The Ol’ DDT Truck

DDT Is Good For Me-e-e!” - Sociological Images

Eldermike made a comment that awakened in me a long-repressed childhood memory.

We lived on a dead-end street that was once a dirt road, then a gravel road, with a school and playground right next door. And a nice big woods, too.

And every now and then the truck would come by to spray the whole neighborhood with DDT. It was supposed to kill off the mosquitoes. And a lot of us kids ran behind the truck, basking in the cloud of pesticide.

Today this seems an exceedingly bizarre scenario. But back then, who knew? DDT was a good thing. Even if it didn’t work. We had the DDT, we had screens on all the doors and windows–and the mosquitoes still got into your bedroom every night.

In all likelihood this DDT exposure was bad for us. But I’m not aware of any ill effects on my health. If so… well, sometimes God protects us from the fruits of our follies.

3 comments on “The Ol’ DDT Truck

  1. Your post reminded me of a few other things.

    Growing up, our family always had fireworks during the 4th of July, sparklers, and every other kind of firework you could imagine. Our dad let us play with, not only firecrackers and sparklers, but what we called M-80S (he just instructed us to be careful). My brother made model cars. He got tired of them, and decided to blow them up using firecrackers (we were 11 & 12 at the time). Well, all they did was make a loud noise. So we tried the M-80s. We went behind our garage, placed one inside the car, light it, and ran to the side of the garage, just as it blew the car to pieces. There was almost nothing was left. He had about five more cars, so we blew them up the same way.

    We rode our bikes without helmets, played with Jarts, the lawn dart game that was banned in the 1980s, drank from the garden hose, shot BB guns at my uncle Bill’s farm. He showed us how to operate his small John Deere tractors (he told us to only use first gear) and let us drive them all over his farmland trails. I shot trap with a shotgun (when I was about 10) at my other uncle’s home in the countryside. Most of us made it to adulthood without any serious injuries.

    1. Jarts! Wow, hadn’t thought of those for a long time.
      We weren’t allowed to have any fireworks, so we had to be subtle about obtaining them.

  2. Yes, God our Father is merciful when we are misinformed as to what is good for us.

Leave a Reply