I can remember when people didn't make a habit of locking their houses or taking the keys out of their car. Our house locked with a skeleton key, which anyone could buy in a hardware store but, even when we were away for two weeks, the house was left unlocked. While I was gone, my cousins might come in and borrow stuff from my room, and it wasn't considered theft. I can remember when it wasn't unusual for a twelve year-old to drive a tractor or a farm vehicle. The state police patrolled the state highway sometimes, but police cars were never seen on our rural roads unless they were coming after someone, and that was seldom. I can remember when kids could play on anyone's land without threat of trespassing. As a child, in fact, I often didn't know on whose land we had built our fort. I can remember when it wasn't considered dangerous for kids to camp in the woods alone, or take three-day bicycle trips without adult supervision. I can remember when children were left to learn their limitations through trial and error. I can also remember a time when they were generally smart enough to do so without killing themselves. I can remember when most kids, around me anyhow, owned a firearm by the age of twelve. It was probably just a .22 caliber rifle, but we were also allowed to use our parent's guns. I do, however, remember one friend of mine who shot his hand off while trying to sheath his loaded shotgun. On the positive side, he learned to do some pretty cool things with his hook, and later went on to become a mechanic. I can remember when kids could go fishing without a fishing license, and when fishing licenses weren't as complicated as they are now. There were probably laws requiring licenses but no one expected a kid with a fishing pole to have a license. I can remember when M-80s and cherry bombs were readily accessible, and some kids knew where their dad stored the dynamite. I can't remember anyone blowing themselves up. I can also remember efforts at creating bombs at the gravel pit, where there was no threat of uncontrollable fires. Such things were not permissible, as far as parents saying, "Sure, go ahead," but the word "terrorist" never came up in discussion. I can remember when parents, not police or school officials, were the ones to decide when the limits had been reached. I can't remember when or how I learned to swim because I don't remember ever not knowing how to swim. Probably I learned in much the same way as my little brother learned, at a very young age, when my dad threw him in the lake. I can remember when kids actually talked to one another, did stuff together, and got to know something about their friends, and the place they lived in.