‘Til the Streetlights Came On – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
6:30 a.m.: The thud of the paper on the front porch – two hours until ‘game time.’ (It took until 8:30 for the morning commute traffic to clear our streets, which would then remain virtually car-free until 4:30 that afternoon.)
7:00 a.m.: The gurgle of your family’s coffee pot churning out its black gold – ninety minutes until game time.
7:30 a.m.: The roar of Mr. Pruschetti’s Plymouth wagon… T-Minus sixty minutes and counting.
Cued by this melliferous morning melee, we headed down for a bowl of frosted something-or-others and listened for a signal from which we drew further indications of what the day held in store. Our communication network was closer to the beating of tribal drums than today’s web of technology. We moved to the sounds of our world with sublime synchronicity. Noises that seemed inconsequential to others were Morse code to our awaiting ears. We simply listened to the world around us – and we knew what to do.
Now those were the days! If you were a kid growing up from the 1950s to the 1980s, you can very possibly relate to this. This was the time when we had no cell phones, no texting, and no computer games. This was the time when we actually ‘played.’ There were organized sports for those lucky enough to live in an area that offered them or if you family could afford to pay for you to participate but for those who couldn’t, your games were organized by those who played. Sometimes it even became the one who had the ball or bat or glove. As to where you played, a lot of times it was in the road or if you were lucky, the vacant lot. Those were the days of not only having real, honest fun but also the days of self teaching and learning lessons that would follow you through the rest of your life.
As Author Daniel J. Porter spreads out his childhood stories, I can’t help but think about the kids of today. As we expand more and more each day into the computer world I can’t help but feel that today’s kids are missing out on so much. Other than technology, what are today’s kids learning? Can a computer game teach them team work? Can a computer game teach them respect for others? Can a computer game teach them to share? Sadly I fell the answer to these questions have to be answered with a no. Yes there are organized sports and events that kids can participate in but the accomplishment of organizing, bring the players together, setting up the rules of fairness and most of all, making those friendships and memories that will last a lifetime can’t be found in a computer game.
As I read ‘Til the Streetlights Came On I took a wonderful walk down memory lane. It also made me feel sorry for the kids of today. They are missing out on so much. Maybe, just maybe, this book will help wake us up and get the kids outside where the real fun begins. It’s a book I recommend be read, especially by young parents.