The Troubles

Recent incidents in Hespeler involving teenagers has gotten me thinking about my days as a teen and what trouble we got into, and i can tell you we were different than the group today.
I became a teen during the early ’70s and while we drank what we could get and smoked some of the “whacky tabaccy” we were not as destructive or insolent as the teens today. Yes we walked the streets sometimes and may have thrown a few eggs at some peoples houses{sorry Mr. Hodges} we had no graffiti urges, no urges to break the windows in the library, no desire to set fires in front of stores in fact you could call my generation “pussies” if you like, but at least we could use our time and energy to better effect than the brainless bunch that roam outside today. On any giving night there would be a road hockey game on Cooper Street or on Hungerford road that would go until 9 or ten and except for the bush’s in front of the Panabaker house no damage would be done. And on the weekends a party may break out on what is now Holiday Inn Drive, but back then was an old wooded area totally inaccessible by car, so we could see someone coming and we could high tail it out of there. Back then we also had regular police patrols and you never knew when Flashlight Freddie or Cpl. Eagle would pop out of nowhere and nab you. As a matter of fact i think we were all afraid of what our Fathers would say more than the police.
We didn’t have video games full of violence and gore, and a 300 channel universe that offers everything on demand. We were not allowed to just sit a t home and leach off the old man we had to work with some of our spare time. Hell at 15 i was working for my Dad down at Artex Woolens after school and on weekends. Sometimes i wonder how i did all the little mischievous things i did back then, because i certainly did not have the free time that kids today have. And that brings me to my main point, the reason for some of the problems, society has evolved and not for the better. The young offenders act has certainly led to kids not being scared of the police or punishment, the fact that you can not really discipline children is a big problem today, even though my father never used the belt, just the fear of it was enough. The lack of a police station in Hespeler is certainly a factor as there is no presence on a steady basis. I can’t remember the last time i saw a road hockey game or a pickup baseball game being played behind Our lady of Fatima grade school. And of course marijuana has Been replaced by “crack” a drug that makes you aggressive as opposed to pot which would send us giggling into an area where no one could see us and we could sit and stare at an ant moving across a floor for hours. And asking someone to listen to a James Taylor or Harry Chapin CD today brings a laugh, hell Black Sabbath is tame compared to some of the Rap and Death Metal that these kids call music today. Read a book? Don’t make me laugh. Is there hope? Well let’s pray there is. Suddenly i have an urge to grab a bottle of Lemon Gin, call up some of the guy’s and go play some road hockey…naaa it’s late and i have to get up for work in the morning. Have a good Day everyone!

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