I grew up in a small town in upstate NY, no chain restaurants, a small grocery store, a bowling alley, a couple mom & pop restaurants and a pizza place. The Am/Pm convenience store was the place to get candy and soda for less than a dollar. We had a kids bowling league every Saturday morning, church school Wednesday after school that we had to walk to. As a matter of fact we walked or rode bikes to basically any place in town, be it a mile or 5. Everyone knew everyone, if not by actual first name, by the 'family' name, as in: she's related to so-and-so who was the cashier at the IPA. In the summer we did the recreation program at the town park, we rode our bikes down in the morning, went home for lunch, rode back for the afternoon and had to be home for dinner at 5:00pm. Both my folks worked, so they had no idea where we were but you betcha the other moms who didn't work made sure we behaved. The highlight of our summer was the annual town parade and fireman's carnival, it lasted a whole 3 days and we'd spend every minute riding those sketchy rides and eating funnel cakes, sugar dusted waffles and guzzling orange soda. I miss those days.