During the summer I was a construction engineer in building dams. There was a field tile that would drain a 1/4" stream of water and I would build a large dam to hold the water. Never did get it right. Worked at it couple years until I was old enough to work for the farmers driving tractors for 35 cents per hour for 16 hrs a day. This was in the mid to late 1950's.
There was a steep, rutted out downhill trail in between two streets, through a vacant lot, that had a big hump on the downhill side. We used to catch air off it on our bikes as kids, I biffed it several times over the years, and had the wind knocked out my sails...laughing and dying at the same time, lol!
I walked by there Yesterday, vacant lot is still there, but the trail is completely grown over. Sort of tells the sad story!
It's easy to get nostalgic. My kids are not nearly as adventurous as I was but, then, I could have killed myself a dozen times over before I was 20. That's nothing upon which to fondly reflect. That stated, yes, we have a crisis of vigor in our kids. Helicopter moms, effete dads, estrogen heavy foods, changing social morays, limitless media options, carbohydrate dense diets and a complete lack of discernment have all manifested in physically inactive kids.
In the 60's Stop signs had 3 inch galvanized pipe, well the older guys would use torn down pipes prop them on rocks and put a dime ball in the pipe... then they would put an m80 at the bottom and send that rubber ball
flying 2 blocks into our play ground where us little guys would try to hit incoming with baseball bats! Man, what great memories! We learned that from Cronkite when he filmed our Vietnam Troops on the news.
Hold on there professor. Now these words may be elementary to many and may not rise in complexity to the Institutions of a Princeton, MIT or a Stanford but you have purposely thrown the proverbial wrench of verbiage into our campfire here of which you continue will not be welcomed. Spot 1, get him!
Spot 1. Please tell this man the rules of engagement on this site as penned in the "communication etiquette manual" as was told in harsh terms to me when sitting around a campfire. Spot 1. My post was not to demean or chastise Owl in any way for the words he had chosen to describe his "thoughts". I realize you may struggle mightily but that is fine. What is good for the goose .....so I would expect Owl to take cover from your ire..... Correct?...being the fair man that you profess.
depending on our age we'd ride bikes, play "kick the can" at the Kelly's so I could be close to Susan (she had big hooters at that age), shoot starlings/house sparrows in the back yard with the air gun, go fishing on our bikes, play in the woods, explore, played a lot of baseball, worked in my dads garden, mowed the yard ... just be home in time for dinner or else, then back outside till dark and the mosquitos started to eat you up playing "kick the can" .. in the winter, go sledding, ice skating/play hockey/bunny hunting with the air gun, started trapping when I was about 11-12 ....
Rocky, I've taken plenty of grief for my vocabulary over the years. Of course, I also try to be as brief and clear as possible because the hallmark of good prose is economical profundity. In properly structured sentences, the writer's word choice infers he values the reader's time and treats it with respect. People inherently respond favorably to that effort. That is true for everyone - even in disagreement.
Owl, I appreciate your efforts because you appear to be comfortable in that writing style. I respect that. I also respect a "I ain't and I dunno". Unless particular care is taken I disagree with a "properly structured sentence". Provoking thought has always paid dividends, the percentage retained to some much higher than others. Mike in CT. is a polished orator of words which I believe sheds light upon his past educational commitment and care that bleeds into his writing style. After reading some of his best posts I feel as though his greatest post has yet to be written. At the end of the day it is all the same. Say it as you feel it. I am awaiting Spot 1 and his estimation which I highly regard.
yeah..... did stuff in my youth that coulda been hurt bad or killed. Great adventures. Used to beg to go on trips to the dump..... sometimes come home with more than what we left with..... I think I had 4 or 5 bicycles at the farm made out of dump parts. it was a sad day when they shut down the dump for "safety reasons". I figured somebody new that moved up from city whined about it......
Had to add this after......... let my shortest post stand on it's own for a while.....
Scentman’s post about shooting things out of the pipe reminded me. We used to shoot tennis balls out of the can they came in using lighter fluid. Then one day my dad brought home a pair of asbestos mitts from work. My older brother being the genius he was decided we needed to soak tennis balls in gasoline and light one and play catch in the alley. Only problem was my mom could see us. Oh and the whole asbestos/mesothelioma thing was taking off. The gloves disappeared soon thereafter.
One of our favorite winter pass times was to go as far out on frozen Lake Erie as we dared. Until Francis O'Hara fell through the ice and his body was not recovered for several months. Yes, this and other stuff has convinced me we all have a date and time, so enjoy life to the fullest.
Owl, yea, forgot those dirt clod wars and pulling up weeds/clods attached and tossing them at each other like spears and BB gun wars with red ryders, we wore old motor cycle helmets with shields down and heavy coats, 2 pairs of jeans.. I still have a scar where a BB went thru the jean jacket in my side and was stopped by a rib... we popped it out like a pimple, no way mom & dad was gonna find out !! the other kid used a Crossman pump and put to many pumps in it...lol...... I can remember one night at a buddies house running across the back yard in the dark ... TWAAAAANNNNGGGG !! ... I caught the unseen coated wire across the forehead his mom used to hang clothes on, it was drooping, layed me out flat !! ... oh, there were other injuries for sure ...
We did all kinds of fun stuff, including starting a campfire in the woods by siphoning gas out of an abandoned pickup in the woods and starting a campfire with gun powder. Lucky we all have fingers still!
We would go play ball or go fishing... ride our bikes where ever. It was awesome. A bunch of us worked for a whole summer on the local cucumber farm, picking cukes and saving the cash in a communal effort (literally all the boys in my class, so like 8 kids) to buy all the wood we would need to make a cool ramp for bikes and skateboards. Mind you we lived in a tiny New England town where cow's outnumbered people and the common was (still is) a post card... so a "skate park" was something that if we wanted, we had to build. One kid's dad volunteered the space in the yard, and we went to the local (Home Depot etc didnt exist) lumber yard, and bought all the wood we would need, the screws etc... My dad felt we ought to have plans so he bought us a book on building ramps. Then you had the 8 of us out there for a week, borrowing tools, and trying to figure out how to build this thing. We figured it out, and had what had to be the only "half pipe" for 3 miles in any direction at the time. Mind you, you took your life in your hands just to try it and no inspector would have passed it... But we built it, and were proud as hell!
Cool when kids get a chance to mess up. Very cool.
After several hours of soaring I landed my hang glider perfectly in the field below Mt. Holyoke on the outskirts of Northampton, Ma. An older gentleman came up beaming, having obviously enjoyed the fun my friends and I had in the sky, and introduced himself as Captain Johnson. He said, "it sure takes a fella a lot more to get a thrill than it did when I was a kid!"
That was my favorite neighborhood flying site and he lived across the street so he and I enjoyed many conversations over the next few years and I learned that thrills are in the eye of the beholder! It turns out that as a boy he used to walk up and down that road, climb every telephone pole and stand on his head on the top! He later disclosed that he was the Captain of the National Geographic sailing ship and had actually sailed it around Africa, around the Cape on Good Hope, where he left most of his palms on the lines!
I would say he did some pretty good things to get a thrill himself. So it is all about perception!