April 9, 2013

The good old days in one picture

Let me count the ways...

- Tons of people outside in a public place.

- No cocooning gizmos (iPod, cell phone, etc.).

- Kid allowed to hang out in public with no shirt on.

- Chick with no bra on, and it's neither shameful nor attention-whoring because nobody notices (including her).

- Wholesome daisy dukes too.

- Sports / athletics part of everyday life, and they're fun rather than a chore.

- Three apparently unrelated children, and not a parent in sight.

- And no helmets, pads, etc.

- Teenage girl mock-flirting with pre-adolescent boys to help them grow to feel comfortable around girls.

- Whites and blacks hanging out in the same space, not a black ghetto / SWPL refuge configuration. Mostly due to whites having more backbone and keeping real-life blacks under closer watch, rather than abandon their space altogether.

- No sunscreen.

- Clothes that fit the body, not Victorian trash-bags.

- No slobs or obese people, and no overly fussy or anorexic people either.

...what else did I leave out?


  1. Rollerskates in general. I didn't even notice the no bra thing until I looked at the picture for a minute.

  2. The girl looks like she put on a pair of shorts over her bathing suit.

  3. I was thinking it was a tank top kind of thing, but you're probably right.

    Remember when shorts or jeans with a bikini top or tube top was no big deal?

  4. Great picture.

    Imagine its counterpart today:

    The teenage girl would be slumped over fiddling with her iPhone texting with earbuds in her ears.

    The boys would all be fully clothed at home or in the library using the computer lab.

    Black people mostly wouldn't be there at all because of gentrification.

    There would only be a few people in the picture and they'd mostly be walking briskly past each other.

    It occurs to me that rollerskating was inherently more social than rollerblading which usurped it in the 90's. Interestingly, while it made a slight hipster-inspired comeback, for the most part neither rollerskating nor rollerblading is seen today. But that's ok because you can still post cool pics of rollerskates on Pinterest.

  5. Blacks might still act like that sometimes but not whites!

  6. Here's a great photostream for the rollerskate lovers:


    Look at the cops and civilians socializing with each other. Everybody was in the same boat back then, vis-a-vis the crime wave, so a certain level of informality was needed to keep them all trusting one another. Now the cops have a more distancing attitude, and civilians treat them more seriously.

    "It occurs to me that rollerskating was inherently more social than rollerblading which usurped it in the 90's."

    I don't think there's anything inherently anti-social about in-line skates, but the way they were used in the '90s was definitely that way. Suddenly skating was no longer for cruising around, hanging out, and taking time to mingle. It was now a Seriously Extreme Sport, like NO TIME TO TALK BRO I'M ROLLERBLADING.

    There was one social outgrowth of in-line skates, and that was roller hockey. I remember getting together about once a week with a group of 10-20 other kids. It was a real trek too, me and my best friend riding our bikes for a good 30 minutes before we got to the abandoned tennis court.

    I'll have to try to find some roller skates for the summer, if they still make normal ones. I have a hunch that they mostly cater to the high-performance, extreme sports crowd these days...

  7. You know, it's possible that obesity didn't take off during the Boom years because of the very high rate of smoking during that time:

    Fun Facts About Obesity | JayMan's Blog


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