As we get on in age, our memories help to keep our spirits up. Maybe we might become a little forgetful now and then but our recall from the past is often on track, especially when it pertains to good memories. I grew up in an age of innocence…we children played outside after dark under the streetlights and during the day we rode bikes and the old timey scooters (not motorized) and played games like tag, red rover, blind man’s bluff and hide and seek. We were free to roam up and down the block and our neighbors didn’t raise a fuss if we had a friendly baseball game in the street. The other day, while visiting an old friend in Florida, the two of us happened to see a truck labeled junk removal St. Pete. As we watched the workers load the truck, we couldn’t help but notice that they had several boxes of old bottles tossed among the other items collected. Apparently the folks who hired these guys didn’t have access to a recycling service so this was their only option. As my friend and I sat on her front lawn, sipping iced tea and enjoying the wonderful sunny day, we began to go down memory lane. In the olden days, soda and beer came mostly in bottles (I remember the bottle openers that were a part of every household and even the local gas stations had them attached to the big coolers where they kept the beverages.) When our parents bought drinks in the grocery stores or Mom and Pop stores of those times, the merchants would pay for all empty bottles returned. I believe it was either a nickel or maybe a dime for each container that they offered. The happy thoughts of those transactions were that we kids were allowed to take the bottles back and got to keep the money. It was just one of the early and most fun chores that parents handed out to their children. Most of my friends and I would take the money and buy candy from the little family stores that were in most every neighborhood back then. Guess what I’m getting at is that it seems a shame that kids nowadays don’t have that kind of opportunity. Modern day recycling is akin to the old bottle return era but without the benefit of giving kids the chance to earn a little pocket change.