Amazing, I'm published! See it at Senior Sampler, section 2, p. 26. It's downloadable-will come out every Thursday. The column is called Looking Back and this week's article is Dumb Things I Did as a Kid by Lin Floyd (copyright 2008)
Ever thought about some of the dumb things you did as a kid and lived to tell about later? Growing up in the wild west (rural Utah in the 1940s), I was fascinated by playing “Cowboys and Indians” with my cousins. I took pride in being a “cowgirl,” and even had a special outfit to wear just like Dale Evans, Roy Rogers’ wife.
I remember one hot lazy summer afternoon sitting on my Grandma’s cement porch with my cousin Bill who was my age. He turned out to be a real cowboy when he grew up. Well, he had found some live bullets somewhere. We decided to pound on the cartridges with a big rock to see if they would explode! Fortunately, we couldn’t get any of them to explode—imagine what would have happened if we had been able to get even one of them to explode. I’d rather not entertain that thought too long. Busy Grandma was our babysitter while our moms worked at the local telephone office during the daytime.
Seems there was always something dangerous around to explore in those days, as we spent all of our time outdoors: making forts, and hiking around old boarded up mine shafts. My favorite activity was in the early summer, gathering some small, very green apples from a tree located near a deserted shack in the mining town of Eureka, Utah. It was so much fun to climb the old apple tree, and see how many of its bitter green missiles we could sneak away with. Of course, we didn’t eat them because we knew from prior experience what the results of that was. But it was fun to throw those hard green apples at each other or to throw them down old mine shafts and listen for the sound below when or if they hit the bottom.
After moving to California later, my younger cousin Marion and I decided to become “Indians” so we laid out on an old army camp cot in her backyard in our swim suits and became literally “red skins.” Our career was short lived as Indians as we ended up with such severe sunburns that our mothers, who were sisters, treated us with evaporated milk treatments for days. We were admonished to stay out of the sun and out of trouble. It was easier to stay out of the sun than out of trouble.