I recently responded to someone’s post from Facebook’s group of people who grew up in Detroit in the sixties through the eighties about being a kid in Detroit back then. “Back then” was the sixties for me in the heart of Detroit when we lived on a street named Springwells that dead-ended at the truck yard of the Mack Truck Company. It was pure city, and for us kids it was pure fun. We owned that street and played in the street all day and through twilight until our moms called us in from the front porches lining the street of that one block. That’s where I learned to ride a two-wheeler bike with my dad holding onto the back of the bike until I got my balance, and that’s where we jumped rope in the middle of the street for hours often until we could barely see the rope in the fading light, singing every jump rope rhyme from Cinderella to Tiny Tim.
After we jumped rope and rode our bikes, we played all kinds of chasing games. Hide ‘n’ seek was most popular and kept us busy usually during the twilight hours when it seemed more fun because the failing light made it easier to hide. We also acted out the fairytales, taking turns playing the princess and the prince. In Sleeping Beauty I liked being the prince who got to wield a mighty sword and cut down all those thorny brambles to get to the princess. No one cared much about the kissing back then. I think back now about how we spent so many hours in physical playtime, falling and getting bruised knees and elbows and getting right back up again so as not to lose any precious game time. My older sister ran with her crowd who listened to Elvis Presley and talked in groups on each others’ porches while the little kids jumped rope in the middle of the street.
I can remember those days almost as clearly as yesterday and hope that I will never forget the good times we shared. Fast-forward to the present and our modern tools for communication. Luckily for us, we have Facebook now that is so instrumental in helping so many of us reconnect with people from our past. It has been my fortune to reconnect with a number of people who have found me or whom I have found, some even by fortunate accident of being in the same interest groups and recognizing one another.
For all of you who reject the benefits of Facebook and other online mechanisms of the social network, it might be worth reconsidering if you are at all interested in finding people who were an important part of your past. Facebook has come a long way, and I have found it to be more beneficial than not. It has helped me find people from my past whom I would never have found even with the benefits of the World Wide Web. For anyone who finds comfort and joy in memories of their past, it is worth pursuing Facebook’s interest groups. You might just run into someone from your memorable past.
© 2004–2012 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.