Thursday, September 25, 2008

Once upon a time...

The Madison Capitol Times recalls a Life magazine photo essay about Madison in 1948:
Brian Tobin, who lives in a southwest side neighborhood that was a farm field in 1948, can look through the photo spread and easily recognize the neighborhoods. ....

While the neighborhoods look the same, he said, the photos that feature children seem a world away. It's particularly the case with photos that show boys on a raft in a city lake, or swinging from a tree to jump in for a swim.

"Now those parents would be subject to an investigation for letting those kids on the lake by themselves," Tobin said.

The photos with the children were also what struck Rich and Angie Hoard. ....

The photo of the boys on the raft jumped out at her, too. Not that boys wouldn't want to do that now, she said, but that their parents likely wouldn't allow it.

"I did allow my kids to ride their bikes around the block by themselves the other day," she said of her daughters, a kindergartner and a first-grader. "That was pretty big. That's the big difference. The fear." ....

Worries about safety aside, current residents still see the city they know and love in those photos. They also still see many of the good things the magazine touted, such as parks, culture and pretty neighborhoods.

"I'm sure if you've lived here forever, you think the place is going to hell in a handbasket," Rich Hoard said. "But Madison is still a great place to live."
Although not in Madison then - I grew up in Milton - I well remember the time when our parents didn't worry if they didn't see us except at mealtime. We wondered, climbed, played, and did whatever we wanted. There were consequences if we got caught doing things we shouldn't, but no real concern about our safety. And we were safe. Times have changed.

77 Square: City Life: Features: 'The Good Life' revisited: Madison then and now

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.