Quicksand and other Childhood Threats

On a recent winter day with warmer temps thawing the ice and snow, I took my grandson out to play. As we passed through a puddle on the sidewalk, I pretended that I was stuck and needed his help to pull me out.


Quicksand Row 1

Quicksand Row 2


As I rummaged in the grass for a larger stick, a childhood memory from long ago came flooding back.


Quicksand Row 3

Quicksand Row 4


From there, full blown panic and hysteria set in. Our worst childhood fear had been triggered: QUICKSAND!


TV Westerns were extremely popular in the 1950s, much like legal, hospital and police dramas are today. At their peak in 1959, 26 Westerns were airing during prime time on only 3 networks. There was at least one playing every night and usually more.


Quicksand Row 5


Quicksand was a central theme in many Westerns, along with gun shootouts, Indian scalpings (this was before cultural sensitivity was appreciated) and rattlesnakes. Quicksand was the perfect suspense building plot device and always played out in the same way.


Quicksand Row 6

Quicksand Row 7


Denita and I didn’t view 6 shooters, Indians or rattlesnakes as imminent threats, but believed quicksand could appear anywhere, including the ditch in front of our house.


Quicksand Row 8


Over 50 years later, Denita and I still remember how terrified we were the day I got “stuck” in the ditch.


I had other childhood fears besides quicksand.


Quicksand Row 9


What do children worry about today? I hope my grandson doesn’t blow as much of his childhood on baseless fears as I did.


Quicksand Row 10





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3 thoughts on “Quicksand and other Childhood Threats

  1. Awwwww!!! I nearly cried at the end!!! This is so cute and so sweet!! I love the “stick inspector” and the “babushka’s”! Yes, I too wonder what their fears will be – hopefully it will be of non-organic produce and not of gang shootings 🙂

    1. I have to tell you I DID cry when I drew it! That is the way I feel when I look at him. The little red heart is always there.

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