Random Thoughts

An old-fashioned cure for "Obesity"

... whoever heard of that!

by Lora Crouss

When I was growing up in the 1920s and 30s, the word was seldom heard. In fact, one of my mother's friends came to her in high indignation because the doctor told her to watch her husband's diet lest he become a "fatty old beast." My mother reassured her that the doctor was using a medical term "fatty obese" which merely meant carrying too much weight for one's bones.

The men walked to and from the train station every work day, and often to their office after they reached Boston. The women seemed to keep in shape from keeping busy around the house.

As for the children, they walked to school in the morning, home for lunch, and then back to school for the afternoon session. Each way might be anywhere from one quarter of a mile to a full mile. My daily commute was just over four miles. Recess time at school was also filled with activity -- often volley ball or tag.

One afternoon, in 1928, when we Gooch schoolers were at recess, a low flying plane came by with the pilot waving from the cockpit. It was Charles Lindbergh! What a thrill for all of us.

Even in winter's bad weather we had to walk. If the family owned a car the women seldom knew how to drive it, and in the winter it was jacked up with the tires and battery stored away in the cellar.

During the spring and fall, when we'd get home from school, we would change into our play clothes and go outside -- hop scotch, jump rope, hide and seek kept the girls busy. It was generally baseball or football for the boys. Winter brought coasting for all.

There was no TV to watch, nor computer games to play; nor were there many snack foods or soft drinks available. I can remember driving to a potato chip factory one time when our family needed some potato chips for a special occasion.

Such was life in the days before obesity spoiled it.


July 6, 2007


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