Tonight my book group discussed a book set in the late 30's early 40's. It is by Craig Rice and is Home Sweet Homicide. This is a gentle murder mystery. Yeah I know gentle/murder. Doesn't seem to go together. Children solve the crime. This is a book that brought back memories for most of us. The children run through the neighborhood at night. They play, they go to the ice cream parlor, they have an innocence children today don't have.
Most of us are of a certain age: 50 to early 70's. I am from a mountain town in Kentucky, others from San Francisco, a small town in Indiana, and large cities on the East Coast. We talked about going to a soda fountain for shakes and ice cream cones, playing after dark and feeling safe, regional games and names for the games. We talked about different names for steps to the front door and the ball game associated with it. Stoop and Stoop ball. Stoop ball was a Northern name. I don't know what we called it in the South. But we threw a ball at the steps and got points for different bounces. Who knows what we called it. Nearly everyone hated dodge ball, I loved it. Most hated Red Rover, again I loved it. I must have been a violent little girl.
Some of us swung on grape vines over a creek. Others worked in the family business. We roller skated, rode bikes, played hopscotch. Much of what we did was similar while different. The main point was the innocence we had at that time. And we showed how old we are. At one point one or more of us said, "If we had talked to adults the way children today do. . ." We are educated; well read; have a huge amount of life experience; we are a group that lives in a very liberal area. And we are way deep down old fashioned people.