What Was, Isn't
In the summer of 1973, my cousin's parents left the country on vacation. My cousin was 13 years old, I was 12, and my younger brother was 10. My brother and I moved into my cousin's house for the next two weeks, and the three of us ran the show. Nobody thought anything of it--not my aunt or uncle, not my parents, and not my cousin's neighbors. In South Sacramento, where junior high school kids routinely held part-time jobs, 13 years was plenty old enough.
Now, of course, my aunt and uncle would be jailed, with the Internet abuzz. Any idiot would know that children of that age should not be left alone. Well, 40 years ago in South Sacramento, where many junior high schoolers were already employed, and thought they might get married the summer after their high school graduation, any idiot did not know such a thing. At that time, in that place, a 13-year-old was not a child.