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Ever noticed how you just feel good after a good burst of laughter. Perhaps I’m wrong but it seems to me that people do not laugh as much as we used to.
I grew up in a neighborhood of kids and it seems to me that someone or ones was laughing about one thing or another most of the time.
The St. Joseph School was just across the street from our house and for a period of an hour before the bell would ring, kids arriving early were in the school yard playing all sort of things and laughter filled the air. The same could be said for recess, noon hour after noon recess and after school. You could even hear the kids at the Edina Public School, 5 blocks away.
Then, our pond was the unofficial city swimming pool. No one ever asked permission to swim there, they did not need to, we shared everything during those lean years. Would you believe that your voice broadcasts when you are standing in water?
Then, there was that after supper gathering of kids in the neighborhood, there must have been a dozen or more games we played, many of which created laughter.
Another opportunity to laugh came with sled riding and ice skating. Ever notice how people levitate to laugher.
Then in good ole Edina, we were lucky enough to be visited by Toby and Susie. They would come to town every summer with their big tent theater. Most of their shows were comedy. I mean good clean jokes and comedy. There was a burst of laughter every other minute, no wonder we loved them.
Then, can you remember the comedy we had on TV back when TV was entertainment? Wow, how we laughed at Jack Benny, Red Skelton. Red would even laugh at his antics. How about Bob Newhart? Remember how we burst out laughing simply by looking at the expression on his face. So how about Flip Wilson? His brand of comedy spurned tons of laughter. So how about Archie Bunker, remember how we laughed at him?
So ok, Girls, I’m getting there. How about Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Maude, Goldie Hawn, Ethel and still other female stars. Then, we had the comedy movies which made us laugh like say Jerry Lewis, Laurel and Hardy; Bud Abbot and Lou Costello.
If that wasn’t enough, we had the cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, and Popeye the sailor man. I think they were trying to get the crowd in a good mood to enjoy the main feature. Yup, it’s been said time and again that laughter is good medicine.
Contrasting the way things were then and the way they are today, in the thirties and forties things were hard; money was in short supply. So, what happened? It would seem we traded in homemade fun for “Go for the throat” sports and really does it really matter in the long run just who won that game? Come back, Mary Poppins; come back, a neighborhood of children.