May 22, 2013
Gal Fun Before Technology
Here are only a few listener responses about what girls did for fun before there were laptops, smartphones and Game Boys…
I grew up in Michigan on a dead-end street. We were always up and down the street with our friends/neighbors, riding our bikes, playing kick-ball, or jumping-rope. We climbed trees and pretended we were explorers, had a fun time just sitting up there and talking. My dad built us a playhouse next to a tree with a thick rope hanging in it. We played "Tarzan" and "Cowboys" and put on little skits for neighborhood kids, complete with selling "pop" for a nickel a bottle. My girlfriend and I would read in the playhouse on rainy days and we "camped" in it in the summer with my mom and dad checking in on us frequently. We played different ball games against the door of the garage and roller-skated on the sidewalks and driveways of our street. We were fortunate enough to have an in-ground swimming pool so my friends had many hot summer days of swimming in our pool, having races and diving for coins on the bottom. As a young girl, playing with our "Tammy" dolls was also fun and we spent some time making some of the outfits they wore. In the winter we played board and card games, hide-and-seek in the basement, ping-pong and listened to music, making things/crafts. Outside there were snowball fights, building forts of snow, sledding and ice-skating. We were called in by my dad's whistle or when the street lights came on. There was TV of course, and favorites were the Westerns of the 60s... Life was fluid then, we were in and out of friends' homes; moms gave us snacks; and we enjoyed the occasional sleep-over. We needed permission to venture off the street, otherwise we were deemed "safe" and enjoyed blissful freedom.
I grew up on a farm where my favorite pastime was horseback riding. Other activities included neighboring farm kids who hiked to our place where the maple trees formed a natural baseball diamond. We rode our bikes to school and generally spent free time outside the house and active.
We played outside. We made mud pies and built forts. Different parts of the yard or houses were our territories. Inside we played dress-up, played board games, built indoor tents with chairs and blankets. My big sister would play school with us and teach us math, science, and history. If there was no one to play with and the TV was off limits, I would read the encyclopedia, do puzzles, play solitaire. Also when we were older, we helped around the house and worked in the family business.
Back in the late 60's and early 70's, there were no malls to walk around in. My friends and I would walk to a nearby shopping center where there were variety stores and a couple of eateries. We would shop for nail polish or hair stuff and afterwards stop for a burger or a submarine sandwich. I would get together at my friends' homes and listen to the latest record and practice the latest dance steps.
I remember reading books and the latest teen magazines, watching "The Monkees" or "The Beatles" shows on Saturdays. Our only "electronic device" was the telephone and my folks limited the time I was on the phone, because there was no call waiting.
Posted by Staff at 9:57 AM