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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

Rules, Boundaries and Consequences

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

“I wish I had lived and grown up in the 1960s. My parents are boomers, and some of the things that I have read on this web page have been told to my siblings and me time and time again. I would like to feel safe like people did back then, not in constant fear of being robbed or killed as I walk home from school.”


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We receive a lot of entries to our "When I Was a Kid" section from boomers who remember how safe, secure, and uncomplicated life was back then. Cheryl Ferguson wrote, "You could safely leave both front and back doors wide open, and all the windows too, and trust that no one would come in and rob you! Times were lovely and simple then; we felt safe!"

Boomer Nancy reminds us, "We never locked our doors... could walk home after dark... knew all of our neighbors. I miss feeling safe."

They've nailed it. Most of us over 40 can relate to that, and we wonder what has gone wrong, and what we can do to get it back again.

That Was Then

Let me seemingly deviate for a moment. Then I'll get back to the point, as usual, with a verbal sledgehammer. When I was a kid, Timmy Whitehill lived at the end of our street. He was a troublemaker. He started out with small things: he got into fights and soaped windows after dark. Then, in junior high, it got more serious. Once he wrapped toilet paper around a tree, stretched it across Scottsdale Boulevard, a busy, residential street, and then around another tree on the other side. The first driver that came by saw it and slowed down; the one behind... did not. Two people were seriously injured. Later that year, he set off a string of firecrackers in the school library.

Then one day, Timmy Whitehill was gone. Just gone. We did not see him any more; we never saw him again. My dad explained that he had been expelled from school and was sent away. He was a troublemaker and a bad influence. He was gone. Simple as that. He was expelled. I looked up the definition of "expel" in the dictionary. Seemed pretty clear to me.

When I was a kid... there were rules, there were boundaries, and there were consequences; serious consequences. Words meant things!

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