SUMMER MEMORIES... THE CONSTRUCTION SITE BATTLEFIELD

Peter_Suciu

Well-known member
My city has dug up the street a few blocks over as a new sewer is being put in. There has been a long trench, concrete pieces for the sewer lined up and huge mounds of dirt. It looks like a warzone, or at least a warzone a 12-year-old could appreciate. Nothing would have stopped my friends and me from going over for a battle after the workday ended.

But on our evening walks, my wife and I haven't seen so much as a single kid climbing on the dirt mounts or even looking at the concrete sections that still look like a bunker to me. I pointed out the trench and my wife said, "they have it fenced off" (with orange plastic mesh) ... and I just responded, "that's just the wire in front of the trenches! That wouldn't have stopped us."

It brought back good memories of those summers when my grandfather helped me turn an old bedpost into something that sort of resembled an MG-34, while my friend's father made him something that looked like a Maxim Gun (we used an old Christmas Tree stand as the tripod). I was a little sad that no kids today saw the wonder in the street turned into a battlefield.
 

coert65

Well-known member
I fully agree. When I was growing up, me and some friends went to a wood nearby, to build platforms in trees there, so we could see other friends approaching us. Always busy doing crazy things, like building cabins later on, up in those same trees, or excavating tunnels, with an underground shelter connected to it. I almost got buried alive when the ceiling wasn't stable enough..:LOL: Playing around with mopeds we found when the rubbish was being collected was also one of our favourites. Making them run again, and going to the local motorcross grounds to see if we could get them to do a nice jump there. Later on, when we got older, and reading WW2 history we decided to go and look for the Atlantic wall bunkers, which we knew were in the dunes nearby. So off we went, first on our bycicles, and later on mopeds. We found a lot of them, some still bricked up, but not long, as we went there again with hammers and other tools to open them up. We found a lot of relics then. I had a youth which I still cherish!
I think most kids now, are only busy on internet, gaming and so on, unfortunately.
Here also, we do not see kids doing stuff anymore, which is in fact a shame, and not very good for their upbringing.
 

911car

Well-known member
My city has dug up the street a few blocks over as a new sewer is being put in. There has been a long trench, concrete pieces for the sewer lined up and huge mounds of dirt. It looks like a warzone, or at least a warzone a 12-year-old could appreciate. Nothing would have stopped my friends and me from going over for a battle after the workday ended.

But on our evening walks, my wife and I haven't seen so much as a single kid climbing on the dirt mounts or even looking at the concrete sections that still look like a bunker to me. I pointed out the trench and my wife said, "they have it fenced off" (with orange plastic mesh) ... and I just responded, "that's just the wire in front of the trenches! That wouldn't have stopped us."

It brought back good memories of those summers when my grandfather helped me turn an old bedpost into something that sort of resembled an MG-34, while my friend's father made him something that looked like a Maxim Gun (we used an old Christmas Tree stand as the tripod). I was a little sad that no kids today saw the wonder in the street turned into a battlefield.
I agree, and would add: where are kids nowadays, even when streets have not been dug up? By the age of 10, I would walk back and forth to school by myself, well over a mile away, on city streets. My mother would often send me shopping all by myself. And I was no exception. You met your friends on the street, walked to their place without notice, and use sidewalks as playgrounds. At 12 years old you would catch a bus all alone to go to school, if too far away for walking...
Peter's note reminded me that this is something I often more or less consciously notice: no more free children in these days...
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
A lost experience for the kids today….walking to school and going home for lunch….Campbell’s soup and a sandwich. Building tree forts, making spears and bows and arrows. Firing said arrows across a highway to test our bows! On weekends, we had breakfast and then went out to play with our gang of friends. Our mothers had to holler out the back door to get us home for lunch and supper. We climbed trees and ate green apples, our parents never hovered around us. Nothing was “organized, staged, supervised or paid for”, our parents didn’t have the money for that. My first fishing rod was a bamboo pole, black line, hooks and bobber bought at a country store where my grandparents lived. I fished alone for hours, exploring the river bank, trying to catch leopard frogs. I had a great childhood!
 
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ccj

Well-known member
A lost experience for the kids today….walking to school and going home for lunch….Campbell’s soup and a sandwich. Building tree forts, making spears and bows and arrows. Firing said arrows across a highway to test our bows! On weekends, we had breakfast and the went out to play with our gang of friends. Our mothers had to holler out the back door to get us home for lunch and supper. We climbed trees and ate green apples, our parents never hovered around us. Nothing was “organized, staged, supervised or paid for”, our parents didn’t have the money for that. My first fishing rod was a bamboo pole, black line, hooks and bobber bought at a country store where my grandparents lived. I fished alone for hours, exploring the river bank, trying to catch leopard frogs. I had a great childhood!
Same here…
 

argonne

Well-known member
I agree, and would add: where are kids nowadays, even when streets have not been dug up? By the age of 10, I would walk back and forth to school by myself, well over a mile away, on city streets. My mother would often send me shopping all by myself. And I was no exception. You met your friends on the street, walked to their place without notice, and use sidewalks as playgrounds. At 12 years old you would catch a bus all alone to go to school, if too far away for walking...
Peter's note reminded me that this is something I often more or less consciously notice: no more free children in these days...
That was exactly the same for me. Just walked each morning alone to the bus stop to take the bus alone to school and the same way back at the end of afternoon (yes, whole day school, not only a few hours in the morning!). No matter if hot, cold or wet...Both parents had to work too...With heavy satchel on the back....And what a miracle, I´m still alive 😁

Philippe
;)
 

Lars13

Active member
Yes, everything was better when we were young 😀

I don’t fully agree though, I‘ve got two young kids, they play outside with the rest of the kids in the neighborhood, walk to school on their own, etc. But the world is not as innocent as it appeared when I was young.

Regards, Lars
 

tony v

Well-known member
ahhh...happy days. I was also never in the house when not at school.....1970's era school child me.

My dad was well handy with the wood work and made me and my friends wooden swords and shields, for which we all made stencils and painted on our own coat of arms. True knights. Then of course we all went up the field and took chunks out of each other ! No complaints from any other parents when someone turned up home with a few splinters !

We found an old drain pipe and stashed it till NOV 5th came along and when we could get hold of the mini rockets (fire works) naturally we made a mortar....had it set up in the woods behind fallen tree stumps, dug in naturally with a supply of stick grenades (real sticks !).

The other stupid thing we did was the "flying fox". You climb a tree and then jump to the next one , person to cover most ground and get to the furthest tree ...winner. Health and safety, risk assessment....none.

last one .... The Grand national. Our street was quite posh as everyone had a garden rather than a back yard this meant you could garden hop all the way from one end to the other over fences and hedges etc A race against each other, whilst avoiding getting caught by an adult.

To the Victor \ the spoils. To those that got caught, a clip round the ear hole !
 

ccj

Well-known member
Haha, add to that walking on the railroad tracks, placing coins, etc, on the tracks for the train to flatten. Oh, and we could carry our beebee and pellet guns around to shoot at “stuff” and the only thing an adult might say was don’t shoot someones window out and dont shoot each other.
 
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b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Yea, I asked my Dad for a pellet gun when I was 12, he said no but I will buy you a 22. He was a mid upper gunner in Lancasters during WW2 so had trained on a lot of weapons. He taught me how to shoot and yes, us kids walked down the tracks in Northern Ontario with our 22’s firing at innocent critters which we mostly missed. We were surrounded by thousands of kms/miles of bush and no threat to anyone. 🙂
 
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