How drastically things change over time never ceases to astound me. As a Baby Boomer who is only now reaching maturity, I consider issues like these more frequently. These changes come with both good and bad sides.
This is a welcome change.
I was in grade school back then, which in this case means more than 40 years ago. Nothing special; it was just your regular, everyday school, similar to what you would find anyplace in the nation during those fairly unsettling times. You have to acknowledge that the 1960s were unforgettable no matter how you spent them.
My school had a playground, as did the majority back then and today. I suppose it was considered safe back then.
However, in today’s litigious world, where lawsuits are brought for both legitimate reasons and frivolous ones (there are far too many attorneys, but that is a topic for another article entirely), those 1960s playgrounds would have been patrolled by a horde of lawyers waiting for mishaps to occur.
The playground was primarily made of macadam, or occasionally, far worse, cement. Usually, there was a massive swingset, 12 feet high or higher, with an exposed strap attached to two steel chains somewhere in this field of said play. Children would climb to incredible heights while sitting in the pliable seat, and then almost always throw themselves off when the swing reached its highest point. This was referred to as swing-jumping.
The most hazardous item on a playground in the past wasn’t that, though. That honour belongs to the notorious “Monkey Bars.” These were steel pipes—exactly the same ones employed in heavy construction—usually ranging in diameter from 1 to 2 inches, joined together to form a framework.
Normally, this frame would go up around 8 feet, however in my school, the Perth Monkey Bars rose to a height of roughly 12 feet, in my opinion. Going all the way to the summit was a harrowing experience even then.
It was customary to securely anchor it in solid concrete in order to ensure that this massive piece of solid steel didn’t move while children were playing.
Let’s just say that steel and concrete are not appropriate playthings for children.
I do recall a few children getting harmed, mostly a few broken arms here and there and a few cracked teeth, but I suppose it might have been worse.
Of course, everything has changed now. The spaces where children play are typically covered with a particular safety surface, and playgrounds are situated on beautiful grass. The apparatus is made of wood or, better yet, child-safe plastic or rubber. Compared to when Baby Boomers were young, they are much safer.
That’s a positive change, therefore.
Unlike our Golden Years, which appear to be deteriorating.
Most of us successfully navigated the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. By the time the millennium arrived, we believed that everything was going as well as it possibly could.
But by the end of the first decade, we were aware of the truth. And it’s quite unlikely that it will ever change.
Retirement nowadays is like trying to perform a handstand on the old monkey bars; it may be dangerous.
You should carefully plan out your financial future in the same way that you would cautiously descend from those bars. You alone are capable of doing it, so get started DIY Monkey Bars right away.