Pass me another mud pie

Published 10:45 am Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This column is dedicated to all those born from the 1930’s until the 1970’s.

We survived!

First off, we were born to mothers who took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing and tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

After birth we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs, pieces of furniture covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles. There were no such things as childproof doors or cabinets.

When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.

As infants and children, we would ride in vehicles with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from a garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter. We drank Kool-Aid made with sugar. We drank tea sweeter than a baby’s bottom, but we weren’t overweight because we were always outside playing.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the sun went down. And then, after supper, we could always squeeze in a game of Hide-and-Seek. That’s great fun at night.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes; no video games at all. There was no such thing as 200-plus channels on cable TV; heck, if we were lucky, we could pick-up three network stations. And we had to actually leave the chair or sofa to change the channel or adjust the volume.

We grew-up with no video movies or DVD’s; no surround-sound or CD’s; no cell phones; no personal computers and no Internet or chat rooms. What we did have was an imagination. We also had friends and we went outside and found them.

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and lost teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthday; made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell. Often we just walked in and talked to them.

Little League baseball had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!

The idea of a parent bailing us out of trouble if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the police. Within the first six months of getting my driver’s license at age 16, I was stopped by each of the five State Highway Patrolman working Northampton County at that time. Today that’s called profiling. Back then it was called respect. I must have learned something from that….I’ve had one traffic ticket, at age 19, for speeding 68 mph in a 55 zone.

We experienced freedom, failure, success and responsibility and we learned how to deal with it all.

If you are among us, congratulations on learning how to cope with life instead of a steady steam of gripes and criticism or sitting on your lazy butt thinking someone owes you a living.


Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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