The “How did we survive?” meme often shows up on social media.

It targets my generation that was raised before political correctness and the fear of ending up in the emergency room with broken bones which most of us did, end up in the emergency room with broken bones, that is.

It goes something like this.

I survived:

• Riding a bicycle without a helmet.

And most summers I was riding the bicycle daily from Abilene to Brown’s Park on Highway 15. I may, however, suffered some brain damage from being bucked off a horse a time or two without wearing a helmet.

• Drinking from a hose.

Heck, at the Highland Golf Course our water fountain was a horse tank nozzle and a tin cup. We rinsed it out before we drank from it.

• Riding in a car without seatbelts.

The truck my dad John drove not only didn’t have seat belts, sometimes the passenger door would fly open when he turned left.

• Lead paint in my house.

I don’t even want to be tested.

• Playgrounds.

Some of the playground equipment we romped on could be charged with attempted second degree murder today. Do the kids still jump out of swings?

• Swimming without a life jacket.

Our swimming pool was Turkey Creek. Sometimes we even swam with the snakes.

• Playing without supervision.

If we didn’t have school because of a holiday, we went on a walkabout through Brown’s Park. We even went swimming in the flood water which brings me to another “I survived” moment.

• Spanking.

My mother said my dad didn’t hit us very hard but just seeing the switch in his hand was frightening. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to sneak away and swim with the fishes.

I am not suggesting that we go back to drinking from hoses or not wearing seat belts. It’s just that is the way it was.

Apparently, we can now add to the “How did we survive?” meme.

• Raw milk.

Elsie and Ada were our cows that we milked daily but don’t tell Joaquin Phoenix. (Search Youtube Joaquin Phoenix Oscar speech.)

Now legislators in Kansas are discussing not allowing dairy producers to sell milk straight from the cow or goat.

We milked our cows by hand and stored it in gallon containers, which today many use to brew tea by sitting the glass containers outside in the sun.

The cream really does rise to the top. My mother Nelda made butter and while we had an antique wooden butter churn in the living room, she used an electric mixer.

Other times, using a separator, she removed the cream from the milk and Dad took it in metal containers to the Belle Springs Creamery.

Apparently, raw milk is susceptible to carrying food-borne illnesses in a way that pasteurized milk isn’t.

“The food safety issue is what we are concerned with. It only takes one incident and someone’s sick and then if it’s milk-related everyone suffers from that,” Sen. Dan Kerschen (R-Garden Plain), chair of the committee, said. “That’s what we’re trying to avoid.”

The unavailability of raw milk would also make my wife Kathy’s family disappointed when they gather at our house next Thanksgiving as raw milk is needed for her mother Doreen to make the Swedish dish ostkaka. I could survive without that, but I’m not sure they could.

Contact Tim Horan at

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