Monday, 9 July 2012

A zebra crossing, a young boy, an old man - then and now

The Beatles crossing Abbey Road
I must have been around 10 years old when zebra (pedestrian) crossings were still a relatively new innovation.
I have a clear recollection using one to cross the road near the family home not far from London's Oxford Circus, the traffic having stopped to allow me to do so.
On reaching the far side an old man, a stranger, spoke to me. He lectured me briefly on the correct etiquette when using a zebra crossing; I should have acknowledged the motorist that had halted.
To this day, I always give a small wave of recognition just as the old man had suggested.
Fifty years on though we have lost something; I couldn't do the same as him in a similar situation.
I'd be arrested talking to small boys about anything; and told where to go by bigger ones if I advised them to deposit their rubbish in waste bins. I could be risking life and limb telling even bigger ones to take their feet off bus seats.
Pity really, don't you think?

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