It started a couple of weeks ago. While goofing off on the internet, I went to check out a website I bookmarked and pretty much ignored, Retrojunk.com (see linkage). I've been on it before but really never took it seriously. I was looking through an article about 80s movies when I spied one i haven't seen in ages. Explorers starred River Pheonix and Ethan Hawke and it was about some kids building a spaceship. Instantly, I went to this one video website to see if they had it. It wasn't there, BUT I found ANOTHER movie, this time from the 70s that I loved as a kid. This one starred Richard Boone and Joan Van Ark and was called The Last Dinosaur. It had an oil tychoon finding a lost land populated with a tyrannosaur that he wanted to kill. Of course, being that it came out in 1977, the dinosaur wasn't the best in quality (man in suit), but as a child, it held your attention. So, with those two movies, my brain kicked into high gear.
I look back and I think to myself, I had the world. We weren't the richest family, but we had fun. It was none of this, no fun allowed mentality that seems to run rampid nowadays. Think back, what could you do as a child? Summers and Saturdays were the best for my brother and I growing up. We could ride bikes up and down the streets of our neighborhood looking for things to do. We couldn't leave said area, but we could push it to its limits. We lived near a small stream and we'd go down and build a dam. We built this one that it made a small pool on the other side also. What we didn't know was, we blocked a sewer pipe a little. And you knew it wa sa great damn when the guy lived next to the stream (mad as all get out at us) had to call a digger to clear it up. Oops.
I also started thinking about what TV shows and video games we played when the summer months were over and school had started. Saturdays were still the best. We'd sit from 8am til 12pm looking for the best cartoons. If my dad was around 9am was The Smurfs and we had to watch that. Funny, no sooner than I was planning this article, The Smurfs came out on DVD. At 1pm on Saturday, if my mom didn't kick me out of the house, I'd watch the Saturday 1 o'clock Monster Matinee on channel 29 out of Philadelphia. That UHF station always had some monster, sci-fi, or horror movie that would keep me enthralled. The best were the old Godzilla films. Now, 29 is a Fox station that hardly shows movies on the weekends anymore. Sad. Come to think of it, you have to go to cable for any thing like that. (Remember kids, cable is a choice and the rates aren't going down.)
How's this for awesome? We lived a block from the local bowling alley. My mom signed us up for a Saturday afternoon kids league one year. We'd spend three games trying to break 100 only to get beat. Afterwards, instead of going home, we'd spend what money we'd have in the back arcade. There's where I fell in love with the game Crystal Castles. A friend of mine sent me an article about old videogames. If you'd play them now, you would lose interest after 10 to 15 minutes because your memory has high expectations of said games only to find them really boring. Who knew?
Over the course of remembering my childhood, little things start to pop in my mind. Catching crayfish at this one park. That same park had the world's tallest slides. (They had four and the biggest one was a double slide with the top steps broke off. Scary but great!) Riding my new dirt bike I got for Christmas only to wipe out on ice. Going creek stomping. Going out for dinner on a Friday night. Rollerskating with the school on a Sunday afternoon. Having my dog Kibbles chase me around the house. Playing kickball, Red Rover, Kick the Can with my cousins. Sledding down vertical angled hills in the winter. Just all around stupid kid stuff.
But those days are over. Political correctness and parents who baby their kids way to much reign supreme. Playgrounds are replaced with non-injury inducing equipment. TV never has the kind of shows that entertained you. Now it's all mind controlling ads making you want to buy the next American Idiot CD. Movies now are on the "revision of old movies" phase. (Remember the three deep sea movies that came out from 1987 to 1988? Can you name them? Bonus points if you can name an actor or director from two of them. Answers next post!) Video games try to be new but some you lose interest quick.
So I leave you with this. Think about what you did and saw as a child. Hold on to those memories. Write them down. Pass them on. If you don't you'll turn into the drab adult that won't let anyone have fun or a good time. Oh, I was gonna have pictures with this post but changed my mind. Catch you on the flipside... I feel like crying now because you can't go back.
Next Time: Smashing! Or An Hour A Day Practices Self-Control From Using Curse Words In Front Of My Son. (it's tougher when you're really aggravaited!!)