A Time When The House Doors Were Unlocked
A Simpler Time
I’m sure many of us who are a little older can remember a time when things were simpler and uncomplicated.
I grew up in the 50’s on a small dairy farm in southeastern Indiana.
times were hard , my dad and mom had purchased an extremely
impoverished farm when I was three years old. We ,along with my brother
, who came along later, spent the next several years restoring it to a
more productive state. The farm was so over grown with weeds that after
living there for a while, dad had time to mow the weeds around the barn
and lo and behold! He found a hog house no one knew was there.
soil was totally depleted, the first year’s twelve acre corn crop
yielded a whooping two hundred bushels of corn. Hard to live on that.
Fortunately, about that same time, turkey raising came into fashion,the
following year dad purchased and raised 1000 turkeys. The resulting
turkey by-product increased the corn yield from 200 bushels to 1200
bushels on that very same field.
This was a time when neighbors
were neighbors, we used each others farm equipment and tools like they
were our own, if dad couldn’t find a tool or wrench, it was probably
over at the neighbors. As a result, while picking up one our own tools
he would return one of theirs.
Our doors were never locked, no
one would break in and steal anything. In fact if one happened to be
away it was desired(it almost became a state law) that the neighbors
had to stop by and check the house to make sure everything was OK.
one had a gun, we had several neatly stacked in the corner of the
kitchen, an ample supply of ammunition, and fireworks) could be found
in the cabinet drawer.
I started hunting with a 22 rifle when I was about 9, a rifle given to me for Christmas
by my parents. Did I or any kid I know pick up or use a fire arm
without permission of their parents, are you kidding? We would have
gotten skun alive. Back in those days parental authority and respect
meant something, and the only rights a child had were the rights his
parents gave him. So, what’s wrong with that?
Did kids take guns
to school? Sure, but they were left in the car, it wasn’t really
allowed to have a gun in the car, but, how else are you going to trade
a gun with your buddy? No one would even think of shooting or aiming
the weapon at a human being. I wasn’t even allowed to aim a cap gun at
anyone. My mom had a fit the ONLY time I ever did it.
The guns were
used not only for hunting but as a crime deterrent as well, ain’t
nobody gonna break into a house if they think grandpa might be sittin’
there with his loaded 12 gauge shotgun or muzzle loader.
taught gun control and safety as well as the importance of not taking
some one’s life unless your own life was in danger. We were taught to
aim for the legs first, and after that, if our life or our family was
threatened ,and if the feller didn’t stop, it was our obligation to do
whatever was necessary to protect ourselves and family.
only in this arena , but in all aspects of our life, it was taught and
assumed that the individual knew better how to run and control his own
life than any government official ever could, it was impressed upon us
by every one in our circle of acquaintances that it was our
responsibility to keep the government out of our lives as much as possible. Whatever happened to this concept?
days ended in 1963 when the farm was sold and we moved to town. It was
a little hard explaining to the new owners why a key to the front door
was no where to be found.