You boys go outside and play!

By
Title Insurance with First American Title

We lived in the Renton Highlands in the 1950’s. Our neighborhood, The Projects, was up on the east hill and made up of little look alike government homes that were built in the early 1940s for the amazing influx of people who came here to work at Boeing and Paccar during World War II.

After the war they were available for purchase and Mom and Dad bought our first home in 1950/51 for about $1,000. I’m sure its size (about 750 square feet) and there being three energetic young boys in residence had a lot to do with the amount of time we spent outdoors. But then again it was the 1950’s and most kids in the Pacific Northwest grew up outside. In the rain. ;O)

I don’t remember much about those early days. Just a few fleeting memories like the time I jumped off the top of the monkey bars as superman. My cape caught on one of the pipes and I nearly hung myself. Fortunately Mom saw it all through the kitchen window and ran out to rescue me.

Or the time we were playing Army in the field when Pat, the mischievous kid next door hid a hacksaw with the blade up in the weeds and I sliced my knee on it during a heroic jump for cover into the tall grass. The scariest thing by far was the cab ride racing to the hospital for 12 stitches. No ambulances that day.

Dad loved the movies and he’d take us to Fey’s Roxy Theater downtown Renton to get us out of the house so Mom could have some peace and quiet time. We saw a lot of war, cowboy and Disney movies. They were all fuel for our imaginations.

Let's get underway, mates! 1955, Renton Highlands.
Norma Jean Olsen, Rene, Terry, Steve.

I ran across this old photo from 1955 recently. Dad threw this boat together in the backyard from some scrap lumber and a few garbage can lids. Oh my goodness we played high seas adventure for hours and hours and days on end and everything from sailors on a perilous wartime mission to pirates and explorers.

We knew one thing for sure. The good guys always won. So of course we all wanted to be the hero, but if we weren’t, dying just meant the end of the scene and we quickly made up another and recast it on the fly.

I confess... I’m not sure why I felt compelled to spin this little story today, but I connect it to the American Dream. As kids we were unaware of the haves and have nots. We had no world view, but we did have a home and big or small didn’t matter. We were simply kids doing what kids do, and we were loved.

Every once in a while I hear Mom and it brings me a smile, “You boys go outside and play!”

Posted by

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.

Comments (32)

Rob D. Shepherd
RETIRED - Florence, OR
RETIRED

Kids now days would have NO idea what you are talking about as they sit there plugged in to lala land.

Jun 07, 2015 09:13 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

I get concerned Stefan Winter for kids these days. Absolutely nothing wrong with all the amazing technology we (they) have, but it worries me that "imagination" might have gotten off loaded and is no longer generated at the source.

Jun 07, 2015 09:15 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hey Rob D. Shepherd ... That thought crossed my mind after I pushed the publish button... Would they even know what I'm talking about? And, 2, I could hear, "Back in the olden day's did you guys..." ;O)

Jun 07, 2015 09:17 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Those were the days, when you could take a couple garbage can lids, some wooden boxes, a whole lot of imagination, and create a whole different reality.

Jun 07, 2015 11:54 AM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Rene ... yes we were an kids now days are trapped in the jungle of technology ;o///

Jun 07, 2015 01:03 PM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Excellent memories you have shared Renee. I really enjoyed reading our post.

Jun 07, 2015 01:05 PM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Today must be the day to remember then and now.  A friend of mine was talking about how we would walk a mile to go swimming then go to the store and walk toward home.  We didn't own a watch and there were no adults 'watching us' as we went place to place, stopping to have a cold drink with Aunt Clara (she wasn't really an aunt to any of us), then going home at dinner time.  Yes, it was a wonderful adventure for 10 year old children.  Cannot imagine letting our children walk around for hours without supervision now.  Sad that the sphere of freedom is so small for children now.  Not sure how they will ever be able to find their way home..

Jun 07, 2015 01:17 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Rene - how things changed... I remember spending all the time outside. Playing soccer until dusk, when  mothers would come out and start calling us for dinner (we called it supper).

As a kid I would go to ski in the woods, and there were no worries. I used to go for mushrooms, go by myself at age 8, and it was fine.

It is so different now.

Jun 07, 2015 01:54 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I was a child a bit later than that.  My parents bought their first house in 1966 and I too used to play with the kids in the neirghborhood and use my imagination.  We had tree forts, played ball and rode bikes. I cam remember my mom calling me into the house after dark.

Jun 07, 2015 02:16 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Good little reminiscence there that you have and I like the old timey photo

Jun 07, 2015 03:48 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It's good that you will have these common experiences and can can them so vividly

Tammy Lankford

Jun 07, 2015 03:50 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH
CRS

That was our motto.  Play till its dark and mom yells you to come home to eat and do homework.  Those were the days, no internet, no playstation...just get along in the sandbox!!!

Jun 07, 2015 08:34 PM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

 So true Myrl Jeffcoat ... the main ingredient was imagination!

Hey Bob Robert (Vegas Bob) Swetz That's a good point, kid's have no other alternative but to be surrounded by it.

Hi Noah Seidenberg ... Thanks!

Hi Anna Hatridge ...  I remember Grandma using the expression, "Oh, a little bird told me." Which translated meant the moms and grandmas in the neighborhood had checked in by phone and knew where we were!

 

Jun 08, 2015 03:10 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL ! My Grandma and Grandpa called it supper too. Our clock was the sun. When it was starting to get dark we knew it was time to head for home. Or, when our dog Daisy showed up and barked. We knew Dad had sent her to get us.

Jun 08, 2015 03:14 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Oh my Tammy Lankford , so did we... We had forts, tree houses, rope swings, rafts on the ponds, and played a lot of baseball and football in the field next door and at the high school.

Hi Laura Cerrano ...  Those were interesting times growing up for sure and the memory isn't gone yet! ;O) It was definitely small town USA!

 

Jun 08, 2015 03:18 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

So true Sham Reddy !! Not too often, but enough times we'd here, "Now you kids get along!" There's no need to argue! 

Jun 08, 2015 03:20 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I'm not going to reminisce about the "good ole days," as it sounds too much like my grandparents, and parents, but I do admit, the innocence of this simpler time is quite appealing. You make me smile, Rene. 

Jun 09, 2015 08:50 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

I don't compare then to now Debb Janes . . . I say honor the past, don't dwell there... Yet sometimes I feel like I'm reading a fiction novel when I think about where I came from and what is now. It's amazingly amazing this journey. And, I get very well "it sounds like parents and the grands." Future tripper I am, I in no way want to go back. Yet, it makes me think. :O)

Jun 09, 2015 12:34 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I get that from you Rene. You do honor the past well without the nostalgic longing for it to return that I hear from some people. In my opinion, you are a very evolved human being with a heart and head completely dedictated toward living life fully. Further, you appear without judgement and I've only witnessed your kind and generous nature with others. You're one of the few at the top, in my humble estimation.

Jun 14, 2015 05:15 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Thanks Debb Janes ! That means a lot to me. If I have a goal or a strategy it's to walk through every day with love and compassion, asking lots of questions, wanting to contribute. Thanks again!

Jun 14, 2015 05:36 AM