Re: Half the population—
And what did they tell the grieving parents of those who DIDN'T make it home by dark...nor at all?
This was a time way before you were born. Kids could be out till all hours of the night. The most dangerous person in town would probably talk with you about a religious views your parents didn't approve of, things like that. The most dangerous child molester would make sure you were home safe, walk you home if he felt you were out too late, and talk with your parents before leaving you on your own (that or the people who tell me I was such a cute lad have been lying to me)
For the most part, most of the time, we got home fine. In May of 1991 two of my closest school friends lost their lives to an errant driver while walking home during the day near Patea. Yes, I get it Charles, bad stuff happens, but in the 70's and 80's (and even earlier) you could go anywhere, do anything you felt like, and get home safe (or with minor cuts and bruises - normally). It was very rare around these parts for people not to make it home, or to get hurt.
We were outside, free, active, healthy, exploring, experimenting, learning, growing, being creative, and enjoying life. There were risks, but at least our parents didn't have their kids who were too fearful to step outside the door, or who were suffering from serious weight-related diseases at a young age. I could tell you what was said to the parents when Craig Woodhead died while 'car-surfing', but you'd just turn it into some stupid "but WHAT if THEY were PROFESSIONAL GAMERZ!!!!q1!!1 or some garbage like that.
We got out, got hurt, learned from our mistakes (most of us), spent our time wanting to be out of hospital and out of the cast so we could do it a different way that hopefully worked better. Some of us got broken, and yes we did lose a couple of good people in stupid ways, but we kept trying and learning, getting back on the horse and going again.
This is why the younger generation tend to be a bunch of worthless self-obsessed (and phone-obsessed) snowflakes with a sense of entitlement beyond their experience or earnings, while those of us gone before knew that a university degree meant you still first picked up the broom and learned to sweep the floors. Given the chance, most of my generation would ride a horse bareback and unbridled if that was the only way we could ride. Or we'd spend a day helping rebuilt a friend's bike engine to spend 5 minutes on it next month sometime. Today's generation? You wouldn't even get them away from their screens long enough to even see a real blade of grass let alone a horse.
And that's the point of my earlier post. These kids see nothing of the outside world, have no concept of learning the limits by pushing their bodies to (and sometimes beyond) breaking point (or seeing someone else snap an arm or lose a finger (thankfully teachers were quick and surgeons were good back then!) - and the lack of getting out perhaps is a big contributor to the the lack of intelligence amongst today's youth. You don't try to think through solving a problem with limited tools and limited experience. I can be dropped in bush with no food, no tools, and a broken leg and find my way out or survive till I'm rescued, because I learned how to make tools and shelter from having to as a kid. You'd be dropped in the same area with a month's food, the best gear money can buy, no injuries, every tool every imagined, and be dead within an hour because no electricity for your phone - how could you live? Kid's today haven't had to learn how to do things for themselves, thus their brains are largely mush (much like mine is right now - sorry folks).