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July 10, 2015

A number of readers got a kick out of the last story, about how we kids spent our summer days in the years before unsupervised play was considered neglect. Many of you fondly remembered how you spent the long summer days of your youths.

James asked:

Did you ever flip baseball cards on your living room floor to break the summer boredom?

Rita adds:

That’s what we did during summer vacation before the Internet, video games, and tennis, golf, t-ball, and art camps. Used our imaginations and indulged in fantasies. I spent a summer studying my “beatnik” neighbor to see what being a beatnik was.

Beth recalls:

Funny! I never did this, but plenty of similar things: you know, that “pointless” stuff that kids used to be able to do without adult interference – stuff without any “educational” value, like systematically writing out all possible four-digit combinations, or sitting in a closet for hours reading Superheroes comics or roaming the fields behind our house – alone – (where I once found a huge dead fish and played around with it) or whatever else!

Cara simply found the story amusing:

That was hilarious!

Albert said:

My parents just let us go. We spent our days playing Cowboys and Indians, collecting insects, making up silly games, riding our bikes for miles. It was the best time of my life.

I think many of us agree. I. for one, wouldn’t trade those endless days of unstructured play for anything.