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As a child in the 30’s and 40’s, I experienced many feats of thrill, but today, I would absolutely refuse to let my children...or grandchildren do the same thing.

  Winter On The Hill

With runny nose and watering eyes, I faced the bitter cold.
This was winter of ‘41, and I was eight years old.
My sheepskin coat, with fur collar, was fastened ‘neath my chin,
Corduroy trousers tucked in galoshes, kept wind from getting in

. Two sets of mittens on my hands; a stocking cap over my ears,
I looked overburdened, but winter wise despite my years.
My American Flyer, steel-runner sled, tethered to a close line rope,
Followed doggedly behind, as I headed for the sledding slope.

Joined by kids from the neighborhood; we portrayed a winter thrill.
Laughing and throwing snowballs, we were anxious to reach the hill.
Stomping over a footbridge, spanning railroad tracks,
We looked down on “puffers” below, belching smoke from their stacks.

Our trek ended at the Fort Hill; atop the sledding street.
We rested here, before an exhilarating downhill treat.
A cry: “Last one down is a monkey; quickly I grabbed my sleigh.
With feet pounding, I slammed hard, and was on my way.

Runners on icy ripples, vibrations coursed my chest.
Ahead five riders led the way...I wasn’t first, but did my best.
Pitching into an “S” curve, my sled began to move.
Careful, lean into the turn, stay in a well worn groove,

Coming out of the turn, someone took a spill.
Dashing toward the bottom, I flew over a drop in the hill.
No time to look back, a cross street loomed ahead,
My body tensed, visions of autos entered my head.

Gripping the steering bar, the sled and I became one.
No cars from either side...I continued the downhill run.
I gained on a another boy, he was big and dragging his feet.
I’d not be passing him, as long as he hogged the street.

Reaching over my steering bar, I gave his boot a push.
He spun crazily out of control, and into a roadside bush.
Onward, downward...picking up speed, another street to go.
One little guy was almost there, when a car began to show.

Too late for either to stop, on streets of ice, and snow;
A Model T across his path; “Skeeter” shot through below.
Around the rear I passed, while curses pounded my ears.
Why would a driver cuss like that, to a kid of my tender years?

Now, a half a block gone; the bottom was nearly in sight.
The delirious ride was nearly over...oh what a joyous delight!
Riders streamed down the hill, smiles beaming from ear to ear.
We faced the Frozen Dragon, and none showed signs of fear.

We were reckless in our pursuit, of that there is no doubt.
Good fortune blessed us, as we sought life’s challenge out.
I pray my children were not foolish, as I was on that day.
But what they did...out of my sight, who then...can say?

There are many dragons to face, as we travel destiny’s path,
Foolish or not, like boys on the hill, we overcome their wrath.
To you I say...take charge of your life, make it what you will.
You’ll find it as memorable, as my “Winter on the Hill.”
Copyright 2013

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The recklessness of youth! :rolleyes: But then life would be pale without such memories :smile:



To late for either to stop, on streets of ice, and snow;


too rather than to?





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Thanks Badger11...needed a little bit more paint there didn't I?

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Hi Yarnspinner, This is my favorite of all your poems. What a fun ride. I was born in 1941. Yes life was simpler then and risks were ignorantly taken.. I have to admit to allowing my son to also take risks as a kid. He never drank or took drugs but he rode horses almost from birth, dirt bikes at 8 and was rock repelling at 10. As a teen he raced cars at the raceway where my husband was head of security. . Maybe that's why he is a cop today, an adrenalin junkie. Sometimes I think the children of today are too protected. My philosophy has always been, give them the proper training and proper equipment and you have to trust their instincts from there. But I have to admit you were one lucky person on this adventure.



~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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Miss Sharon

I just LOVE this write! I was raised in Florida but 16 years ago my husband and I moved to Colorado...and I do LOVE the snow. I go snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park as often as I can. Your poem really makes me want to go there tomorrow! Beautiful! ~Sharon

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There was risk, and there was fun, but at least it made sense. You dressed for it. I look around, and these days the schoolboys are walking around in winter wearing shorts. I try to understand, but an old guy like me doesn't get it.



Tony :rolleyes:


PS -- Even today, my mother is appalled as she continues to learn about all the fun (i.e. foolhardy) things I have done.

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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