^ yes, those were the days - I don't have the solutions for our new world, if I did I'd get funding backing for a new consulting corp and make six figures a year
but, my example: when I grew up, we didn't know about the abductions, there were some, you hear now on the cold cases and the america's wanted, somebody abducted some kid thirty years ago, but I didn't know anyone who had that and we lived pretty free: I rode my bike, and ran around on foot, not just on my street, but several streets over too: I'd go unassisted over to friends houses, and play in construction sites, you know where you throw mud and rock clusters at each other til someone's hit in the nose.
I rode my bike to the community pool; granted it was usually with four kids on bikes together, but I remember sometimes alone too; and there was no fare, dad paid a summer's membership each year, a neighborhood pool club it was, and all the families could then go as often as ya please; and we played tag and marco polo and other pool splashing games, water polo too. And we rode over to ball fields to play softball and baseball. But we also went around our neighborhood; sometimes we'd have a big side yard and all would come over to play softball or soccer, or even football; and then we'd move, so some other kid has the big yard or field next to house, and we'd all play there, and see no adult stop a van and spy on us, stalking, I don't remember any such thing; it happened as we now know from these cold case reports, but it just wasn't as prevalent, nor as reported in news.
we were pretty fancy free, but mums expected kids home for supper, and you got grounded for a week if you were too late so that supper's cold.
bottom line, me bottom was never too big.