A small town in Saskatchewan in the 1950s was the absolute best place and time for a little boy with an over-developed sense of curiosity to grow up Pete, all the other “free range” kids and adults occupied roles that allowed children to play. Kids discovered what it meant to be members of a community where water was lugged in pails from a well, electricity was often absent, and sewer systems were non-existent. Children were expected to be good. Parents did not worry so much about being “good parents.” Their children played outside, where they were given their independence to play spontaneously. They weren’t given a lot of rules, but they sure found out what the rules were when they broke them!
I only lived in a small village in southern Saskatchewan for seven years-ages two to nine. Our family moved away to Medicine Hat, Alberta, a city of 25,000 people. I went back to the village for a reunion in the mid 80's. Of course we talked about being raised in a place of 120 people and the sort of childhood we had. I mentioned that someone here should write a book about those years during the 1950's. When Pete Was a Kid is the result. It's a story of when kids were "free range" and what they learned about becoming mature, independent adults.
You Are Not Alone: stories of hope, by Lisa Browning