Friday, February 9, 2024


     Today we talk about free range kids. My kids, who grew up in the 70's and 80's, think that they were sort of free range kids. They look back and are happy with the freedom they had.

     For my growing up in the 40's and 50's free range involved much more . There wasn't much supervision of kids on the prairie farms as Dad's were busy farming and Moms were just plane busy with house work and many other things.

    So, as well as being free range kids we had freedom with no supervision. Stuff was not locked up so we were drawn to guns. Now most farmers at that time had a very small rifle. Hunting wasn't done so big rifles were not around.

    So it didn't take long before we started playing with guns. The shells were easily available on the farm. The storekeeper in town would sell us shells. 

   So the playing began. Hitting a stalk of grass was cool and you had bragging rights. How far your bullet went in a 2 x 4 counted. Tin cans were great targets. Seeing how far your bullet would travel was another pass time. 

  So there were usually 5 or 6 kids together. We had no instructions about gun safety and we really weren't supposed to have the guns. With that many kids running around , I can't believe someone wasn't hurt. 

   Taking a small tractor on new ice and applying one break made the tractor spin. We were all riding . Did we think of falling off? Never. Again it was dangerous with no parental supervision or permission.

   So I often look back to those days and say "How did we ever survive?"

   So this photo shows the culprits. Here are two sets of four brothers. We are cousins. We were the only kids in the district. We'd grown up since our gun days except for my little brother who now is about 70.