Mandy Snell Harris

Backyards never end
By Mandy Snell Harris

A couple of weeks ago I was watching the news and saw an interview with " free range parents ". What? I've  never heard of this 'title'.  It struck  my interest, so I watched. These parents were letting their 2 children, 10 & 6 walk a mile to a park  by themselves!!

My first reaction was gasping..." Lord what is wrong with these people". They lived in a small town, but the kids were crossing thru major intersections. 

Anyway, as I thought about my reaction, I became a little sad. I actually feel sorry for the kids these days. It's not their fault that times have definitely changed! We would get home from school and change into our 'play' clothes and you wouldn't see us again until you heard your mother yelling your name or during the summer, when the street lights came on. Lol. And I know it was the same for most all of us born before 1980 (?). We were either walking or riding our bikes ALL over town. It was nothing to wind up with a group of friends and cousins ..in my case, heading to Snell's for a lime-ade. Then back to someone's house to plan out next mischief. And by mischief, I mean activities. :-)  Our area of roaming usually consisted of Wisteria Drive, Eastwood Drive (it's Eastgate now), North Road and Myra Lane. As we got older that area got bigger and we got braver ! But on Sunday nights after everyone had left our house from swimming all day, we would have leftover Sunday dinner and watch "Walt Disney Wonderful World of Color". 

I am the youngest of 6 and our Grannie lived with us and she cooked every meal... And I mean EVERY meal! When we all would come thru that kitchen and make sandwiches or some kind of snack, she would let us make a mess and then clean up after us. Sometimes she would gripe, but not much. We were always outside!! Even when it rained we would play in the barn. I think "Pong" came along when we were in middle school, but that was so boring, it didn't hold our attention long. Of course there was the arcade, but that was just a hang out for most of us. 

My point is, I wish kids played outside more and used their imaginations. I know there are practices of all kinds that they partake in, but backyards never end... They can go & go forever.  :-) Those video games always come to an end!! So go play in the dirt... AND hug yourselves!!   See ya soon. !!   

Mandy Snell Harris 

Mandy Snell is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about growing up in Snellville and its history. Have any Growing up in Snellville stories to share? Comment below!

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