Monday, February 1, 2016

But Would You Now

When I was a kid I would do things that would make me think twice and probably not do today. Climbing trees and almost falling out or hanging by my heels upside down are two things that I wouldn’t do now. I don’t think I would swim nude as we did as kids after playing several innings of softball in the hot summer sun. The water was cool in a secluded spot downstream from the bridge near Indian Head, Pennsylvania.
I don’t think I would swim sky clad before the end of April in the deep water beneath the arching bridge where Poplar Run Road meets Route 711. It was a spot close to my home and it was sort of a dare to get into that frigid, spring fed, and melting snow fed mountain stream. A large bonfire was necessary to prevent hypothermia.
There are a few things that I might do again, like making “beetle boppers” and having a jousting match. A beetle bopper was a nylon stocking with a pair of thick socks tied in the toes. It was a weapon much like the mace on a chain in medieval times. It could be swung at your opponent and make a loud smacking sound, without causing injury. It was all fun until the light bulb in the ceiling of the room shattered by a misplaced swing.
One thing that I never did with my kids that my mom did with us was to make an indoor skating rink with talcum powder, a linoleum floor, and socks. She would sprinkle the powder on the linoleum and with socks on her feet. She’d take a run and slide the entire length of the hallway floor. We would take turns until we were tired, then we hat to scrub all of the powder from the linoleum to prevent accidental slips and falls as we’d hurry through the house in bare or stocking clad feet.

There are some other things I wouldn’t do now, because I’m older and hopefully have more sense than I did as a kid, but who knows when I enter my second childhood. Beetle boppers anyone?

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