Ostomy Memories of a Risky Life


THERE WAS A TIME when I lived a life of reckless abandon, when I threw caution to the wind and regularly risked life and limb with no thought whatsoever for my health or safety. It was in elementary school in the Fifties. I walked a half mile to school all by myself, with no adult supervision. I rode my bicycle without a helmet. I drank water straight from a hose. Those were perilous times. I roamed a large city all by myself on weekends, even wandering downtown and going to the movies by myself. These days my parents would have been arrested and accused of child endangerment. “It has been reported,” they would write in their reports, “that this child was seen without shoes, running in the street.” Those were dangerous times. The misdeeds and mischief were rampant: making fraudulent phone calls; throwing rocks at cats; playing R and R (Ring and Run). I even chased a little girl all the way home once. I was a little ruffian, that’s for sure. Elementary school was a tough time, filled with unsupervised rascality. I even got sent to the principal’s office for throwing wild berries from a bush at another kid and, unrepentant offender that I was, standing under the fire escape looking up girls’ dresses. It’s downright amazing that I didn’t end up on the FBI Most Wanted list. Those were precarious times.


Oh Henry, you were a wild one. The world has become a breeding ground for blame, shame, and a change in the dictionary. Please don't tell my adult kids and my grandkids of those simple hilarious fun's that I still like to do. I've done those ring and run, drape the TP on trees, pee in the woods not hurting a soul but creating a laugh in others... things for 50 years now and really don't want to stop now. I did have to stop calling people and telling them to go catch their refrigerator from running once caller ID began, and now with Ring Camera and Blink Cameras, I suppose I should stop!
I'll try to quit my unharmable antics... but then what's left?
Ritz... a Crazy Cat on her best I can do behavior!!

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I never was a wild one, but I remember a lot of things we did and allowed for our children. A lot of things like you said would be called child endangerment. I do remember there was a smoking tobacco called Prince Albert sold in a slim tin can. It was also sold in a cloth pouch. It was a cheap way to roll your own cigarettes. We used to call stores and ask if they had Prince Albert in a can. If they said yes, we would say, "Well, you had better let him out before he is smothered." I and my children also walked to school and about wherever we went. We used to play outdoors until supper time without phones. We were very poor as my mom raised four of us by herself, and there were a lot of hard times but a lot of good ones also. But times were a lot more simple back then. A lot of children now don't know how good a lot of things are now. I just wonder if one day our children will tell their children how hard it was for them. Best wishes and stay safe.


I find it so sad that many of today's children don't know how to climb a tree or play hopscotch or even know the concept behind kick the can. To walk half a mile to a friend's house. To not be so afraid all the time of the outside. It scares me what they are becoming.

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