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And free range dogs who were never tied up and slept in the shade while a ton of kids played 500 up.

minstrel hussain boy

it's impossible for me to imagine a more "free range" childhood than the rez. which doesn't mean that we weren't watched out for and over. it just means that, for most of the time, we were in charge of ourselves. walkable distance is an entirely different measurement on the rez.

i also remember it not being unusual for me, and most the other kids in school, to show up in the morning carrying a .22 in case there was some small game scared up on the way there or back home. we would come into the classrom (yep, just the one) and put our little rifles (unloaded and bolts or breeches opened to prove that at a glance) in the corner to wait for the trip home.

nobody ever felt threatened by those weapons. they were not for use on humans. they were treasured possessions and often the difference between eating and going hungry.

El Jefe

More to say on this tomorrow (wonderful comment, mhb) but for now: nice glasses, chief :)


I think it's been a really recent development. My childhood in the 80's was also pretty "free range." Some of that was the character of the neighborhood (big difference between growing up as a white kid in a relatively self-contained community in Alabama and just about anything else), but I don't think I was some anomaly of the time. There are a few things I could chalk that up to, but nothing I'm really certain about. Mostly I think there are a lot of people making money from selling fear, and the market's a lot better than you'd expect.


When I was ten I was trusted to ride my bike a few miles through the heart of West Los Angeles traffic to get to school. Part of that was Mom not driving, but the rest of it was just assumed. "If you wanna go somewhere, you're gonna have to walk or bike."

Chris the cop

Does the Mann ion in the Cub Scout suit look like your oldest or what?


A lot of it is the suburbs, which are terrible for children, especially teenagers. My nieces grew up in New York City, and they walked, biked, took buses, the subway or rode in taxis (in a pinch). They had limits, but they were pretty free range. It was like that when I was growing up too. In the city, there are always people watching out for you, even if they aren't moms or dads.


I'm a bit disturbed that you seem to have left broken glass on the sidewalk! tch tch

Lance Mannion

muddy, great, now I've got something else to feel guilty about.


That's what you get for growing up Catholic.

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