Darnell Crenshaw

Growing up GenX was exciting, and incredibly revealing as to who I am today. Looking back over the years, I was a pioneer. I learned at an early age to work hard and be responsible for myself. I grew up at a very pivotal point in life with emerging technological advances, such as the personal computer, color television with remote control, arcades and video games, music videos, rap music and the development of cell phones.

Prior to these advancements, I grew up close to family and friends and dependent on each other. As a kid, I can remember hanging out at the corner store and playing arcade games and buying penny candy; going to Fun Town; riding my bike all over the place for hours with friends; and playing simple games outside with the other kids, such hide-and-seek and redlight-greenlight. I can also remember sitting on each other’s porch late at night playing the dozens and just joking around and fantasizing about what our lives would be like when we got older. These were genuinely good memories that produced lasting friendships, some even to this day.

Growing up the youngest of nine kids, stretched me to be independent and hard working. Additionally, I always watched and learned from my older siblings, before making moves, to keep out of trouble. During these formative years, I can remember my parents not having much money, but somehow always making ends meet. They didn’t have a lot of material things to give us, but they always made sure you were fed, clothed, and felt loved. Looking back at this over the years taught me to value family, accept responsibility, work hard to make things happen, and always strive to be better.

As I’ve gotten older and think back on my childhood, I always tell my kids stories of how things were back then compared to now, reminiscing on the simpler times when society was community orientated, people focused, and had socially responsible values. Boy, I miss those days!