Rushville Republican


March 21, 2013

Ward: We had fun in my youth

RUSHVILLE — I have wondered recently just how I managed to got through my first 75 years without a lot of things that the youngsters of today believe they just cannot get along without. Heck, I used to say my day was complete if I had just been able to be with friends all day long. Today, the youngsters have all kinds of entertainment. I believe at times they feel that they are to be entertained all the time. When I was young we had to make our own fun, not rely on a gadget to do it for us. We didn’t play video games, we didn’t have any. We would play Monopoly, cards, slips and anything else that might come to mind.

We made a lot of our own toys, such as rubber guns, skate boards of sorts or numerous other things that we found we could make and play with. I had a ball, as did most of my friends, when dad would have a refrigerator box we could play with. That cardboard box became whatever our minds made it. It was a train, car, house, shop; anything we wanted it to be. And it lasted for some time. When it wore out or we lost interest the flattened box made a great sled, summer or winter. In the summer we would wet down the grass and that made the cardboard slide quite well. We even used the container as a fort with our BB guns, something our parents were not aware of nor did any of us care to inform them of.

Hodges Branch ran all the time back then and even had small fish and huge numbers of crawdads in it. We would make homemade boats out of scrap wood and float them down the water all the way to Memorial Park and watch them go underground out to the other end of town. We had baseball leagues in the summer, but if we had a mitt we were happy. Now, my grandsons have a huge bag full that they lug to each and every game and practice. Heck, not all of us even had a baseball let along a baseball mitt. Now, everyone has their own bat, mitt, head gear (which we would never have used, too sissy for us) gloves, balls and numerous other items it is felt needed to play baseball.

If any of us had a dime in our pockets at any one time we felt pretty well heeled. We could get a soft drink, one scoop ice cream cone or even a candy bar for that dime. Our favorite place to shop was Danners Five and Ten or Ben Franklin Five and Ten. They had numerous items that cost a dime or nickel and we knew just what we wanted and could afford; so, we were never in debt. If we couldn’t pay for it we just didn’t get it. No charging or anything like that; cash and carry only in most places. I saved for a couple of weeks to buy my yearly bamboo fishing pole from Fishers Hardware downtown and a new bobber and some hooks from Western Auto.

When I lived on Second Street right by Metzger Lumber Company I would go to their shop and con Bob Fudge into some boards for a boat. He would find a small piece of wood that was not big enough to use and then saw a front and back of a boat, put on a dowel for a sail, even help me find a sail to put on the dowel. Bob was a nice guy and enjoyed the youngsters who stood at the door and dreamed big dreams as they watched him cut those big boards up. It was fun just to stand and watch. We enjoyed the same thing by watching the local Coca Cola Bottling Plant doing their thing on a weekly or even daily basis. We would stand on the sidewalk in front of the plant and watch through large glass windows as they bottled everyone’s favorite drink.

At night, our parents might take us to the bowling alley above the Coke plant. There were only four lanes and some teens got jobs as pin boys. They would pick up the downed pins and put them in a machine that would, when they wanted, drop down and put the pins upright in the correct spot. They also sent the bowling ball back to the player. Some managed to get hurt by being hit with a tossed bowling ball, but it paid fairly well so there was no lack of takers for the job. Everyone had to keep score by hand, too; no computers that did it for you.

To me, the biggest difference between my youth and today’s is we actually talked back and forth. I have seen teens today sitting right across from each other and looking each other in the eye and texting back and forth. This is realistic how? We made do with so little I can’t help but think our youth of today are spoiled with computers. iPads, iPods, Kindles, all kinds of stuff that has come along within the last 30 years or so. Frankly, I am not too sure it is for the best for our future generations.


Text Only
  • This column will self-destruct in 5 seconds I've become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of "Mission: Impossible" DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to

    April 15, 2014

  • Don't sweat the small things There are a few things in life that really get under my skin, one of which is complaining. Yes, I complain sometimes, but it doesn't last too long at all before I put myself in check. There was a story this week that really touched my heart and like

    April 15, 2014

  • The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 15, 2014

  • Self deposit box I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 15, 2014

  • Change can be done here In previous columns I've suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushvill

    April 15, 2014

  • Second hand rose...or fashionista? "Fashion is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma"....John Fairchild 1940's sensible shoes with a '70's midi-skirt. High waist skirts with over the knee boots. Polka dot shirts with bell-bottom pants. Retro fashion is here to stay, and w

    April 11, 2014

  • Mankind is not causing global warming Back on Feb. 26 of this year, an article appeared on with the following headline, "Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific proof humans are dominant cause of warming climate." Here's what Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist and co-founder of

    April 8, 2014

  • One fine day True story here: a long time ago, a young woman from Cincinnati daydreams of growing up and meeting a nice man, getting married, learning to cook, having two children, etc. etc. Eventually, it all comes true for her. Except it all happens in a major

    April 8, 2014

  • It is time we take back our country What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    April 8, 2014

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was cleaning binge, you've nev

    April 8, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.