Good old days

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor -

The 1960s were my child­hood years, and what a great time it was. I was too young to un­der­stand the trou­ble in South­east Asia; but old enough to ap­pre­ci­ate that there was some­thing in­ter­est­ing about the op­po­site sex, and that sand­lots seemed to be made es­pe­cially for play­ing ball. Through­out the sum­mer, base­ball ruled the day. In the fall, we turned to foot­ball. Oc­ca­sion­ally we’d find a garage with a bas­ket­ball hoop, and in the win­ter we’d grab our skates and sticks and head for a patch of ice.

Many good and last­ing mem­o­ries were cre­ated in those years. They were the good old days of youth and in­no­cence. Imag­ine: It all hap­pened with­out the over­sight of coaches, par­ents, sand­lot own­ers with their li­a­bil­ity con­cerns, etc. It was just kids who gath­ered to have a great time play­ing ball.

We learned on our own how to im­pro­vise and com­pro­mise for the sake of keep­ing the game and the fun go­ing. We had base­ball rules such as right field out, pitch­ers hands out, and that won­der­ful thing called the do-over. There were no called balls and strikes, but that was fine be­cause we wanted to hit and field the ball. We learned a lit­tle bit along the way about lead­er­ship and con­flict res­o­lu­tion as well.

When I con­trast those times with the things that are hap­pen­ing to­day, it sad­dens me. The very thought of a par­ent bring­ing a gun to a ball field to make sure that his son gets enough play­ing time is sim­ply be­yond my abil­ity to com­pre­hend. What a me­mory that must have cre­ated for ev­ery­one who had to wit­ness the ter­ri­ble event.

It’s high time we look at where we have come and where we are headed in this world of or­ga­nized sports for our chil­dren. Let’s bring back to our kids some of that good old days’ in­no­cence.

Now we are also hear­ing about schools ban­ning any games of tag on the play­ground be­cause chil­dren might get hurt. Please, can we get a lit­tle per­spec­tive on things and let kids be kids? Jim Hutchens Wixom, Michi­gan

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