Reading last week’s article in this paper about reunions made me think of more things from the past that have been almost forgotten as we have progressed in our lives.

For example, do you remember how when we were kids, we had no Xbox, no Internet, no Facebook, no Tik-Tok, no Twitter and no cell phones? And even more drastic, we didn’t have the over organized “little league” teams we see today.

 Heaven help a team today that doesn’t have its own uniforms, or at least shirts. They also have coaches and team ladies who make sure there are refreshments available for all team members at the conclusion of the game.

Of course, the fields of play must be carefully lined with chalk, and we also see almost professional referees or umpires at every game.

 How did we play without all these extras that seem to be requirements now? Easy. We grabbed our baseball or football, met at the vacant lot down the street and we and our buddies would play for hours with little or no problem.

 Of course, if the guy who owned the ball get mad and went home, then the game ended ahead of schedule!

 We also played on the playgrounds of slides, swings, and jungle gyms that both boys and girls excelled in climbing. We also spent a lot of our time playing such games as “Red Rover” or “Kick the Can” or “Cops and Robbers” or swimming in the old pond behind the library or even going to the new swimming pool at Charlie Brown Park.

 We survived “Spankings, Lead Paint, Rusty Playgrounds, Second-Hand Smoke, Toy Guns, No Seat Belts, No Helmets, and Drinking from the Garden Hose”. We almost managed to end our baseball season without everyone getting a “Participation Trophy”. In our days, the winners got trophies and the others went home to plan for the next season!

 In the summer we went out to play in the morning and when we got hungry, we came home for lunch. Then it was back to our buddies outside until time for supper. If our mothers wanted us, they usually stood at the front or back door and called our names, no cell phone summons.

 We couldn’t go to the stores on Sunday because they were all closed. We loved to go to the “Drive In” for movies and if we could get a couple of buddies in the trunk or the opposite running board from the ticket takers, well they got in “free”. Our parents never generally locked our house because we knew the neighbors would watch over our place if we were gone.

 When we borrowed our Dad’s car, we made sure we put a dollars’ worth of gas in it before we brought it back home. And when gas went from 32.9 to 34.9 cents per gallon, we just didn’t think it could ever go any higher.

 If our folks let us stay up late to watch TV, we never forgot about how at midnight all the stations played the national anthem and showed the flag before closing for the night. And if we wanted to call someone that lived in another town on the telephone, we always waited until after 7:00 pm because it was cheaper then.

We didn’t worry about drugs because they didn’t exist back when we were kids. The closest we ever came to anything like that was when we spread airplane glue on our hands so we could pick it off with our teeth!

 Those were great days. Friends we made when we were kids are the ones we still remember well. We remember the good times we had with them and we remember the things we did with them. While we can never really go back, we can certainly remember how it was growing up…. and memories are always important.

Jerry Hogan is a former Rockwall County Judge and can be reached at

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