Monday, April 11, 2011

Remember when?

The ice cream truck led us thinking of other things near and dear to our childhood hearts, but where as Dylan Thomas said, " now out of all sound."

I take you back to Spring and Summers of the early 1960's. Local governments swallowed the "better living through chemistry" mantra whole. Where there was standing water there were mosquitos, in creeks, swamps, fields, backyards. The bugs transmitted disease. Vestiges of malaria still existed in the US (albeit barely) and needed to be eradicated. DDT was a cheap,effective, well known killer of mosquitos, and right thinking municipalities would/could protect their citizens by frequently spraying copious quantities of DDT throughout residential areas.

Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" was light years away.

You heard the truck long before you saw it, giving time to grab your bike and meet your friends before its arrival, always just about supper time. Heaven on earth for a ten year old boy was riding behind the spray truck in a poisonous DDT enriched fog. On a good night you'd go maybe a mile before the driver stopped to refill.

Looking back it probably explains a lot about my present. Most days I barely recall my name, have the attention span of a gnat, along with a life long inability to focus. Couldn't have been the toxic cocktail could it?

If Rachel is right, I'm toast, at least until Cheers reopens.

Toad (I think)


Anonymous said...

I grew up on the Mississippi in Southern Illinois in the 60s and running/riding my bike after the "fog truck" was just about the most exciting summer night activity. It ranked right up there with running around outside with my bathing suit on while it rained.

JMW said...

I remember a coworker talking about this and how they used to chase the truck on their bikes. Sheesh, how they survived, I'll never know. :)

T said...

Weird...I JUST saw this in a trailer from something, and I can't remember what it was. Damn you, short-term memory loss.

ADG said...

Toxicity? Blunted lifespan? It'll all be irrelevant on May 21 anyway.

Mr.Cybrarian said...

Silent Spring was published in 1962. Not that far away.

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