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(O)n this golden August day in my fifth year, I had been playing outside in my Oakland neighborhood with a dusty scrum of local kids in a completely unsupervised group, the way we used to in the good old days, before the Internet told parents that this was a terrible idea and likely to result in your child being abducted by aliens or devoured by wolves. We were all in various states of typically dirty late-summer disarray: faces sticky with rivulets of many-hours-dried melted Popsicle and festooned liberally with dirt. Now, before you jump into your time machine and call Child Protective Services, get over your prissy self. It was the seventies. Kids ran around unsupervised. This is before people felt the need to meticulously curate every minute of their child’s day. In the morning during the summer, parents opened the front door and forcibly ejected their children into the street with five dollars and a firm admonition to come home when the streetlights came on and not to run into oncoming traffic. This is just how things were done. I suppose if we were rich, the nanny could have followed behind us in the family’s second minivan, but we weren’t, and she didn’t, and that, my dear friends, is that.Read More