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What Made The Baby Boomers So Strong?

Every now and again I come across an email that I just have to post about and this is one of those messages.


First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn’t open on the weekends, somehow we didn’t starve to death! We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this..

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, 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 streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We didn’t have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, actually we didn’t have any video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY, no video/dvd films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms………. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents. Only girls had pierced ears! We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time…

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays. We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on MERIT!!

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and sometimes a well aimed blackboard duster would hit it’s mark. Bully’s always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of because they actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn’t invent stupid names for their kids like ‘Kiora’ and ‘Blade’ and ‘Ridge’ and ‘Vanilla’

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And YOU are one of them!


You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, why not sit your kids down and make them read it so they will know how brave their parents were.


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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 45 Comments

  1. This was a great read, although I was born in the 70’s. Times have changed and there are so much more troubles no. More crime with regards to shootings, rape and robbery.

    My Dad always says they did not have half the goodies we have today and they all turned out fine. No problems what so ever. I also think more people are paranoid when it comes to babies, getting all the new gadgets and all.

    A good example is a friend of mine recently had a baby and one of their must have goodies was a baby monitor. I can understand if your kid is a problem child and so on. The baby monitor is over R1000 (+$100). When our son was born, we never had that and he turned out absolutely fine.

    Manufacturers brain wash people into thinking they need certain goodies when they don’t.
    .-= George Serradinho´s last blog ..Serradinho’s 1st Guest Post =-.

    1. George, I honestly believe that a lot the troubles are due to the change in society. In my day kids used to be spanked when they were naughty. When at school, if they misbehave they would get the cane. In those days they had boundaries that they understood and they grew up knowing between right and wrong, and that if they were caught doing something wrong they would have to pay the price.

      It’s all different now. Spanking is frowned on; Caning has been abolished. Kids do not even respect the police anymore because they know that the law won’t touch them because they are under aged.

      But this post is not about all that at all. It’s about how we grew up in a different age, one so different from today, and yet we all turned out OK.

      1. All this happened in the 70’s for me too. We liked, respected and feared our teachers, but we bloody well listened. Playing out until it’s dark is a lost art that we’ll probably never get back – unless we can figure out some way to bring back proper old neighbourhoods where everyone knows each other.

        1. Yeah, gone are the days when you were able to sleep out the front under the stars, or leave your door unlocked without having to worry about idiots ransacking the place, or worse. Shit, nowadays you even lock the door and your not safe anymore.

          1. And what about the tasty additives and preservatives we used to get given? Not like today where it’s all organic. In my day, organic meant your food was dirty!

  2. The comment of the above one i have posted to you but missed one point to say that your story reminded me the movie of Forest Gump !In my opinion you should watch this movie & you get more points to make a new post about it!Sire please watch it,you will definitely like it!

    1. I’ve seen the movie, and I agree it was a very good movie. In what way did the post remind you of Forrest Gump?

  3. Another reason for obesity now days is that kids don’t go out and play any more for hours on end, they sit in front of the TV and play games and eat more junk food.

    That could be prevented by stricter rules by parents.
    .-= George Serradinho´s last blog ..Serradinho’s 1st Guest Post =-.

    1. Yes, that is so, but parents have it a lot harder than our parents did. We were not bombarded with commercials left right and center, and then there is the peer pressure. Sometime parents give in because they do not want their kids to miss out.

  4. Are you really sure that we all turned out OK? LOL!

    I mean if one of us kids or our friends did not have a broken bone from falling out of a tree that summer then something was wrong.

    You couldn’t be fat & lazy because to make the short cut through the neighbors field meant running really fast from their Angus bull. Yes, we hid behind bushes & trees until he saw us & then RUUUUN!The barbed wire fence took a real skill to get over in a dress but, I learned. LOL!

    We also had spanking with a paddle in our school, that is how they cured ADD back then. No drugs just a butt beating & then another when you got home & your parents found out.

    OOO, these kids today have it so easy. To bad that they will suffer for it later. But, my parents thought I had it to easy.
    .-= Sheryl Loch´s last blog ..Don’t Miss SEO Fast Start 2009 =-.

    1. That is so true Sheryl. Man, I love it when you drop in to leave a comment, you have such a way with words. :wink_ee: I’ve always said that we were a lot tougher than kids today.

      It’s so pathetic that schools don’t like to fail them when they do poorly because it may harm them psychologically. Shit, we had one school that wanted to ban marking tests with red pen because it made it look bad. Sort of makes you wonder how the kids will be able to manage when they go out into the real world.

  5. I can only hope that children born in this generation will look back at things like Paris Hilton, Big Brother and Pop Idol with similar negativity :)

    BTW, if your interested in finding out more about the economy of dangerous cars I’d recommend watching the documentary An Unreasonable Man about Ralph Nader.
    .-= David Hopkins´s last blog ..Multi-threaded Stack Class for PHP =-.

    1. Hey Dave, who was being negative :laugh_tb: Seriously though, thanks for the tip, and for consistently commenting on my blog. I try to reciprocate on you blog, but I am not technically minded enough to leave a quality comment and I refuse to just leave a ‘nice post’ comment as you deserve so much more.

      1. On the negativity, I was refering to the smoking monthers and asbestos. I was saying that I hope things like Pop Idol (that TV program – may be called Australian Idol in Aus) will be viewed in the same way we now view smoking mothers and asbestos housing.

        No problem. My site is pretty niche content-wise and going even more so with the next post :|
        .-= David Hopkins´s last blog ..Multi-threaded Stack Class for PHP =-.

        1. :wallbash_tb: Now how could I miss the relevance to smoking mothers and asbestos :doh_tb: Thanks for pointing that out. As to commenting on your blog, I’ve decided to stumble and tweet the posts I like.

  6. Don’t forget the skateboards! I remember skateboarding when I was 12 and becoming one with the road, because back then, who used helmets? :)

    1. Barbabra, helmets, and what about elbow and knee pads? Man, are we wrapping them up in cotton wool or what? ;)

  7. First time reader on your blog. Interesting article there. I was born in the late 70’s and turn out fine without some of the stuff mention.

    Will be dropping back more often.
    .-= Buat Duit Online´s last blog ..Using Twitter to buat duit online =-.

    1. What an interesting name :ponder_tb: :wink_ee: It was nice of you to leave a comment. I hope you do will with your endeavor to ‘Make Money Online’

  8. Excellent article and for those of us, like me, who were born just in the 50’s every single word of it is 100% true.


    Does anyone remember ‘clackers’. That’s what we used to call them. Two hard plastic balls on a bit of string that you’d bash together as fast as you could, in a circular motion.

    If I had a penny for everyone I saw with a broken wrist…

    But when the cast came off they’d all go back and start playing with them again!

    Glad I dropped by. I shall be forcing my children to read this!

    1. I remember those things. I used to be pretty good with those, especially once I got them going, and yes, I also remember the bruised wrists. Thanks for reminding me Amin :laugh_tb:

    2. OMG!! Clackers!
      I had totally forgotten them.
      They were not dangerous unless you had done something mean (Like destuffed your sis’s favorite teddy bear). Wow, those were a wonderful equalizer. Proved to be good exercise for the lil sis & the big brothers she was chasing with them. Kids could cover 40 acres in nothing flat!

      But, that is something I would never do. ;)
      .-= Sheryl Loch´s last blog ..G’Day Mates, From Down Under =-.

      1. Did you manage to bruise your wrists at all Sheryl?

  9. I guess that’s why they call it the “good ole days”.

    I may not belong in that group but I do know that when I was younger, I don’t have to worry about my email inbox filling up, or my video card not being the latest one, or I forgot tweeting I’m eating breakfast.

    Sad to say, but I don’t think those times are coming back. It is now up to parents to supervise their kids. They can either let them do what kids their age are doing or introduce them to the glory of the “good ole days”.

    1. Yeah, funny that. My dad used to say it all the time and now I find myself saying it. Makes you wonder what our kids will tell their offspring, and if they are going to refer to it as being ‘the good old days’ sort of means the world is on a downward spiral.

      1. Hmmm… I guess we have to adapt to the changes. My father or any parents those days would often say: “kids these days”. And now, we also find ourselves saying that.

        If I ever had a kids in the future, I would rather have them running around the backyard and learn how to fall and pick themselves up than staying inside and playing computer games. In fact, I would even encourage them to play all they want outside. After all, I always find myself wishing I could still do those things I used to do when I was a kid. *sighs*

        1. Yeah, I know the feeling. trouble is that backyards aren’t what they used to be and they seem to be shrinking all the time. Wonder if there are any new planets out there that we could colonize? It’s only a matter of time, but we probably won’t be around when they open up that new frontier.

  10. Great!

    I loved this post because, it shows how much the life has changed in this 20-30 years. when i was young there was no internet, 100 channels, computer, games.

    the only entertainment/timepass was go out and play cricket or other games.
    .-= Nihar´s last blog ..June 2009 Blog Traffic & Income statistics =-.

    1. Yeah, and we had a blast didn’t we, not to mention all that fresh air.

  11. Aw this is an awesome e-mail, it just goes to show doesn’t it? How times have changed. For better or worse though? It’s a tough question.

    1. Thanks Ste, and I’m sure that every person you ask about the subject will have a different opinion.

  12. Twitter:
    Although I’ve seen this before, it’s kind of amazing that I see all these people writing here who were born in the 70’s; man, I’m feeling really old these days. :cry_tb:
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Michael Jackson =-.

    1. Don’t cry Mitch, I’m just as old as you are mate. :drunk_tb:

      1. Twitter:
        Maybe both of us should be crying then, Sire. It’s been a weirdly emotional last 10 days, that’s for sure. Starting to think more about my mortality; I hate that. :sleep_tb:
        .-= Mitch´s last blog ..How Goes A Webinar =-.

        1. No point in crying about it Mitch, Qhe Sera Sera and all that stuff. Besides, we’ve got a whole lot more years ahead of us mate.

          1. No comparison, Michael wasn’t exactly looking after himself, and apart from your sweet tooth, I’m pretty sure you take care of yourself.

          2. Twitter:
            I hope so; I’m betting Michael Jackson also thought he had a bunch of years ahead of him.

            Speaking of which, you notice how Dennis has disappeared? I think he’s sick again.
            .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Marketing Vs. Promoting =-.

  13. Twitter:
    I thought about that, Sire, but, you know, we ARE this age, and there was something that came out a couple days afterwards saying this is the most dangerous age for males because we forget that we can’t do what we used to be able to do and thus put the greatest strain on our hearts and the rest of our bodies in our 50’s.

    Yeah, I know, stop reading this stuff! :nono_tb: :happy_tb:
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Anonymity Of Blogging =-.

    1. That may be true for someone who having led a sedentary lifestyle suddenly panic and starts exercising madly because he believes it will prolong his life. Everything in moderation.

      My dad is 78 and going strong. Sure he has aches and pains, but the only thing holding him back is his eyesight which is failing due to his diabetes.

      1. Twitter:
        I expect you’re right, but you know I’m also diabetic, and I worry about my eyes. That, plus diabetics can have high incidences of heart disease if they’re not careful.

        Nope, better to start thinking of better things. :drunk_tb:
        .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Gigaware USB Stereo Headset =-.

        1. Yeah, I know, but my dad has been a diabetic since he was 27, and they didn’t know a whole lot about it then and so he probably did things that he shouldn’t have. He knows a lot more about it now and controls it really well.

          being careful is what it’s all about, you know that, and that’s why I expect you to look after yourself

  14. I think You’re a little bit overreacting the difference between generations. Of course there is always something like a huge cultural step from one generation to another, but we still can communicate and we’re still the same people. It depends on how a person can cope with running progression of technology, culture and fasion. Young people were not influented by earlier culture, so they take everything new as something normal, people who were influented by passed times feel that something has change – and they do not always like it. I would say – no big deal. Everyone sees future in his own way.
    .-= pozycjonowanie poznań´s last blog ..Odsiwiacz =-.

  15. Of course Pozy, everything you say is quite true, but when I posted this article I looked at is more as satire than anything else. Having said that, there is a lot of truth in it, and I reckon a lot of people can see some similarities with their life.

  16. Yeah times have really changed. All this technology like George said above. I never had a baby monitor and I ended up ok (well some would say so). Our parents didn’t feel they had to watch their children all the time..
    .-= Russ Marsh@baby video monitors´s last blog ..Summer Infant Day & Night Handheld =-.

  17. Truth be told I used a baby monitor, but only so I could hear the baby crying if I was working outside. You can never be too careful when kids are concerned.

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