Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Wednesday's Post

April 2, 2014

What happened to the safety of childhood?

April 2, 2014 — In the years before air conditioning, we slept soundly and safely with the screen door often unlatched.

Our family home never had a working lock on an outside door until our parents died and it became a rental property.

We left our bikes on the creek bank with no identifying marks. Our gym lockers didn’t have locks.

A woman in our neighborhood left her car keys in the ignition every night so they wouldn’t get misplaced.

My grandparents and other folks regularly sent and received cash by mail.

My wife and her sister were elementary school age when they walked 30 blocks to and from swimming lessons without an adult companion.

Her sister walked a mile unescorted to and from kindergarten as a five-year-old.

As teenagers, my friends and I hitchhiked everywhere and we never hesitated to get into a stranger’s car. My brother did the same as a young sailor stationed on the Atlantic Coast.

My friend began babysitting by herself as a 10-year-old. She also walked a mile to and from a grocery store at that age.

As a boy growing up, my father-in-law often slept outside on his family’s lawn or front porch to escape the heat of summer nights.

A young bride and her husband drove across the country and camped in interstate highway rest areas without a tent.

We ate homemade Halloween popcorn balls and candied apples and peanut butter fudge and never thought of waiting for Mom to examine each trick-or-treat bag.

As kids, we happily rode around in the bed of our neighbor’s pickup truck and begged him to go faster.

Today, you would end up in jail or a court-ordered custody hearing for subjecting our loved ones to situations like those described above.

And we call this progress?

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Wednesday's Post
  • Old hospital is gone but not the memories

    Today’s concern about the fiscal health of Kentucky’s rural hospitals reminded me of one of my assignments as a reporter many years ago. I was sent by the Ashland Independent to Grayson to write a story about the closing of Stovall Memorial Hospital, the place of my birth some 24 years earlier.

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Who’s gonna fill their shoes’ a key question

    That question was the title of a great country song released in 1985 by the legendary George Jones. That scenario also applies today to the communities we call home and our local organizations that make life better for all of us.

    July 23, 2014

  • When neighbors were really neighbors…

    Lately I’ve been remembering why I’m glad I grew up in a small town where neighbors were really neighbors, not just someone who lived next door or across the road.

    July 16, 2014

  • I don’t have a pet animal but I do have pets

    After a lifetime of listening to friends and co-workers talk incessantly about their pets, I have decided to share some words about mine…my pet peeves.

    July 9, 2014

  • I make no apologies for loving my country

    Friday is the birthday of the United States of America. As an American, I’m incredibly proud of that fact.

    July 2, 2014

  • Can’t everyone grow their own vegetables?

    The sight of home vegetable gardens brings to mind a gardening adventure worth sharing. My friend and I heard someone say at church that growing your own vegetables could save money while providing your family with better, fresher food.

    June 25, 2014

  • ‘Let’s go fly a kite’ is more than a song title

    Are you concerned that too many kids today are preoccupied with handheld electronic devices and don’t know how to play outdoors? I, too, shared those feelings until a recent visit to the seashore with my grandchildren.

    June 18, 2014

  • Old ways, old days sometimes look better

    Dr. Jack Ellis, Morehead’s senior resident historian and a dear friend, sent me a copy of a clipping from the Jan. 24, 1935, issue of the Rowan County News, now called The Morehead News. “Woman fined in county court for gossiping” is the headline.

    June 11, 2014

  • Where do we find such men…and women?

    The tiny American flags fluttered in the breeze of a beautiful day. The hillside cemetery outside Grayson seemed to be covered with them like spring flowers. Again, I was awestruck by the sight of so many red, white and blue symbols of personal courage and patriotism.

    June 4, 2014

  • The ups and downs of a political journey

    In the spirit of this political season, I am recounting the tale of an affable chap who loved politics but found the winner’s circle only once.

    May 28, 2014

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