Last updated: September 12. 2013 11:35AM - 1822 Views
Sandi McBride



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I heard on the news the other day that there is a new rehab program for those out there who are addicted to the Internet.


Really? It makes me long for the good old days when our parents made us play outside till dark and the last game was Ain’t No Mad Dogs Out Tonight. Of course there were only three channels on the TV, and like now, you couldn’t always find something of interest to watch so we went out happily.


Now 500 channels and nothing’s on, so the kids — and adults — spend too much time in front of the computer. I have noticed over the past few years that there are a lot of remakes of movies, quite a few TV shows are “borrowing” plot lines from shows in the ’60s and ’70s and it raises the question of “has everyone lost their imagination?” I worry that our kids are spending so much time in front of a computer screen; that they may be losing the ability to think for themselves and make up games to play, complete with storylines.


I long for the days of road building for the toy trucks which my grandfather, Dwight Douglas gave us as children. He wanted grandsons so badly but settled for his tomboy granddaughters. We learned to build roads, make dams, and build little villages out of sticks and stones as we played happily in the long dirt drive in front of his house.


At the end of tobacco season there were glorious games of cowboys and indians … I guess in these days of political correctness, those games are relegated to the distant past. My grandmother would go into the rag bag and get out some of Daddy Dwight’s threadbare socks, give us buttons and other scraps and we would lovingly create our horses’ heads. We would stuff them with cotton batting and tie them onto tobacco sticks that had been deemed too used for tobacco hanging anymore.


This was long before Build a Bear you understand. We would sew matching (sometimes) button eyes and two little (again sometimes) buttons for snorting nostrils, a few buttons for a mouth (sometimes smiling, sometimes snearing) and if we were lucky, add a bit of fringe for his mane.


They had names like Sassafrass, Buddy or even Silver if you were lucky enough to be The Lone Ranger (of course we said The Long Ranger, even then we didn’t listen well).


We whipped around that old farm house with the smoke house as our Saloon, the woods as our hideout and the dirt road up to the barns as our raceway from the bank holdup.


Listen, I told you we were tomboys … Becky, Kay, Patsy and Cathy, Teressa and Crystal. Toni and me (sorry Alice you were too little to enjoy our games) we were the Wild Bunch. Yes. those were the days, the wondrous days before Internet Rehab and Legal Marijuana … the great brain drain.


In my heart we will always be the Tobacco Stick Cowgirls.


— Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson, who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.


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