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Safety First

In Bill Bryson’s memoir “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” he visits the idea of safety.  For a white kid growing up in Des Moines, Iowa in a nice neighborhood, it was a safe place.  It was so safe that a young boy could break all kinds of rules and suffer minor consequences.  He could walk from his home a couple miles to visit his mother and father in downtown Des Moines.   No safety helmets were needed for bike riding.  No child seats or air bags. No child safety caps or bottled water. Smoking was good for you and so was dirt. Oh yes, there was Polio, the Bomb, and Cicadas “the size of hummingbirds”, but people seemed happy and secure. Continue reading