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Old 09-20-2013, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Woods
2,573 posts, read 2,700,840 times
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In the town that I grew up in, I remember a time when my town had a bowling alley, a drive-in theatre, a couple of small ice cream shops, a mini-golf course, a flea market, little league games, roadside fruit stands, and even a lake that people swam in for free, with a rope swing. I used to see people walking down the road with fishing poles in hand, and kids in pickup trucks wearing wet swim trunks after a dip in the lake. Now many lakes have chain link fences around them! All of these pastimes seem to now be gone.

Is this common across America? Or is this way of life mostly gone? I suspect that now:

- no need for drive-ins, as people have entertainment at home
- no need for bowling alleys, as people have Wii bowling and mini-golf
- most people now just go to the supermarket and buy Ben and Jerrys to eat at home
- flea markets take up too much space with not enough profit
- kids are homebodies and parents are too afraid to let kids play
- swimming in lakes for free are a hazard and do not generate any money

I think that people are less happy today and many studies show that many Americans see the future as being worse than the past, because we've all ensured our safety and buried ourselves in little safe cocoons. I think part of our unhappiness is due to our disconnect from the loss of these pastimes.

What are people doing nowadays for fun? Just shopping? Drinking at TGIF? I hope to find a place to live that still has some of these old time pastimes.

It seems like the new most important things are how much data your phone gets, who said what on Facebook and Twitter, cool apps, and finding new ways to get free TV or cable. But no one bats an eye when a chain link fence blocks off a lake or the local bowling alley shuts down. My search continues to find that elusive old fashioned place.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:26 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,844 posts, read 33,318,488 times
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You should read the book "Bowling Alone" by Robert Putnam. It offers some theories for why this happened. There's a summary on Wikipedia.

Bowling Alone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:40 AM
 
8,854 posts, read 10,923,465 times
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I don't get too nostalgic, but as teenagers, we did have fun doing basic stuff--walked everywhere--down street, to the local strip mall, to Dunkin Donuts, cemetery. Everything was kind of an adventure. We had a blast everywhere we went. I remember we walked across the bridge to another city to have lunch--just for the fun of it. I do remember walking a lot. Our local drive-in had the worst tasting hot dogs, were steamed or something, lousy pizza, too, like cardboard, but we had fun every time we went there. Funny thing looking back is we were pretty active and not too bored even though technology was not much in the 70's. We were creative I guess.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:48 AM
 
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Technology has turned most of us into anti-social misfits. Cell phones, computers and electronic gaming are pretty much all many have or want any time for....it's very sad.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Woods
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
You should read the book "Bowling Alone" by Robert Putnam. It offers some theories for why this happened. There's a summary on Wikipedia.

Bowling Alone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This book sounds interesting- I'll have to check it out.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:27 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,410 posts, read 19,690,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
In the town that I grew up in, I remember a time when my town had a bowling alley, a drive-in theatre, a couple of small ice cream shops, a mini-golf course, a flea market, little league games, roadside fruit stands, and even a lake that people swam in for free, with a rope swing. I used to see people walking down the road with fishing poles in hand, and kids in pickup trucks wearing wet swim trunks after a dip in the lake. Now many lakes have chain link fences around them! All of these pastimes seem to now be gone.
I often take my kids to swimming pools, parks, libraries, shopping malls and fairs.

Do these count as community activities?
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:44 AM
 
57,081 posts, read 81,489,054 times
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Luckily, you can still find communities up here where you can do many, if not all, of these things.

Actually, a place that comes to mind with many of those things is an area where your relatives lived.
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Woods
2,573 posts, read 2,700,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Luckily, you can still find communities up here where you can do many, if not all, of these things.

Actually, a place that comes to mind with many of those things is an area where your relatives lived.
I hear ya. And its been frustrating to not be able to find the right financial opportunity to make it up that way. Upstate has been on my radar for a long time for what I perceived to be the quality of life I want.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:42 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,646 posts, read 14,440,329 times
Reputation: 23784
Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
In the town that I grew up in, I remember a time when my town had a bowling alley, a drive-in theatre, a couple of small ice cream shops, a mini-golf course, a flea market, little league games, roadside fruit stands, and even a lake that people swam in for free, with a rope swing. I used to see people walking down the road with fishing poles in hand, and kids in pickup trucks wearing wet swim trunks after a dip in the lake. Now many lakes have chain link fences around them! All of these pastimes seem to now be gone.

Is this common across America? Or is this way of life mostly gone?
It's still around if you know where to look. We have all that here except the rope swing and the fishing poles, although I suspect I wouldn't have to look too far to find either one.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:14 PM
 
11,926 posts, read 33,036,935 times
Reputation: 8723
Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageSunlight View Post
In the town that I grew up in, I remember a time when my town had a bowling alley, a drive-in theatre, a couple of small ice cream shops, a mini-golf course, a flea market, little league games, roadside fruit stands, and even a lake that people swam in for free, with a rope swing. I used to see people walking down the road with fishing poles in hand, and kids in pickup trucks wearing wet swim trunks after a dip in the lake. Now many lakes have chain link fences around them! All of these pastimes seem to now be gone.

Is this common across America? Or is this way of life mostly gone? I suspect that now:

- no need for drive-ins, as people have entertainment at home
- no need for bowling alleys, as people have Wii bowling and mini-golf
- most people now just go to the supermarket and buy Ben and Jerrys to eat at home
- flea markets take up too much space with not enough profit
- kids are homebodies and parents are too afraid to let kids play
- swimming in lakes for free are a hazard and do not generate any money
You can find all of that in Cookeville, Tennessee.
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