Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Memories....freaky frosted colored mamories like the corners of my mind..

Growing up in a smallish town in the Midwest during the late 70’s and early 80’s was an amazing time. We never had to worry about crazed maniacs kidnapping us or getting shot in a drive by. When we had a problem we used our fists or a board with nails in it and one time My older brother hit me with a vacuum cleaner pipe…You know the rainbow vacuum cleaners with those long chrome pipes, well I got one smashed across my ribs, I was going to block it but I figured I’d need my hands as soon as he was done swinging it. So I just let him hit me with it. Naturally the idiot step-dork came out at that time to find out what all of the hollering was about and I didn’t get to beat his ass.

But anyway, regardless of the “whole village” feeling we had, there was quite a few cracks for us to slip through. We weren’t the most evil kids growing up in Manhattan KS, but they were friends of ours. One of our favorite activities for the summer months when we were in grade school was believe it or not was school. Or more to the point breaking into the grade schools and seeing what the teachers and administrators left behind. It was also a time to try and get back anything that was taken from us on the playground, like pocket knives and comic books. We could always find an open window and that allowed us to wander around and rummage through the desks. It was great fun! But where we didn’t take anything of any value that wasn’t ours to begin with we did do other stuff on the last day of school to insure that we had a good summer.

See almost all of the schools in Manhattan were 2-3 stories tall, mostly 2 storied limestone structures. Lots of good foot holds and hand holds for climbing. We would spend the last two days of school on the playground kicking all sorts of ball onto the roof of the school. From footballs, to kick balls to soccer balls, if we could kick it it went on the roof. We would wait about a week for things to settle down and then we would scale the side of the building and get the balls.

Well I say “we” but I was always the guy that had to lift the little guys up far enough for them to get to the best hand holds, and then they would throw all of the balls down. But then we would have fun like no other.

One of the other fun things that summer time brought was Hide and Seek.

The neighborhood kids would all generally meet at our house every night or at the minimum every other night, at dark to play a MASSIVE game of hide and seek. We got so big that we had to limit the hiding area to ½ of one block. From the street to the ally on the south side of Humboldt between 9th and 10th streets was our hiding ground. First one found had to be “it”, and we would play until 2-3 am. I miss those days. No one giving us any shit, we ran the neighbor hood. It was almost like living in one of those ethnic neighborhoods in Manhattan NY, except we were all sizes, colors, and backgrounds. It was awesome!!

Nights warm as days, the air filled with the summer smells of flowers in bloom and new sunburns treated with a home remedy of white vinegar (don’t laugh it works!) and endless nights of playing with childhood friends. Could there be anything better?

Well not starting into a life of B&E at the age of 11 would have been ok but still probably not as much fun.

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