A Kid from Canarsie
Imagination & Technology
Nineteen Forty, the age of imagination. I grew up in Canarsie in the forties, we didn’t have television or a computer and the internet or the many high tech games to play on TV or a computer. We did have freedom and imagination. Freedom was as important as imagination and maybe even more so because the freedom we had gave us the exposure to fire up our imaginations.. I spent more time outdoors than I did in my home, I was out from dawn until well after dark except on school days, but as soon as I was home from school I would be outside until after dark. I can still hear my Grandmother calling “Paulie” come in to eat. As a result we had a lot of free time and you might wonder what did we do with all of the free time we had, without TV or Computer games etc.
I have to digress for a moment. You might think that our parents weren’t concerned about us, not knowing where we were or what we were doing. I guess they just trusted us, not that we were angels because we certainly were not, we were streetwise and new right from wrong and knew how to take care of ourselves in difficult situations, there were tragic moments but I can only remember once when a friend and classmate drowned while we were swimming in Jamacia Bay,.
Our territory probably covered a five mile radius from our homes and we knew where every junkyard, trash dump, swimming hole, parks and especially the trees that provided the peas for our pea shooters were (Don’t know what a pea shooter is?). I would have to say that dumps were our favorite locations as they gave us what we needed to bring our imaginations to life, or expose us to things that would force us to imagine how we might use the things we found. I remember building a bicycle from parts I found in a dump and a scooter with roller skate parts for wheels and tin cans with holes in it and a candle inside the can for lights metal and newspapers that we sold to Mr. Ferriolli’s junkyard that we sold for pennies a pound.
I have to get to the point of this article. At the time I mention above I was of an age between 8 and twelve years old, I’m now 79 years old. So I did survive living my life without a parental leash around my neck. What did I gain during those years? Most importantly SELF CONFIDENCE, creativity
problem solving, and a great sense that I was capable of doing anything I wanted to do. As an aside, all of us were skinny kids, we were fed well but not what your parents would allow you to eat now, we didn’t take any prescription or over the counter pill. If we had a problem we were treated with home remedies.
If this generation and future generation of kids were brought up and taught properly by their parents they could experience life as I did and we would have more geniuses, engineers, imagineers and America and the world we live in would be the place of dreams for all.
I can’t help but say that this would especially apply to our present government.
Paul L. Viverito