The Joy of Adventure

Today’s guest post comes from Crystalbay.

Finding adventures in the suburb was my third child’s greatest joy. It’s often said that kids these days have little desire to actually go outside and find something active to do. TV, video games, computers, and social media consume them.

The art and respect for actual conversations seems lost on this generation. I’ve told my teenaged grand kids that they’re welcome to the lake, but not if they bring their Iphones.

I haven’t seen them since.

Steve, now 44, was by far the most precocious kid I’ve even known. I think that rather than try to capture the activities he dreamt up as a story, I’ll just bullet point them:

  • built a zip line in a public preserve
  • made a straw into a dart gun that would send sewing pins through the air. (Unfortunately, his first dart ended up in the school bus driver’s cheek.)
  • went skateboarding in the city’s underground storm sewer system wearing a minor’s flashlight hat
  • took girls to the top of a water tower and swam in the tank
  • built a 3-story A frame from a large hole he dug
  • when confined to a downstairs bedroom as punishment for sneaking out of his upstairs bedroom, put hinges on the storm windows to make them into doors
  • made a large dummy called “Fleed”, complete with a wig and clothing, then would toss him onto the road just as a car neared. I guess that he just wanted to see the driver’s reaction thinking he’d run over a person
  • learned the months of the year by using a dozen Playboy Magazine covers he found in a dumpster
  • dug a hole in a very thick book into which these pictures fit so that he could show them to his school friends (he got caught for this one)
  • almost blew his thumb off seeing what would happen if he hit a nail gun bullet with a hammer
  • hid a couple of girls behind the knee wall which he outfitted with sleeping bags, strobe lights, and music
  • put his sister’s goldfish under her covers because he thought they were cold
  • created a giant Johnny Jump Up out of two garage door springs and a seat. Jumping from a tall tree branch, this thing went 20’ feet up and down (this one ended badly when a spring broke and gashed a kid’s scalp)
  • collected lunch money from other kids by selling a hidden stash of candy

This is just the partial list of Steve’s adventures. It’s amazing that he lived through his capers and that his parents were more amused than angry. He also went on to teach himself the 12-string acoustic guitar and learned all of Leo Kottke’s music.

His wife threw a “Man Shower” just before their baby was born. My contribution to this event was a booklet, complete with illustrations drawn by his nephew,  sharing Steve stories.

I entitled it; “Things Your Daddy May Not Want You to Know”.

What adventures did you create during childhood?

104 thoughts on “The Joy of Adventure”

  1. Steve sounds like the kind of kid that would age his parents prematurely. I shudder to think of what mischief would have ensued if his creative talents had been paired with tim’s.

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    1. steve sounds like the little voice inside my head and the guys i hung with, i was asked why i hung around with the bad kids, the dumb kids the trouble makers it was because they were so much more fun and had way better stuff going on than the good kids. i got along fine with the good kids but preferred the kids like steve who came up with great stuff to do.

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  2. Sensing a theme of dangerous dare doing, I will confess to multiple crossings of a Red River of the North dam. Island Park swimming pool in Fargo was across the river from Moorhead. A short cut to the pool became available when a flood mitigation project changed the course of the river and a concrete dam was constructed. It was engineered to allow a continuous flow of water over it’s 6-8 foot width. The drop off and rate of flow would depend on the river levels, normally higher in spring; lower in summer. 19 people drowned in the current below this low head dam over the course of its life (it was replaced by rapids in 1998). One of my sisters and I would transit during the less dangerous summertime to save a half hour walk. The other tattle-tail sister would go the long way around using the bridge. We more fool-hearty (not brave) kids had to pay for her silence. Amazingly, my Mom never found out until years later.

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  3. I suppose most kids and young people engage in foolhardy derring-do at some point. It’s only in retrospect I realize the folly of some of my more dangerous ones, and I shudder to think of what might have happened.

    I have dived into many waters, head first, without first checking for depth or big rocks or other obstacles. I was very, very lucky; only once was the water too shallow. That could have resulted in a broken neck, but I got away with scraped hands, forehead and chest. Taught me a valuable lesson.

    Compared to Steve and tim, though, my list is pretty tame. Like the time I climbed over the fence to a neighboring apple orchard to steal a kitten from a feral cat who had had a litter there. Well, that momma cat wasn’t about to let me have one of those kittens, and attacked me. By the time I got back over the fence I was a shredded, bleeding mess.

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    1. i too dove headfirst into a stream with a dropoff rapids water turbulence at an age too young to comrehend that one had to have a cuase which would have led a thinking person to realize there was an issue. i dove in launching like a dive at the start of a race and i felt the underside of my harms contact the submerged concerte slab as my chest scraped all the way down taking off a layer of skin. i know exactly what you mean pj. di the nose chin and chest on a back flip on the diving board once too. looking down as it scraped my chest then hit my chin as i raised my head scuffed my nose and felt luck to only tik my eyebrows not scrape them off.

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  4. Rise and Live Life to the Max Baboons!

    Well, compared to that list my life has been very tame. Most of the big childhood adventures came with my uncle and our travels with him (worthy of a series of posts) or on farms owned by Aunts and Uncles near Pipestone. Like CB, I will post a list:

    * Learning to “pick eggs” (gather them from the nests) and intimidate mama chickens into giving the eggs up to me while enduring their pecks. Speed is essential in this procedure.

    * Swinging from the hay rope in the barn 30 feet up. Gasp.

    * Riding with my 11 year old cousin as she drove the car over the corn field to take “Lunch” (meaning 2pm coffee, cake, and fresh ice water) to the men who were baling hay. Her feet did not quite reach the pedals (including the clutch–yes, the 11 year old was driving a manual transmission).

    * Driving the tractor with the manure spreader attached and fully operating on a dare from my cousins.

    I will not be on the blog much next week. We are moving home. The upstairs projects are nearly completed.

    CB, I’m so glad you posted again! tim, if you are having a bad day today, be polite!

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  5. I’m not a risk taker by nature, nor did I grow up adventuresome, certainly not inventive. But as a young adult I managed to find men who led me on “adventures” of sorts…a list seems appropriate.
    1. Hitchhiking from Alaska to Montana. (Inadvertently left my suitcase in some Canadian town whereupon the Mounties sent it to my father who had no idea where I was or who I was with)
    2. Motorcycle trips through New England and Quebec…one accident in Maine sliding off the road and the bike landing on my leg. No serious injury and the rest of the day was spent in a lovely restaurant by the harbor and eating fried clams, lobster stew and the best blueberry pie I had ever had or have had since (or was it because I was glad to be alive.)
    3. Another motorcycle ride from Maine to Cape Cod in an October snow storm in summer clothes (never been so cold since).
    4. Learning to rock climb on a SD Needle whereupon sitting on the top, I heard a woman say “Does your mother know where you are?” (She didn’t, of course)
    5. Riding in an overloaded kayak across an open stretch of Yellowstone Lake during a snow storm.
    6. Hiking the back country of Yellowstone following a rather fresh Grizzly Bear trail and returning to our bear-sacked camp a couple days later.
    Ended up marrying a man more risk adverse/less adventuresome than me.

    As a child spending summers at my grandparents farm (like Jacque’s cousin) my uncle taught me to drive a truck when I was eleven. Then he thought to put me in the driver’s seat of a tractor in front of a loaded hay wagon on a slight incline. When I let the clutch out too soon and the front end of the tractor came off the ground, I was relieved of any future driving.
    Other than these that come to mind, my rather mild adventures included traveling to Europe by myself with no plan of what to do when I got there (went by boat so met people to connect with) and riding unpredictable (aren’t they all?) horses. Riding over jumps the first time made me stop breathing until I was finished. Coming off enough times that it no longer was scary. (Now I pay with old unknown-at-the-time injuries come back to haunt me)

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    1. Those “old unknown-at-the-time injuries” are killers.

      Judging from that list, Cynthia, you don’t sound risk averse to me, not in the least.

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      1. Compared to the men I was hanging out with, i was a scaredy cat. They jumped out of airplanes, skied off cliffs, climbed Devil’s Tower….I had my “nope, not me”

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  6. Most of my childhood adventures involved archery. That doesn’t begin to say it. I should maybe say archery and terrible judgment. If my mother had known what I was up to her hair would have gone snow white in seconds.

    One incident that comes to mind was inspired by a B western movie in which Victor Mature was caught by Indians. To test of his courage they put him up against a backstop and shot arrows all around his body, barely missing him. One afternoon I did that same trick, shooting arrows around the body of my young sidekick at the time, a kid named Billy. I honestly don’t know how close my arrows came, but they were close enough that I still hyperventilate when I recall this stunt. When Billy wriggled free of the arrows and offered to do the same thing with me against the target, I suddenly came to my senses. My judgment was good enough to prevent me from mentioning this escapade to my mother.

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    1. One of my father’s boyhood friends (mammy Lorentzen’s oldest son) lost an eye as a result of a bow and arrow accident when he was a kid. How old were you at the time, Steve?

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  7. Farms certainly give a child an opportunity for wild shenanigans that town life can’t provide. I think my adventures often involved fireworks. i don’t know how my cousins and I managed to keep our fingers and eyesight. We would chase each other and throw firecrackers at each other. We set one of my younger cousins in the middle of the farm yard once and tried to hit him with some sort of missile fired from a cannon made of empty beer cans. I don’t remember if we hit him, but at least we gave him a helmet to wear.

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    1. im laughing at the year we had 4th of july in the backyard after the city fireworks and the kids had friends over. middle kid was sports team focused and we had the boys over and we had the good fireworks that are the size of tennis balls and launched in a cardboard tube the size of your arm. we had some bigger some smaller and a whole bunch of bottle rockets and roman candles. there was this one kid who was long and lopey and with the bouys all possesing bottle rockets they allin unison turned and lit their roman candels and turned toward him and as he becan running he had 15 boys all blasting him with roman candles wher the green one then the red one and i was laughing so hard as he ran like the scarecrow in the wizard of oz knocking flaming projectiles off his back shirt head pants and on and on and on. i thought after he got 6 or 7 form everyone they should stop but i was laughing so hard i couldnt say anything. i was doubled up in laughter not able to say a word. each roman candel gets about 20 fireballs and he got all 20 times 15 boys. gosh it was funny he was so spooked he kept runnig 4 steps the turning around and going the other way, so he never got more that 20 or 30 feet away and the boys just aimed a little left and a little right. he ended up doing great at the carlson business school and has a good job but as a kid he was the one everyone knew to aim their roman candles at.

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      1. Oh my god, tim. That’s NOT funny, it’s downright cruel. That poor kid probably got PTSD as a result of it.

        I was petrified of fireworks as a kid, and still don’t like them. To me that scenario is a nightmare.

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        1. ptsd would require an awareness of the present i think. this kid went home 1 day and had to call to see if he could come back over to pick up his pants. he forgot them. great kid but out there…

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  8. I lived in the country until I was 16. Once we moved to town, I did things like ride a bike in the dark down very hilly streets, no lights on the bike, no helmet (not that anyone wore helmets then), no reflective clothing. My friend and I would even do this, riding double on her brother’s bike (which was too big for both of us). I just saw this friend last weekend and we both seem way too sensible now to ever have done such a thing. There was a lot less traffic there than there is here in Mpls., but I still shake my head wondering how I could think this was a good idea. (But I admit it was pretty exhilarating.)

    In the winter, I went sledding down the alleys, not bothering to stop at the streets. I did stop before I got to the busier streets of downtown. At least it was daytime when I did this.

    I also climbed the fire tower on the second highest “mountain” in Minnesota. In the dark. I wanted to watch the sunrise from the top of the tower.

    Pretty tame stuff compared to the rest of the baboons.

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    1. One day when I was six years old, my mom, my sister and I went to visit mammy Lorentzen who lived a short distance from our house. I set out on my bike, and arrived at mammy’s house well before mom and my sister who were on foot. When I pulled my bike up to mammy’s house, I could hear her youngest son – a teenager and a relentless tease – was at home, so I didn’t want to go in. Instead I got back on my bike to ride back to meet up with mom.

      Mammy’s house was situated on top of a hill, and her driveway was a very long dirt path that sloped straight down to the road which ran perpendicular to it. On the far side of the road was a deep, about four foot wide, ditch; on the far side of the ditch, a tall, thorny hedge. For some obscure reason I had gotten into my head that when you were traveling at high speed you didn’t need to turn the handlebars to turn a corner; I distinctly remember thinking that. I would soon learn the fallacy of that theory.

      Off I went, barreling down that hill as fast as the bike would go. When I reached the road at the bottom, I shot straight across it, and became airborne over the ditch until my progress was stopped by that hedge. My bike continued through the hedge and came to rest in the park that lay beyond while I became impaled on the hedge itself. There I hung, screaming my fool head off, until mom and recruited helpers freed me. I still had scars on my legs from that little excursion when I started school almost a year later. Another lesson learned the hard way.

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      1. that might be the dumbest thing i ever heard.
        where on earth did the notion that you didnt need to turn the handlebars come from? other than that the story sounds fine. its the details that get you isnt it?

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        1. That’ll give you some idea, tim, of my grasp of physics. Apparently it had manifested already at an early age. It’s probably genetic, but I agree, incredibly stupid.

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        2. i had a friend who would miss obvious pieces of the puzzle and when he would be looking up at you from the bottom of the pile of rubble you would ask didnt it dawn on you and you know it just never did.

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  9. I’ve been snorting tea ever since I started reading, Baboons! How did you survive his childhood, CB?

    I will defer to my dad until I can remember some adventure worthy of these stories. Dad and his older brother were of the generation that tipped over outhouses on Halloween, managed to get an old car on top of the school house, drank Everclear when they were teens…

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    1. The really scary stuff was kept secret from me until he made his confession in his mid-20s! Had I known the full scope of what he was doing, my amusement would’ve transformed into terror. Even he admitted that he shouldn’t be alive today.

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      1. im going to tell my mom one of these days too. i think she will be able to handle it pretty soon. every now and then something will come up and she finds out some tid bit and you can see the wheels turn and she goes form realazation to acknowledgement to the hairy eyeball to a good shake of the head. ignorance is bliss and we kept her as blissful as possible

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  10. Two 15 year old boys were apprehended in a field southeast of town by our local police on Wednesday after they were found running around at 7:45 am without any clothes on. The boys told the police they said they decided they had nothing better to do than run around naked. THe police didn’t press charges but did refer the boys to have a little talk with the juvenile court judge. I am sure for some parents school can’t start soon enough.

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  11. I remember jumping off a tree limb with a rope swing in a neighbor’s yard, wondering if it was really such a hot idea. SOMETHING wasn’t right, and I mangled my knee pretty badly – maybe that wised me up, I didn’t do much dumb stuff after that, until the slumber party I had when we sneaked out in our pajamas at 2 am and walked a couple of miles to TP Phil M.’s house.

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    1. i had forgotten my friends dad who along with his brothers went of the ski jump in a coaster wagon and ll 7 boys broke at least on bone. 12 breaks in all. i have to wonder what the caller said when they finally reached the parents

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    2. i have scars for the donward desent of the options mentioned. one year some one thought of the best taboggining hill and wondered why no one ever did that one. … stitches. …side hill touch football …. collarbone dirtbike over the river trail….. ankle. sledrunner through the face from following too close. the doctor told me thats not a scar thats the addition of character. i liked that

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        1. i rarely hit a 10 in the pain meter. 5 or 6 is regrettable but frequent measuring marks. i guess i dont have that fear equals no guage i have a fear equals suck it up meter.
          you do what you can to avoid pain and i dont do the stuff the skateboarders do where the nevitability of pain is a given. i weight the reality and go for it if the plus outweighs the minus. i do say no on occasion.

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    1. Yeah – they didn’t realize that this particular system was the one all of the hospitals flushed their refuse down. They finally did realize it when Steve stepped on a Tampax pad. His friend, Andy, was ill for weeks. The public health department got involved and had the entrance sealed.

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  12. Afternoon–

    It seems to me all young boys will eventually do something stupid; it’s just that ‘group mentality’ that kicks in. And I fully expected our son to eventually do something stupid and I told him that. But he never did. I think just to spite me.

    Like others on farms, I learned to drive –and clutch– the old Chevy truck by following dad and the combine around the oats field.
    Tractors of course; I don’t remember when I started doing that… 8 or 9?
    We still have the Remington .22 pump rifle and I would load that with shells and shoot at tin cans pumping as fast as I could; like they did on TV.
    Reload, do it again. And again. Never hunted anything except tin cans.
    And if you filled a coffee can with sand you could dig out the mushroomed slug. That was always kinda cool.

    In high school, by best friend Pete and I were always trying to get onto a roof or into the tunnels under the school. We had a few keys to the theater so we tried every door we could find.
    And I learned how to slip a door latch with a knife. (because I carried a pocket knife of course).
    Befriending the head of maintenance worked better and he gave us tours just before we graduated. Thank you Milo for being so nice to a couple smart-ass high school kids.

    Worse than that:
    -I cut boards in the shop without eye protection.
    -I didn’t wear sunscreen.
    -The seatbelts were stuffed down between the car seats and I was fascinated to find them. ‘Look! Buckles!’
    -I laid on that ledge of the back car window while Mom and Dad went on their sunday drives.
    -We used the tin garage roof as our slide.
    -We lived in the machine shed while our house was being built. Had an outhouse and we showered down in the milkhouse because there was still hot water there. (I was only 4 so I don’t remember much about it).
    -I know I drank and drove more than I should have.

    -And I tried to clean the mud off the bottom of my boots on the running feed bunk auger. And that’s how I hurt my leg and spent 3 weeks in the hospital.
    I know I got smarter after that.

    (Yes I have had lots to say lately. Running lights for a play and I have time waiting for the show to start. Haha)

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    1. That auger accident was a close call. Bad as it was, I’m sure glad it wasn’t worse.

      What play are you working on?

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      1. Hi-
        (Why Yes, I am waiting for the last show to start.)

        It’s a kids production of ‘Beauty and the Beast, Jr’.
        I’ll hand it to the young boy playing Gaston; he sings to his own drummer and isn’t much intersted in where the CD is going!

        Regarding my auger accident. Yea, I was very lucky. Didn’t hit the bone, just took a chunk of flesh, muscle and nerve.
        And filled the hole with hay-silage…
        It was just a few years ago I learned from Mom that for the first week the doctors could’t stop the infection and were about to amputate my leg. (This was 1977).
        They had one new drug to try and mom had to approve it. DO IT! she said.
        And here I am.

        Just last year I started wearing a brace on my right foot as it was starting to give me trouble. But it was ‘broken’ for 37 years so I can’t really complain about that.

        Like Cynthia said, it’s the old injuries that come back to get us.

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    2. cleaning boots off the auger sounds reasonable until the consequence whacks you into reality. how easy to see the missed logic once its too late. i am so thankful i lucked out in all or almost all my questionable or non questioned actions.
      bumper dragging was just plain fun. wearing boots heavy enough to deal with the fact you might hit pavement just grabbing the back bumper f a car after a sowstorm and goin for a ride. exactly like water sking but a crazy boat driver cant flip o=you into the ditch as good a s a driver of an old hot rod

      you were talking about the sewers. we had some good adventures in the drainage systems for raod and rain run off not sewers .
      sewers i understand run 10-15 feet deeper.

      had a good one over by the airport where the airport air conditionng run off would go in a culvert under the freeway. we would park our car and walk the 1/2 mile or so to the hidden spot. we would plug the ends of the culvery ( it was 6 feet tall) with long 2/12s and let the water build up behind the dam and then assign one guy each time to pull the boards when the water got 2 or 3 feet deep and we wouuld ride the wave throug the culvert and into the down hill slide on the other where it dumped into the river,. too the butt righto out of whatever pants you wer wearing but it was worth it. ill bet i went throug 10 pairs of jeans that summmer. the cops showed up once to give us hell and they thought that was the best idea they had ever seen. they left laughing their asses off and told us not to tell anyone they were ever there.

      ill be back need to go ge tthe makings for some vichyssoise

      tree houses train car hopping barge swings building hot rods. figuring out how to get out of school when the new schools were built. forts snowball adventures . gosh i enjoyed childhood. havnet evern gotten to drugs alcohol and sex. we may need to save those for a seperate day. sex drugs and rock and roll was a mantra for an era and i was there ( i barely remember it but i have pictures somewhere. )
      back soon

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      1. A former work study of mine just today finished the European leg of the tour with ACDC. (In Poland matter of fact).
        We talked about ‘Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll’… but the sets are so big these days and you better have your head in the game.
        Lots of good food but not much of the rest.

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  13. I feel so…so…tame. Excitement around my corner of SW Minneapolis as a kid was things like hanging out on the back retaining wall (behind the garage, about 18 inches between garage and edge and a good 10 foot drop to the yard below) or climbing down into the giant window wells at the elementary school (big enough in one of them that you could stand up under the metal grating and have a good game of freeze tag – getting down there was easy, back out was a little dicier). Learning to bake at our house involved a bit of danger in that you had to know how to strike a kitchen match and not leave the gas running so long you would blow up the house (we had an old, what I’d guess to be early 40s vintage oven/stove that if it ever had a pilot light it had long since quit working – so you turned on the gas and lit the oven quickly – poof!). Um…beyond that it was even tamer stuff like laying down a strip of paper caps (like for a cap gun) and roller skating over them in my metal wheeled skates to set of the caps (which required speed and skillful alignment).

    I’m not much of an adventure seeker, at least not when it might risk life or limb.

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    1. We had an oven like that.

      I don’t think of myself as an adventure seeker, Anna. Well, almost never. But I was prone to do things on a dare. “I bet you can’t swim to that jetty,” or “you’re afraid to jump off the pier”; that kind of thing. Sometimes “adventure” just happens when things go awry. I did jump off the pier; a ten to fifteen foot drop into the harbor, no problem. I also swam to that jetty, a longer distance than I had ever swum before. What I hadn’t considered was the fact that there was no way to crawl up on the jetty to rest before having to swim back to shore, and that almost got me in trouble.

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    2. when running over a roll of caps with your roller skates makes you list anna i think it can safely be said, you are not a risk taker.

      there is a great set of risk takers last words ….

      hey watch this

      what happens when you touch these two things together

      can you grab my phone for me. it fell right between the seats right here

      is this poisonous?

      heres my selfie with the grand canyon in the background

      which one is the rip cord again?

      how long do you have after you light the fuse?

      whoops

      any more?

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      1. Just read in the newspaper about a woman who was taking a selfie with her child, backs turned to a buffalo about six feet from them. The buffalo attacked and threw her over its head. In my book that’s not risk taking, that just plain old stupid.

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  14. i used to sit in the rail in the hallway in jr high with the stairs behind and the drop was 40 feet or so. i would hook my feel securely aroud the vertical pipes and when someone would pretend to push me i would pretend to get out of their way and do the falling over backward move with my feet locked so securely that i could go quite a ways. it was interesting the reactions you would get.

    a couple of cbs sons list items remind me of similar events many have been previously mentioned.
    swimming in the watertower reminds me of the 100 degree day when we were working near the railroad yard dipping felt in tar goo to make the things that go between the concrete slabsl on the freeway. it was hot horrible work and all day we looked over at the railroad water car we were adjacent to. when the work was over we checked it out and lo and behold the top was unlocked. shinny dip in a railraod car full of water after a day of losing fluids to the sun was a great one. ill bet the people who used the water later were glad they didnt know.
    the girls behind the knee wall reminds me of a space in my parents house under the stairs i set up with stereo and sheetrock to become my study in high school. aahh the girls in the study were worth studying with for sure.

    palyboy was intreduced at age 7 by the neighbors two doors down,. i went home and told dad i saw an interesting new magazine he might enjoy thinking i could get him to order a subscription but he told me he didnt think that was a very respectful magazine of women. he and i had different senses of apprecaition for certain.

    i earned my cigarette money in jr high by lagging for quarters. 35 cents a day was all it took and a pack a day was a goal i had. i met my best friend for many years in the process. he would help me get to the goal and it turned into a business plan, small time but it worked.

    i get very concerned about the youth of america today and the tendancy to overprotect and make certain that they dont have any mishaps on the way through childhood. imagination creativity and failure until you succeed have made us great and is now frowned upon. i am in entrepreunaur groups with young folks who dont understand the try it and fail so you can get on to the next generation of it philosophy . i have people tell me over and over that it cant be done. and when i tell them to pretend their grandmother was going to die unless they figured out a way to do it miraculously they find a light bulb turns on. it is amazing.

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      1. like pitching pennies. you throw the quarter up next to the wall and the closest gets to take the money. the mens bathrooms at our school had a long area running the legnth of the bathroom and you would mark a spot on the wall for distance and take turns going first or second etc. win a buck if there are 5 people 25 cents if there are two. bring some quarters to the next bbc. ill show you…

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    1. I wonder, too, tim about the hyperprotection of kids. Many young kids–boys in particular–experience a time when they want adventure. I remember when novelist Norman Mailer spoke up for city gangs at a time when most of the nation considered gang violence the worst thing in America. Mailer said young men needed excitement, which was a major reason for them turning to gangs. As I recall, he thought we should make jousting or other exciting sports into an outlet. There are obvious problems with that.

      I was almost disgustingly polite and lawful as a kid, but even I had moments when it felt right to mess around with dangerous activities. A kid growing up on a farm or small town had alternatives to drugs and violence. Knocking over outhouses appealed to some. Never did much for me, but I found a few things to do that gave me a rush and didn’t hurt anybody else.

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        1. One night I stole some pop. A gas station had an early model pop bottle dispenser that looked like a big cooler. The bottles were in ice water below. When you put in the money (a dime, I think) you could pull a bottle out. But we figured we could just pop the top off and drink the pop through a straw, leaving an empty bottle behind. Not exactly John Dillinger stuff.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Once a few friends and I sneaked into a shed used by the parks maintenance crew. We were in there cowering behind a tractor when one of the workers showed up. I realized the worker would lock up when he left, leaving us locked there overnight. Just before locking up, he took a pee. I figured he wouldn’t be able to chase us very well, so I ran past him. My friends followed. Again, not very criminal. But to a kid who never did anything wrong, it was exciting.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. i threw stink bombs in the ice machine at the holiday inn. heard the manager bitchin about the sulfur smell and how he had to throw all the ice out. smirk smirk

          looked cool with smoke coming out of it…

          Like

        4. The way you tell about putting a stink bomb in the Holiday Inn ice machine, tim, sounds to me as if you’re proud of it; that you still think that’s OK, that it’s harmless fun.

          What am I missing? That’s not a harmless prank. It’s a mindset that I can’t relate to at all. I’m wondering where you draw the line between a harmless prank and malicious damage to property. To me it’s an indication of complete disregard for other people. Sorry, I just don’t get it.

          Like

        5. I was remembering capers pj,
          Disregard of others property by a 10 year old throwing a stink bomb in an ice machine, I understand your disgust but where the heck else were you supposed th throw a stink bomb anyway? Away from people so you didn’t offend them with the smell?

          Like

  15. Thanks, Cb, for a great weekend blog. Fun question to answer, and fun answers to read. It’s a wonder that some people have lived to tell about all their escapades.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. so what did steve turn out to be. i was talking with someone the other day and they made some comment about the minnesota guy who steams roofs in the winter that sent two crews to boston. i tild them i thought that was your kid but i have a bit of trouble keeping it all straight. its a consequence from doing all the life i have done. a lot of those remembering brain cellsa re the ones that get lost along the way. at least i think thats what someone told me.

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      1. I’m pretty sure you’re right about that, tim. Steve is the builder who built that amazing house for his older brother. A bit like you, he has a lot of other irons in the fire.

        Like

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