January 01, 2013

The Leading Edge

Laurie Ristino

Well I think it’s fine, building jumbo planes.
Or taking a ride on a cosmic train.
Switch on summer from a slot machine.
Yes, get what you want to if you want, ’cause you can get anything.
I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?
—Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) from the album Tea for the Tillerman (1970)

When I was growing up in the seventies, my parents would say, “Go out and play! it’s a beautiful day!” When you live in New England, this translates to warmer than single digits and no lightening. As children, we took the edict literally. I rode my bike (complete with banana seat, thank you very much) and roamed freely with minimal parental oversight. I don’t relay this as a criticism of seventies parenting, but as a beloved memory.

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