I know that free-range chickens are now quite a fad especially when you hear stories about the other method of raising them. I don’t know but I guess people tend to think that they taste better because they have a variety of weeds, stones, and such to eat. Myself I prefer the $4.88 roasted chickens from Sam’s Club. 🙂
This post is not really about chickens but a story about my youth. I was definitely a free-range kid. I roamed the neighborhood, at least a couple blocks of it. As long as I was home for supper I usually didn’t get into any trouble.
Well I admit that I did get into some trouble . Me and Johnny Gallagher liked to visit the mushroom factory a couple of blocks away. It really wasn’t a factory as such but more like a couple of metal building and a giant pile of cow manure out back. We especially liked to climb the trees out front. That’s where I got into trouble. While climbing one day I grabbed hold a a dead limb and fell out of the tree. Unfortunately I fell onto a old metal picket type fence and drove it into my back. That meant a trip to the ER with a nearly pierced lung. But in the end everything turned out OK.
While we were still a family, me and my two brothers walked to school each day. It was about 4 blocks from the house and we only had to cross one busy street so my parents thought that was ok to do.
One of my neighborhood adventures during those years was to visit a small lumber yard about four blocks from the house. The owner there would allow us to go through his scrap pile of loose ends from cutting boards to size. Over time I got quite a bit of wood from that pile but don’t really remember making anything with it.
Another memorable route was to the drug store on Pendleton Pike. It was about eight blocks from the house so that was usually the outer bounds of my travels. They had a soda fountain there that for 15 cents you could get a “Suicide” which as a soda with a bunch of different flavors squirts. We didn’t go there often since my 35 cent weekly allowance was usually spent of a Saturday movie and with popcorn it took all that money.
I was a free range kid and except for the fall it didn’t harm me. In fact it taught me how to be adventurous. Even if I didn’t take that lesson to heart enough in my adult years. I see that the statistics show that you are no more likely to be abducted now than you were in my adventurous days sixty years ago so I guess most parents are just much more cautious now. But I do wonder if kids were more free-range now would they get out from behind their video games and out into the neighborhood and maybe even grow up to be better adults?