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Viewers Not Doers
It’s hard to believe that our society has taken such an advance to the rear. I keep thinking back to the thirties and forties when we would gather in the neighborhood and play games like hide and go seek, tag, tap on the ice box, mark corner, capture the flag, tree climbing, swimming, sled riding, ice skating, croquette, and keep away just to name a few. Yup, as soon as supper was over and we had our homework done we gathered at someone’s back yard and played games. I remember some of the old folks telling us how they loved to see kids play and laugh.
We lived just across the street from the St. Joe schoolyard where we had access to the swings and hand ball court. You might call it unorganized sports; it was just homemade fun. This is the way it was in the thirties and forties. It was a time when we had big families and lots of relations. I guess one of the great things about the kind of fun we had was that it was free.
We had our large pond just behind our house. Half the kids in town learned to swim there. No one asked permission to swim there, it was just implied that it was ok to enjoy the swim. When winter rolled around the same kids put on their clamp on ice skates and played no-rules hockey. Ouch, it was not always so much fun. On rainy days kids would gather at our barn and play sheep in my pen and then there was the corn cob fights. To define cob fights as fun might be a stretch. Then, there were those games we played in the hay loft like, King of the rafters.
But as time goes on, we have sort of drifted away from participatory sports to sitting on our can and watching professional sports. Yup, we will pay enormous prices to sit on our cans. Ie: sometimes in bone chilling cold and pay $40.00 a ticket to watch 3 minutes of action for two hours. But really folks this is not new it’s been going on 2000 years. Yup, Babylon, Athens, and Rome walked the same path we now walk today. They all started out as participants in sports, then slowly graduated to viewers of sports.
Yup, today we have graduated from participatory sports to organized sports. I mean like soccer, a kid if he is lucky might get to kick the ball once in a game. Wow, what fun. So where are we today? How many knows who his state of federal representative or state Legislators are? The souls of the Romans and Athenians are trying to reach you. No, it’s not just the wind. Be a doer not a viewer.
Contributed by Bill Lewis