It is often said that life was simpler when folks spent more time on the front porch and there was no drug problem. I agree that life sure seemed simpler when I was spending time on the front porches of my youth. However, I don’t agree that there was no drug problem. I personally experienced some of the drug problems of that era. Plus, I recently I read an internet posting that reinforced the fact that, beginning in early childhood, we kids of my generation were plagued by drug problems. The drugs to which we were exposed weren’t cocaine, meth or any of the designer drugs that plague the current generation. Nonetheless, they altered the lives of many who grew up in that era.
Whether a family birthday celebration, wedding or funeral occurred when the temperature was mild, extremely hot or severely cold, we were drug away from our play to attend it. No amount of complaining about a belly ache or other minor ailment got us excused from attending these events. Also, we were drug to school or community sponsored sporting, social and cultural events and the most likely result of faking illness to get out of attending got us the threat of a dose of castor oil.
We learned about civic duty by being drug to the homes of elderly or ill folks who needed help mowing their lawn, weeding their garden, fixing their clothesline, chopping their wood or doing other small chores. If our parents discovered that we had accepted even the smallest monetary reward for helping these folks, we were drug back to the source to return this gratuity.
When we disrespected an adult, we were drug by an ear to face the person and issue an apology. Accepting responsibility for acts of rebellion, rudeness, immorality or unpleasant behavior was taught in the woodshed or out behind the barn. Whenever we disobeyed our parents, told a lie, stole something, didn’t put forth our best effort or got “too big for our britches”, we were drug to one of these places, where our attitude was adjusted by the application of a paddle or hickory stick to the bottom.
We were drug to church twice on Sunday. On Wednesday evening we were drug to prayer meeting. During the summer, we were drug to Vacation Bible School every day for two weeks.
Uttering a profanity or using vulgar language, got us drug into the kitchen where our mouth was washed with Granny’s Lye Soap.
Yes, I was a member of a drug culture in my youth and those drugs continue to affect my behavior and influence everything I do, say, or think. Furthermore, I’m grateful to the adults who took the time to administer these drugs to me. I believe that today’s society would benefit from more of this type of drug. God bless those who drugged me.
Betty Freeman Haines, an author and award winning columnist, lives in Mesquite, NV. Her books/e-books, Reluctant Hero and Grieving Sucks or Does It, can be ordered from amazon.com. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org