Eric grew up in the 1950s and 60s. He lived in Connecticut and the family spent some time in Italy before returning to Maryland and Virginia. He remembers being an active Cub and Scout. Scouting was the thinf to do in the 1960s. He recalls that his Cub uniform had long pants, but his Scout uniform had lon pants. He also remembers only wearing long pants as a boy--except for Scouting. He is not sure quite why. In other countries it was the Cubs who wore short pants. He also notes the short hair cuts boys wore, at least in the early-60s.
We lived in Italy for a while. We enjoyed out time in Italy. It was quite an experience for us all. We were there during the late 1950s. I had both Italian and American style play clothes. I think that is because mom brought some clothes with us, but we had to buy clothes while we were in Italy. While I didn't wear short psnts much in america, mom did but shorts for me in Italy and I wore them for play while I was there. Our family photographs show me playing in both Italian and American style clothing. The first photo shows me in in normal play cloths.
I grew up in the 1950s and 60s. My father was in the Air Force so we moved quite a bit. We lived in several places around the country where there were Air Force bases. We also spent some time in Italy before returning to America. We lived in Connecticut and in the Washington D.C. area--Maryland and Virginia. Washington is in the South (I used to live in Prince George's County and out near Dulles). Shorts were more common than in northern states. I actually lived in the village of Warehouse Point. Can you say Blue Laws. The famous sermon "Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God" was written by the man who started our church. We moved to Colorado for my senior year.
I was an avid Scout right through Cubs to Eagle Scout. I was always turned out properly for the program. I've seen it mentioned on the HBC sites, that American Cub Scouts wore long pants, and that American Boy Scouts wore shorts in the 1950s and 1960s. I dug out some of the old family 35 mm slides, and sure enough that is exactly what I found.
The photo shows me with in my new Cub Scouts BSA uniform. If you look closely, you will note that the pants are not even hemmed, and that I'm wearing a blue and gold neckerchief slide that my dad made for me. This picture was taken during September 1959 in Aviano Italy. I was a Bobcat in Den 1 of TransAtlantic Pack 323. This is a great shot for detail as you can even read the "Cub Scouts B.S.A." strip as well as the details of the belt buckle. Note that the pants flaps are buttoned up in the "field" position and the cap tilted back the regulation 2 inches. I couldn't image wearing shorts to school or Cub Scouts, although we wore short
shorts and T-style sandals, just like the Italian children for play.
The photo is me 4 years later in 1963, and I'm wearing, you guessed it, short pants. I was a member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 155 in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Summers in the Connecticut River Valley are typically 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity. Normal blue jeans were darned near unbearable. Scouts was about the only place where you could legitimately wear shorts except for those weird geeks wearing Madras print Bermuda shorts. I had just reached the lofty rank of Second Class Scout, and my reward was my first new uniform that was not a hand me down. From left to right: me, Paul Letty, David Griffin, and David Acquoatta (figure 1). (Dave A. was best man at my wedding 22 years later). I don't ever remember wearing the fore and aft cap, but had it tucked in my belt all
the way to Eagle Scout. "Tex" Griffin got invited to leave the Stetson behind a few minutes after this photo was take. I believe that we are leaving for a week at Lake Winnipesaukee. We are standing in front
of my Dad's 1959? Plymouth, famous for lack of air conditioner, or any other comforts. In the final photo (scaled for 4x6 inches at 300 dpi) I'm dressed as smartly as I (and my dad) knew how. Note that the knee socks are
precisely vertical with none of the "barber pole" twist seen in "second
rate" troops. The gig line (shirt button line, belt buckle, and fly)
are also done up regulation. The Boy Scout pocket knife is even hooked to the clip facing the correct direction! Since I wasn't a senior scout, yet, I'm wearing the green tabs on the garters which are hidden under the top roll of the knee socks. Garters were so foreign that the non-scouts didn't have a clue what to say, and left us alone. My serious face here masks that I was extremely proud of my appearance. This would stay so, even through high school and adult leadership while I was in college
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