Back Then – Fifty Plus Going On Fifteen

Yesterday I was approached with a question about “Back Then” and I initially shrugged it off but over time it has manifested into a blog about “Back Then”.

Back in the days before the internet, smart phones, game consoles and instant gratification for most your wants there was a land some considered backwards and/or even wicked called “Back Then”.

“Back Then” for me was situated in the great state of North Dakota which some consider southern Canada and many are not aware that the state of North Dakota even exists. I am here to remind everyone the state of North Dakota exists and its people are almost as irritating as the great state of Texas which some consider northern Mexico.

“Back Then” allowed many great freedoms that are not available now and some may consider them new freedoms. Most of these activities were free for most and in many situations you were forced to imagine which is also a new concept to some. You were normally not limited because “Back Then” was actually clean and wholesome to most and you could instantly enjoy yourself without electronics.

As a kid, this is what could we do “Back Then” that was so special.

  • Ride bikes from dawn to dusk having only to check in with your parents or an older sibling so they knew you were alive and had all your limbs.
  • Float truck or tractor inner tubes on the lake having the time of your life because you all knew how to swim and you knew your limitations.
  • Play board games where the games took weeks or months to build a strategy and play it through. My favorite was Axis and Allies. Many of these games were modified for computers later.
  • Camp in the local woods or someones backyard where you would lay in on your back at night watching shooting stars and the occasional UFO.
  • Stay up all night playing card games in the winter because it was blizzarding out and school was canceled.
  • Join the polar bear club in shallow ponds where the water was much warmer out than sub-zero temps on the surface.
  • Build models because you were not carded to buy paint or glue.
  • Assemble puzzles and glue them on a backing so you had a cool poster.

“Back Then” was not as terrible as people from now may think and I am sure I would have enjoyed many of today luxuries if they had been available “Back Then”.

Unluckily, with every new day that passes, another day becomes “Back Then” and soon enough the individual that asked me about “Back Then” will be asked about “Back Then”.

Thinking about cherished memories and the friends I had “Back Then” and wishing you a great day.

Jay Patterson

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