in the 70′s and earlier, the biggie
    that we’d consider missing from the list is ‘corporal punishment’, which got banned by
    the end of the decade. Caning used to be the standard form of
    punishment, which meant receiving an almighty ‘thwack’ across your bare
    hand or fingers, depending on the teachers aim. Some teachers in
    particular had awesome reputations for the pain they could inflict and the
    ease with which they could wind their action up, baseball-style, and bring that 3′ – 4′
    piece of pliable wood swishing through the air with alarming noise and
    speed down across your delicate digits. You’d get two cuts of the cane -
    one on each hand – for minor infractions like talking in class or not
    turning in homework. Schoolyard rules dictated that anyone who couldn’t
    take two cuts without crying was a weakling. Four was for more serious
    offenses that would take you to the limits of your pain threshold and
    bravado. Six cuts was reserved for the major offenses like fighting,
    vandalism, etc and was rarely dispensed. NO ONE could stand up to that,
    absolutely no one, without breaking down sobbing in pain and walking away holding their
    hands under their armpits for hours afterwards! Six cuts would routinely see you sent home for the day – not for punishment, but because your hands would be useless to hold a pen or pencil. My first year in high school, when I was about 12, I
    received about 150 cuts of the cane in just my first term, all for ridiculous things like late assignments, etc – I had a music teacher who
    volunteered me into the school choir because he found out I had a decent voice, and when I wouldn’t turn up for
    the obligatorily practices during lunch break (who wants to give up
    recess when you could be playing with friends?) I’d receive four cuts of
    the cane the next time he’d have me in his class – boy, did that make me look
    forward to music class! It was brutal excesses like this that eventually got
    the practice banned.

    An obvious one that the writer also forgot
    to mention (likely because it’s an American article) is the plethora of
    injuries that kids would routinely suffer through fireworks back then.
    They finally got banned in Australia for safely
    purposes back in the late 70′s – too many kids were getting hurt. Roman
    candles at 10 paces, anyone? Oh, yeah, what does it matter if the
    occasional stray bounces off your head? Boys daring each other to
    hold bigger and bigger crackers to see who would finally balk or cry out
    in pain (trick is to hold them near the end!). Emptying the contents of
    all the fireworks into ice-cream containers and setting it all off in
    one spectacular display – if it didn’t explode? Or how about the popular
    diversion on your way home from school of blowing people’s mailbox’s up
    and watching all the contents fly everywhere in shreds?

    It can also be less than funny. They used to sell these fancy matches that
    would blaze away in different colours for a few seconds of
    phosphorescent brilliance, and I used to love playing with them. Then
    one day I was holding about 30 – 40 of them loosely in my right hand
    when someone walked by with a sparkler – poof! The phosphorous burns
    were so excruciating that I only remember the first 5 – 10 seconds of
    screaming – my mind blanked out the rest thankfully. Next thing I
    remember was waking up at home with my hand heavily bandaged, having
    been at the hospital for hours. I received daily treatment at the
    hospital for months on the charred mess, but eventually all the burnt
    flesh peeled or got cut away to reveal nice new flesh underneath on all
    my digits and the palm. Anywhere else I would have been scarred for
    life, but it turns out that the flesh on your hands is of a different
    kind to the rest of your body and regenerates normally – never mind all
    the pain sensors there as well! To this day burned meat, and the smell
    of the magic ointment they used, always reminds me of that incident.

  • Tritorie Mendicuss

    Remember pickup trucks back then? How they actually had BENCHES you could sit on when you weren’t sliding around the back of them? Fun stuff!

    You would be arrested letting your kids do that now.

  • Nimbus99

    I love this discussion. The “merits -of-smoking-not-smoking” aside. I remember petting strays and getting bitten just to get treated at home with alittle iodine or mercurachrome (i think they called it). We sharpened Popsicle sticks to make weapons, and climbed to the tops of huge oaks to peer into birds’ nests. I rode in the back of the pinto station wagon and felt like I had my own apartment! The dashboard was metal, and I was left in the car on the regular. I walked home about 8 blocks in 1st grade. My lil sister and I waited on the porch after school in elementary school. I was a safety guard and stood alone on the corner at 7am in 4th grade. I had click-clacks, poprocks, took my temp with a glass thermometer (buttally, too). The playgrounds were hard and metal. I admit, they dont LOOK as fun as today’s playgrounds, but they were NEVER filled with grownups either. I caught the city bus starting in 7th grade. I wrangled with my wife to let our son do the same in high school. His school was about 10 blocks away. She wouldnt let him. A week later, a random kid was shot and killed waiting at the busstop. I have little ones now again, and I would never ever let them even go onto the porch alone to get the mail. Sad, but t’is what t’is. Life is still awesome!

  • jackietg

    What a stupid article. Plenty of people did not end up fine, and that’s why there are regulations, and/or laws against some of these things. For every person posting that ended up fine there are thousands of others of children that didn’t. Skin cancer kills people, and many of them with it today were the sun worshippers of the 70s & 80s. Same with secondhand smoke. Many children of the 70s whose parents smoked now have lung cancer. Lots of kids got concussions while not wearing a helmet that now suffer symptoms they may not even know are related.

    • Take me back to the 60′s

      Come on man, it was a funny article poking fun at ourselves. Of course we are better off now, but it is funny how little concerned parents were back then.

      • androphiles

        “Of course we are better off now,…” Only someone who didn’t live then would say that. And the idea that parents were “little concerned” back then is ignorance redoubled. Parents were concerned–in their kids instead of in whether they looked like good parents to everyone else. PTA participation was at a level then it’s never been at again. They didn’t just buy the latest electronic gizmo and turn their kid loose with it.

        • novatom

          I’m 54, a child of the 60′s and 70s and I agree with 60s. We are better off now. In so many ways. People are always so quick to say “things were better in the old days.” More often than not, they weren’t.

          • androphiles

            And more often than that, if they weren’t there they don’t know.

    • timbo59

      Other way round guy, or does your thinking extend to the thought that for every person who walked away from a motorcycle accident means hundreds of others who didn’t? That would make for an interesting statistic.

      The point to the article is that despite the mayhem the vast majority of us got through okay despite the raft of issues. My father was a chain-smoker who habitually made the interior of the car look like a fog on wheels, but by and large I’ve made it to my mid 50′s with no sign of lung cancer to date. Obviously others didn’t fair so well.

      It’s the actuarial data that piles up that eventually leads to the changes in our lives, many for the better. But that doesn’t mean that the vast majority of us didn’t have a whale of a time in those more lenient times! Go back another generation and people will also talk about how they never locked their front doors and so on, so for all our regulated (and supposedly safer) lives, it can easily be stated that we don’t necessarily lead better quality lives. I have a ten year old daughter and there’s not a hope in hell that I’m letting her walk to school by herself or hang round out on the streets with her friends the way kids did back in my day, and I don’t think there’s many parents out there who would, at least in heavily populated areas. Give me a Norman Rockwell town to live in and perhaps I’ll ease back on my vigil!

  • H. Nasse

    No, you didn’t turn out just fine, considering you are the generation of worry-freak parents.

  • RickW1234

    the author says we turned out fine, but aren’t we the parents who insisted on helmets and seat belts, walked our kids to school instead of letting them walk alone and voted to ban smoking from public places. Those changes didn’t happen in a vacuum, we the children of those times caused them to happen

    • Take me back to the 60′s

      That’s cuz we got tired of the abuse lol.

    • Penny

      Nope, I didn’t vote them in.

    • Risky Business

      That’s because parents are bombarded by constant anecdotes and statistics of the horrors and dangers that lurk. Thank you, 24-hour news cycle.

  • Brian Hunter

    I am so glad to have grown up in the 70s

    • androphiles

      I’m even more glad to have grown up in the 50′s.

  • Laura Anne Seabrook

    “Cars came with seat belts in the 1970s, but no one used them except maybe out of curiosity to see what it was like to wear one.”

    It was illegal NOT to wear them over here!

    • Sophie

      You’re a ding dong, Laura Anne. If you would do the tiniest bit of googling before embarrassing yourself, you’d see that seat belt laws didn’t go into effect until the early 90s. Ding dong.

      • strega2012

        Maybe she’s not from the USA, Ding Dong.

      • Laura Anne Seabrook

        To quote Wikipedia

        In Australia,
        the use of seat belts by all vehicle passengers is compulsory. The
        states of Victoria and South Australia introduced a requirement for belt
        anchorages in 1964, although not for the belts themselves.[1]
        In 1970, the use of seat belts by vehicle occupants was made compulsory
        in the state of Victoria, followed by the rest of Australia and some
        other countries during the 1970s and 1980s. The subsequent dramatic
        decline in road deaths, equivalent to thousands of lives saved in
        Australia alone, is generally attributed to seat belt laws and
        subsequent road safety campaigns.[2][3][4]

        If you would do the tiniest bit of thought, you’d realise that I said “over here”.

        • timbo59

          @Sophie. A little cultural arrogance there in assuming that the poster was from the USA. You might care to do a little Googling yourself on the subject of other other English-speaking countries in the world. The internet does – shock horror – extend further than American shores. And as the lady stated quite clearly, she did say ‘over here’ which, while not explicitly stating exactly where she was referring to, should have made it abundantly clear that she was from a country outside of the USA.

        • tapu

          And how are we to know where “over here” was, in your original post? Over here in Jersey?

          • Laura Anne Seabrook

            You’re serious? You mean that wouldn’t be something that you’d ask about before assuming, like the other poster?

      • roseba

        Don’t call people ding-dongs. That is not a valid way to debate and it makes the world more uncivil.

        It went into effect much earlier than the 90′s where I’m from…. IN THE USA.

    • Carnwennan

      Where were you in the 1970s?

      • Laura Anne Seabrook

        I was and still am Australia.

        • Carnwennan

          Thank you for the reply. Your country was ahead of the US on that sort of legislation by at least a decade. Infant safety seats were not even mandatory in all states in the 1970′s; seatbelt requirements began rolling out in 1985.

  • RufusCain

    Wow! I wanna ride a giant turtle with a goat! The 70′s must’ve been great!

    • babs

      They were… I wouldn’t trade those days for anything today :)

  • Dennis Ray Wingo

    As a former latch key kid, I marvel at how structured the little twits lives are these days, and how pompous it makes them. They would have run home to mommy after half an hour with a bunch of 70′s kids.

    • benjitiger30

      I was a latchkey kid as well. Home right after school.. Couldn’t go out unless a parent/responsible adult was around..had to be inside inside before the street lights came on..spent summers playing hide n seek/baseball/swimming/you name it. Us children of the 70s/early 80s rocked!!

  • sparrowlord01

    Kids today have no idea what real fun is. And for the most part, parents have become way too overprotective…

  • Jeff Blanks

    No, kids in the ’70s were all WATCHING TV. OK, sometimes they were playing, but sometimes they play now, too. And no, adults weren’t *that* negligent. They might not have been “helicopter parents”, but it wasn’t a Darwinian struggle for survival out there, either.

    BTW, about half of these photos are from the ’50s or early ’60s. NEVER, EVER get the ’70s confused with those times. The thing is, of all these things only the Jarts are unique to the ’70s–everything else has roots much farther back than then.

  • Lady Warwick

    You’re speaking of the 70′s yet show a 1964/65 Beetle with other ’64/65 Beetles….i think …that picture is the 60′s.

    • Trooper Kitty

      People didnt drive 5+ year old cars? Fascinating….

      • Lady Warwick

        Wow you dont get it…im saying the photo isnt the 70′s….all those cars are 60′s era.

        • Trooper Kitty

          A majority of the car’s made in the 70′s probably couldnt fit into a camera’s view…. lol

  • Kurt Copeland

    It’s all fun and games until someone sticks a knife in a toaster! Now, do we ban knives or toasters?! Let’s ban them both!

  • Ygar

    yes, we are so much smarter, safer, more evolved, and more progressed nowadays. btw, have you watched the news lately?

  • Laurie Jeanne Jackson

    We used to run after the mosquito fogger truck for blocks playing in the cloud of DDT, then nip over the dike for a swim in the Columbia River warmed early in the year by reactor coolant water. We rode our bikes all day and yes, it was exactly like Lord of the Flies.

  • awagner615

    Having turned out “fine” is a relative term. “Define fine.” More people are on medication than ever for “anxiety” and depression that year ago were only given to those that were practically ready for an institution and many of these are people my age who grew up in that time frame you are showing..

    • minime13

      That’s because, in the 60′s-80′s, seeking help for any mental disorders usually meant being sent away to an asylum.

      • awagner615


        • LJB_65

          Don’t forget all the Ritalin children today. This was absolutely unheard of back then.

  • Mark Sholl

    On the other hand, we weren’t doing this stuff, either

  • madisontruth

    There are still plenty of “Lord of the Flies” scenarios these days. On another note, remember sitting on black vinyl car seats after returning to the car in mid summer?

  • Charlie

    Jarts (and horseshoes) have been replaced with cornhole. A fun game, but a strange name! Almost sounds perverted!

  • Knerak Sexton

    way back even farther in the 50s we swam in the Mississippi river. Sure wouldn’t do that now.

  • ginalex

    Adam Walsh. I still remember the news stories about him. Parents started to think about how their kids might be kidnapped and killed after that. You can let your kid stay in the car or sit in a stroller and possibly come out to find them gone. Why? because that actually happened. I think the parents of the 70′s might have different attitudes than we do now. We were kids in the 70′s and had a much different perspective. I do remember how totally paranoid my mom was. She was really overprotective. When bad things happen, people change.

  • ZaphodAVA

    Action Park NJ. What’s summer without a few scars to impress your friends?

  • Sheryl Chamberlain Hart

    As much as I hate seatbelts, they are a good idea. Strapping the little blighters down put an end to backhanding unruly kids or uttering those words of terror, “don’t make me stop this car”. I, too have ridden horses bareback, dropped out of trees onto cows, swung from the dump fork in the haybarn rafters. I survived with a few scars, great memories and a real sense of independence and “can do”. At 63 still riding bareback,but no longer drop down onto cows.

  • anastasiaC

    I survived!!! am sure others did too…

  • Carson Tattoosstuff

    ya peaches at least he died not looking like a retard, back then only retards wore helmets on bikes

  • Anthony Fillbrunn

    While it’s true that while we might be going too far with the whole for the safety of the children thing there are people out there that would do unspeakable things nowadays. Examples are child molesters and kidnappers. there are also more cars on the road now then in the 1970′s or the 1980′s so the chances for getting hit by a car are higher now than back then. However the drivers of those cars also have to follow basic traffic laws and in the age of need to get somewhere like your life depended on it those laws like using turn signals and stopping for stop signs go unheard.

  • Kevin McHugh

    I wish they included the 60′s. Back then we waited for the mosquito truck. A pick-up truck that drove through the neighborhood at slow speeds spewing a huge, dense fog of some deadly chemical that, I guess, killed mosquitos. We frolicked for quite a while in that fog, unable to see two feet in front of ourselves. We also thought it smelled cool. Which reminds me of inhaling the papers used for printing with that purple ink in grade school. Mimeographed I think they were. The sooner off the press the better. Those were the days.