Firearms And Liberty - Shade's Landing Inc. Carry Permit MN

Where Conservatives Gather

The early years in Illinois

What it was like growing up in the 60s...

Musing with some friends on what it was like growing up.

I'd wake up in our little house on Navajo Drive in Carpentersville, in the summer to the sound of gravel trucks and gunfire from the gravel pit and range out on Bolz Rd. Lazy summer mornings filled with the sound of trucks and their shifting gears.

I recall spring and summer days filled with baseball. I couldn't wait for the snow to be gone so we could start playing again. The Cubs games would be like music in the air, much like the smell of the cigar smoke that filled Wrigley back before the PC crowd went nuts.

Jack Brickhouse and his "HEY-HEY" and Ernie's "Let's play two today!" were iconic of my era. Don Elston, Dick Ellsworth, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, George Altman, Ken Hubs, Andre Rodgers, Don Kessinger, Jimmy Stewart, even Lou Brock, and of course Ernie were valued treasures in each year's pack of Topps Player Cards.

My baseball buds were the Williams brothers primarily. Marty, Allen, and Donald (wonder where they are today)... and right after we were done with chores, we'd get on our bikes and peddle our butts off to Hickory Hill school. We would usually play behind the school in the woods where there was a baseball field. We were never hassled there and always felt safe.

We'd head home around noon, watch the Cubs play if they were on TV, have lunch then back outside to the ball field until 5pm for dinner and our Little League games.

Those baseball games, organized and sand lot, taught us the value of teamwork, self-reliance, and sportsmanship. And most important, how to get along with each other.

When it rained, we were still outdoors. Under the carport trying to capture the stray spotted salamander that wandered out during the rains.

When I wasn't playing baseball, Dad would take me fishing. Sometimes we'd sneak into the quarry until we got caught one day. But mostly we fished from shore along the Fox and a couple local lakes and forest preserve lakes.

And at 10:00pm, the man on the television would always inquire: "It's 10PM, do you know where your children are?" I of course was at home with Mom, Dad and little sister. My parents always knew where we were. It was like Mom had some sixth sense. If I asked her how she knew, she'd say "A little birdie told me so." I wanted so badly to kill that "little birdie" that kept ratting me out to Mom.

The exercise we experienced on a daily basis I believe is still paying us dividends today. There's something to be said about being young and enjoying the outdoors. We were heart strong, had lungs that worked despite riding behind the mosquito abatement truck in the summer. It was a great time to be a kid.

We had freedom and we were smart enough even at that age not to abuse it. We knew we'd be grounded or get out butts smacked if we were out of line or treated a neighbor badly.

That's pretty much what it was like as a kid in my neighborhood. Today however, I worrry that my grandson will someday and look up to me and say "Papa Gary, tell me again what it freedom was like when you were little." I fear that day is coming all too soon.

Written by Shade

Thursday 02 April 2015 at 2:51 pm

Posted in News & Editorials

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