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First, you don't find 10-20 kids playing out in the streets these days in that there are rarely more than one or child per house in a lot of neighborhoods.
This is a very good point. During my young years in Wyoming there were some "prolific" families with offspring numbering into the double digits. (Mom would always snicker, "They're Black or Catholic, maybe both?" ) But few were the households with less than two kids. Nine families that included children lived on my childhood street while we did. One had one child, one had five, and the rest all boasted two or three. Many a sunny afternoon on that cul-de-sac was spent playing tag, Simon Says, hide-and-seek, Red Rover, Mother-May-I, pickup baseball or football or whatever, and "fossil hunting" in the woods. Dusk called for firefly ("lightning bug") catch-and-release expeditions. Snowstorms were eagerly anticipated, for they brought the opportunity to sled or toboggan on the steep hill at the end of the block. Whenever somebody got their bike upgraded to one with a "banana seat," or an "English racer," that called for showing it off all over the neighborhood. When dinnertime rolled around - none of the mothers worked outside the home - some of the kids knew to listen for a special whistle while others got their names shouted. That was when you'd hear, "Awwww MOM, can we stay out for maybe ten more minutes PLEEEZ?" TV didn't have the pull that it had today then. If anybody was in front of the tube, it was for "Uncle Al" in the morning and Hattie the Witch in the afternoon. With three "main" channels (five if your set picked up Dayton stations), Channel 19, and Channel 48 - which was "educational TV" that you only watched when you had to - television was mainly a fall-back for rainy days, or when being "disciplined" meant having to stay indoors.
WOW are things different now. My sis and BIL in Loveland have gotten no end of comments, sympathetic and otherwise, over the years for having brought four sons into the world. (It used to be that heads wouldn't turn unless a family had eight or more kids.) While those boys got a heapin' helpin' of spontaneous street play "the way it used to be" as I mentioned upthread, they also were put through quite a bit of regimented recreation. Their parents were schlepping them all over the Tri-State for YMCA etc tournaments and "traveling team" stuff starting at age six. When their mom was working outside home, they were in day care. The daily "TV allowance" allotted to my sisters and me became not only a TV allowance but one for computer games too. With the eldest of those sibs having just turned 20, the start of my family's next generation will probably occur within ten to fifteen years. I wonder whether any of those kids will ever be called to supper with a special whistle.
All through the 1960's and '70s in Wyoming, there were lots of baseball + swimming + football etc programs for kids. If you weren't given a flyer at school, league announcements were always in the Millcreek Valley News. Inevitably, the go-to person for signing up your child(ren) or volunteering to coach was a man named Gene Pittman. Despite having a boatload of offspring himself he devoted untold hours of his time to making those programs happen. When news came of his death, I was genuinely shocked to learn that Mr Pittman had been employed by P & G. "Oh yes, I worked with him for many years," confirmed my dad. Who knew? I thought the Wyoming rec programs were his job. That level of dedication, particularly to other people's children, is hard to come by today. Which brings me to mentioning another huge social change - working women. My mom, with her college background and love of "life sciences," was relegated to lab tech work due to gender discrimination. She changed her occupation to "housewife" once we kids entered the world, because "that's what was done." Most of the neighborhood mothers during my youth were well educated, and many even held advanced degrees. But sexist norms dictated that they channel their intelligence into "decorating with flair" and making meals the family enjoyed. At the same time, many a man who'd've loved nothing more than to be a stay-at-home dad trudged off to work each morning. In 2010, gender parity in the workplace is the rule and not the exception. (My own boss is an AA woman over 60, which a generation ago would've been "unthinkable" in three ways!) The '70s ad slogan, ironically for cigarettes, put it well: "You've come a long way, baby." But there are still heavy stigmas put on men for being househusbands, with the consequence being that even when the family can afford living on one income the expectation is there for Dad to bring home the bacon. And why shouldn't Mom realize her occupational/professional potential too? Little Joanna and Johnny can spend the day in day care, then go on a play date until one of the parents gets home. And a dog walker can be paid to take Rover out for exercise and pick up his doodoo. Maybe now that it's not weird for a woman to hold a full-time job, the pendulum will continue to swing. In another few decades perhaps it won't be weird for a man to be "homeroom parent" + meal maker + guardian of the kids on the block while they play in the street. Stranger things have happened. But in the meantime neighborhoods will remain unnaturally quiet.
"Red Rover, Red Rover, we call goyguy over..."
The house I lived in when I was very young was a 1960 ranch in Miami Heights. The house I grew up in was a 1967 split level in Bridgetown. Again, it was a new house that my parents had built, and it was one of the first houses on the street. My mom is the only original house owner left.
I know there is some criticism here of post-World War II Western Hills housing, and I don't dispute all of it, but I think my mom's street is an exception, at least with the first homes built. She refuses to replace the kitchen cabinets (although the doors and hardware have been replaced) because the 1967 cabinets are so much deeper than the ones sold today. And it's got hardwood floors in the living room and bedrooms. She's done a lot of updating and keeps the yard landscaped too. The house even has the original closet doors which have never needing fixing.
Wow, she has lived in the same house since 1967? That is pretty cool. The house my parents built in 64 or 65, can't imagine them still in it. In fact they have had 7 or 8 houses since then! It must be fun to go back to you old house whenever you want!
My parents still live in the house we moved into during 1972 (a 1941 Colonial.) As for the house we moved from, a 1926 Tudor they'd bought in '59, it hasn't changed hands in 38 years either. Two of the four kids in the buyer's family were classmates of my sisters and I - the night of my high school graduation found me celebrating at my childhood home! Fate had it that the male head of that household passed away last month, with the funeral taking place while I was in town, so I renewed acquaintances with the widow and my school chum at the visitation.
I grew up off North Bend and Argus. Technicall College Hill. Lived there from 72-93 and my sister still lives there.
You can go on the Hamilton County Tax assessor website and type in a address and see what the house looks like. Creepy but yeah big brother has picutres of our houses online someplace.
When I lived on my street "white flight" had already taken place. There was one white woman who was married to a black man on our street. Most of the residents were older, working-class people. There were some rowdy teens on my block for a little while but they moved away. Then there was an influx of secition 8 dwellers --sigh--. HOWEVER, I used to LOVE the streets in Finneytown for trick-or-treating. Some of the streets North of North Bend and heading towards Winton STILL have very nice streets and that area is still mostly white (that I last saw). Also some streets behind Pleasant Hill have nice homes and remain majority white, but the residents are older.
I would say Pleasant Hill has to be about 99.99% black by now.
No CDCDGUY the area we are referring to is College Hill-entirely different neighborhood. Pleasant Hill is the elementary school that serves a portion and College Hill Elementary serves the other 1/2.
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