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Letter: Kids played less outside after arrival of television in '50s

       Mel, your Cobweb Corners column on radio to TV reminded me of something my dad said to me in the early 1960s. [See Mel McFarland's column at this link.] But first some background.
       I am the oldest of five children. We were all born in San Diego. The family moved to Colorado Springs in mid-October 1946. I was 11 and the youngest was 4. Although we bought a house on West Cheyenne Road, Dad delivered mail out of the West End Post Office. In San Diego, he had had a walking mail route. Here, he delivered mail by bicycle. It had a large rear wheel and a smaller front wheel, with his mail pouch resting on the front fender and attached to the handle bar. I never knew the extent of his mail route, but it included 21st Street and West Vermijo and the surrounding area. Dad knew no stranger and was acquainted with the people on his mail route - old and young.
       Now back to what Dad reminisced in the early 1960s.
       When he first started mail delivery in the West End, the kids were outside playing when they were not attending school. The boys were in the street (fewer parks back then) throwing a football or a baseball. The girls were on the sidewalk (where there was one) and marked out with a piece of chalk their hopscotch diagram then began jumping. Others were playing jacks. Some boys might be playing marbles. And sometimes two girls were swinging a long piece of rope and one or more would be jumping in time to the rope. Dad took time to stop and watch and talk to them.
       Then TV came and all the kids disappeared, and Dad and his bicycle delivered the mail alone.
       Thank you for the memory.

       Don Pegler

(Posted 12/12/16; Opinion: Letters)

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