As I grew up in the outskirts of Denver Colorado, life was simpler than it is today. Growing up in the 1950’s—60’s the world seemed so far away from Greewood Boulevard.
When I was in grade school (they call it elementary school today) my greatest joy was getting home and riding my bike. My bike could take me places faster than I could ever walk or run. My bike gave me a certain amount of freedom. Of course that freedom came with a cost. I had a whole list of “do’s and don’t’s” pilled on…but it was freedom and I got to make the decisions on which streets I would ride on going to Brancaccio’s lake to fish or the drain ditch to catch crawdad’s. I could ride it all the way to the 7-11 for a soda or to the makeshift diamond to play a game of hard ball.
The neighborhoods were safe. I could go all day away from the house without my mom being worried. We did not have cell phones. If I wanted to tell my mom I was running late, I would simply stop in at a neighbor’s house and ask them to call mom for me.
The evening meal, we called it dinner, was not to be missed. Mom would cook a great meal and the whole family would sit down together and talk. That was the information hub for my brother Jack and me. You see the internet was not created yet. We communicated with each other with our voice. When I wanted to tell Tonda, my girlfriend in the sixth grade because she always won at teatherball, that I liked her, I would walk up to her and talk.
At night, once the dishes were washed by my brother and I, we would lay down in the floor and watch one of three channels on the television. We had a 25” black and white TV and the whole family would watch “What’s My Line”, “Gunsmoke”, “Perry Mason” or “I Love Lucy.”
I don’t miss a lot from those early years, but, yes, I believe life was simpler then.
My mom, Geneva, holding Jackie and me in my shorts.