Although I know that is not the case, I still feel that way some days. I actually calculate my life goal in five-year increments. In other words, my goal at this point is to reach 55.
That may not sound too lofty to you, but for me it is hard to see beyond that far.
It seems as if my life has developed throughout many chapters in a book. Writing these columns is only one chapter in many that I have experienced.
It is your input and comments that keep me writing and talking about a more simple time in my life.
I grew up in a time that we rode bicycles without helmets. I am sure my friends and I crashed those bikes many times.
However, I do not remember anyone getting hurt too badly. Today a parent wouldn’t think of letting a child ride a bike without head protection.
I grew up in a time when the playgrounds were filled with steel slides and monkey bars. You could find rust at every angle of the playground equipment.
Those playgrounds have been replaced with hard plastic to eliminate the exposure to rust. I guess that’s the reason. Or maybe it was too easy to get hurt while playing on steel. No matter the reason, things have changed.
I grew up in a time when corporal punishment was allowed in school and homes.
Not only was it allowed, it was expected. There were no calls to DFCS when you got a spanking.
You just took it and learned a lesson from it.
Nothing has changed in our world any more than this. It is no longer acceptable to use corporal punishment in the schools or at home.
I can only guess that is because we have evolved as a nation and are more humane with our little ones.
However, as I grew up there was no real drug problems, no gang problems, and students didn’t talk back to teachers.
If you got a paddling at school, a spanking was surely waiting on you when you got home.
We now have drugs, gangs, talking back to teachers, talking back to parents, and pretty much anything else you can think of that is bad. But, I guess that is OK as long as we don’t do anything to damage the self-esteem of our children.
You may read this and disagree with me and that is certainly your right and I will respect it. But for many of you, I am guessing you understand what I am saying.
I grew up in a time when we played outdoors every day. Of course we didn’t have the technology of today so I have no doubt that was a factor.
We made up games to play outdoors. We didn’t want to be made to come inside.
We had very little as compared to today but we were able to think out of the box out of necessity. It was also a time when you knew your neighbors and it was safe for children to be outdoors. Today, not so much.
I grew up in a day when family names were in sync with different communities and cities. Ball Ground had the Holcombs, Woodstock had the Johnstons, Canton had the Jones’s, Hickory Flat had the Adams, Keithburg had the Hensons and Ghorleys, Waleska had the Clines, Free Home had the Lathems and Holbrooks, and there are others I am sure.
Some are still there. But many new people have moved in and probably will never know that correlation.
It will never again be like it was when I was a boy. But as one song says, it is a wonderful world.
Lawrence Fitts called me recently to talk about some of my columns. He was a great educator in Cherokee County before he retired.
William and Marie Parker came by my office a few days ago because they had heard I wrote a book and they wanted a copy.
I hated to disappoint them but a book would be a lofty goal for someone like me. But we did talk about their memories and we ended the talk all better for it.
Many of you have mentioned the column to me. With sincerity and love, thank you.
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.