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How did we all ever survive to adulthood ? Add your story

William81William81 Member Posts: 24,516 ✭✭✭✭
edited December 2023 in General Discussion

My brother and I were talking on the phone today about things from our childhood. He brought up how our Dad would tie a 30 foot rope on the back of the station wagon and pull us on a sled down the back roads near our house out in the county. Which ever one of us not on the sled was suppose to watch from the back of the car to make sure the other one was OK.... I got left for a few minutes one time when the rope broke !!

I can vividly remember watching sparks from the sled when we hit dry pavement. Dad would take a turn a little too fast and we would end up in the ditch. I do remember wearing a football helmet when we did this. We all thought it was great fun....

How about you all, what things should have cut your journey short when you were a kid...........


  • pulsarncpulsarnc Member Posts: 6,181 ✭✭✭✭

    We used old car hoods as sleds when we infrequently got snow. Tied behind a tractor or 4 wheel drive truck , it Gave us all a good ride.

    We farmed. We had hogs . Try riding a full grown hog like a cowboy sometime!

    cry Havoc and let slip  the dogs of war..... 
  • redneckandyredneckandy Member Posts: 9,679 ✭✭✭✭

    We were a little fancier and bolted an old bench seat to the truck hood..

  • FrogdogFrogdog Member Posts: 2,753 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2023

    We used old water skis (with fins removed) pulled behind 4-wheelers and pickups in the snow.

    For my kids, absent snow, I put them on or in a big, thick cardboard moving box tied to the 4-wheeler and sling them around when the Fall leaves are thick in the yard. Works great, and scares them (and Mama) pretty good!

  • dunbarboyzdunbarboyz Member Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭✭

    We used a giant truck innertube behind a jeep. That would be reckless child abuse today.

  • RossoRacerRossoRacer Member Posts: 67 ✭✭✭

    Plastic sled hauled behind a snowmobile, small hill coming up to the driveway on either side with 2-foot drifts, my brother always thought(as did I for a bit) that it was fun to be riding in the sled when the snowmobile pulled us over those drifts at enough speed to jump the driveway. Friends who would visit thought so as well.

  • Ditch-RunnerDitch-Runner Member Posts: 24,365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2023

    my snow adventure was just bumper skiing snow covered road grab a bumper and get pulled along down our street in town

    I have been part of a lot of dumb things , as a lot of you

    way too many to list .

    but a few examples

    one summer a friend had a opal station wagon.

    I decided to see how fast I could run ( ya that dumb ) so I grabed the tail gate and said lets go not sure how fast they got to but I was more leaping and being dragged and hanging on then running I let go and slid some distance on a gravel road I tore my hands and side up even my new belt I had just bought . dont try that at home kids .. still not sure how fast I went and dont want try again

    as for the little wagon we took turns on the roof hanging on to the luggage rack while the driver would whip the car side to to side on the road and the other members would be tossing beer bottles at who ever the rider happened to be . trying to shake /knock them off

    about the same time if we went any where (the core group 4 or 5 us were very close more like brothers ) . we would stop at a gas station or carry out every one would run back to the car and leave the last fellow . of course we would always go pick him back up but it was still funny

    then one day we were in my 65 mustang we stopped at a small mom pop grocery store we all ran out to the car locked the doors just as randy was coming out

    as I was pulling away he jumped on the hood grabbed the wiper blades the only thing he could said your not leaving me so I took off , serious right at a 100 MPH my other buddies started worrying and begging me to let Randy off saying

    I might kill Randy ( some friend I know ) so I did stop he got off then we left him why not LOL ... we went back as always he cut his hand hanging on the wiper blades so tight

    lucky for me and him it ended like it did

    we use to play bumper tag on the interstate that could have went bad real fast lot of car stories but too many to list I had no fear when driving and would do anything

    all I can add all the things we ( I did ) someone was watching over me no doubt.

    I have to add

    RIP all my old buddies I miss all of you and the times we shared.

    I am the last living member of the group of about a dozen who all run around together we were more Like a extended family then friends . ( cancer took all of them over the years )

    back to the fun stuff and the common ground it seems

    my youngest son always making up and modifying cars and trucks still does

    about 10 years ago he took a old truck hood and was pulling the others behind with our tractor or my truck lie some of you he then upgraded welded a truck front seat to it than added a full roll cage and seat belts from another project he used it for several + winters then a buddy of his wanted it and offed him some cash and gone 



  • elubsmeelubsme Member Posts: 1,969 ✭✭✭✭

    I have often said I am on my second cat.

  • mac10mac10 Member Posts: 2,525 ✭✭✭✭

    10 years old we lived in grosse ile island in the detroit river on the canal, i had a 12ft row boat with a 5hp scott atwater (still have the boat) we would take a lunch and a can of gas (had to fill the tank on the motor) and go adventuring on the detroit river ,was not to leave the canal per parents ,,,that river was a dangerous place for a 12ft and 2 kids

  • dcon12dcon12 Member Posts: 31,929 ✭✭✭✭

    I am not sure I will. Don

  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,685 ✭✭✭✭

    I'd say dragging kids on a sled behind a car on a public road is a bit over the top.

    I became an 'adult' with adult responsibilities at 13 years old. I survived and retained all my appendages which is saying a lot considering farm equipment from the 1950's. I won't list the broken bones and scars but I walked away from every dent and ding and YES, I did my share of foolish stunts.

  • Butchdog3Butchdog3 Member Posts: 599 ✭✭✭✭

    Can't think of anything too crazy for me right now.

    Close by neighborhood gang found an old tractor tire. They would roll it way up on a hill, this hill was at least a 1/4 mile long and steep, and one brave sole would crawl inside. He was given a big shove off and away he went. When speed got to a certain point it would hop pretty high, further the faster. Finally rolled to a stop and flopped over. Took them several hours to sober up. One of them was born with one eye crossed. After that everyone blamed it on the tire ride for life.

  • Ditch-RunnerDitch-Runner Member Posts: 24,365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2023

    Think about just the average day

    No bike helmet no padding any where

    All playgrounds were built on blacktop and gravel any fall from the monkey bars or spin of the merry-go-round was a sure injury usually minor but could get serious

    Drinking out of a garden hose OMG I can still taste the water

    Stay out all day darkthirty was be at home time no one really kept that close of watch on their kids 99.999 % were safe from preadotors

    riding in the back of a pickup truck by our self or a bunch of other kids standing up above the cab to get a better view .

    No baby/kids seats in cars

    that one got me I was about 16 /18 months old we were hit head on by another car I was standing on the front seat between mom and dad my face and head went thru the windshield or close to it

    I had close to a hundred stitches in my face and head per my mom's and family's story I still have scars but over time they are not noticeable so much

    Dad was unharmedmom had stitches in her knee from the steel dash I seem to recall it was a 53 or 54 Ford some where I have the accident report .

    I remember also kids laying in the back shelf above the back seat sleeping

    I know me and my brother and sisters were guilty of it lucky no injuries

    Washing hands if eating outside ment wiping them on your pants or shirt if lucky a mud hole to use the water to really get them clean

    Climbing as high in trees as you could Maybe building a tree house

    I did fall out a few Tiimes as I will bet some of you did also

    Sharing a bottle of pop ( or soda ) to some of you with 4 to 6 friends each taking a swig and passing the bottle on to the next kid never mind the backwash and germs lol

    Having apple fights in the fall we had a few apple trees in the neighborhood then switching to rocks when the little green apples ran out ouch ouch

    If you were lucky and lived in town ( being sarcastic) running behind the mosquito fogging truck as it passed down your street each night

    Who can forget jarts lawn darts two pounds of a giant dart tossed into the air to land Ina small circle next to you and kids play a game I have read a few kids were killed as one pierced their skull and countless injuries why the government outlawed them

    A lot more but that will shake the memory tree for most of us

    By the way I hope Santa brings you all the toys you desire tonight

    Merry Christmas survivors

  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,063 ✭✭✭✭

    I was too young to remember this, but I am told that my Dad was working near the pond one day while I played. He turned at one point and saw only my feet waggling above the water. He yanked me out just in time. Claimed he never heard a splash and had no idea why he turned around at that moment.

    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • austin20austin20 Member Posts: 34,692 ✭✭✭✭

    Did some crazy stuff in my youth. Survived only through the grace of God

  • waltermoewaltermoe Member Posts: 1,780 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for bring back old childhood memories.

    I can still picture the back of that old Hudson as dad would give it gas and the snow would fly back on us kids.

  • NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 16,472 ✭✭✭✭

    Large male bovines and the riding thereof. Thank God I outgrew that after the first season!

  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 8,155 ✭✭✭✭

    Dodging all the town drunks while delivering my paper route on my bike.


  • pulsarncpulsarnc Member Posts: 6,181 ✭✭✭✭

    We played cowboy and Indians on horseback . Someone would climb a tree and wait for you to ride by . With a yell they jumped and took you off your horse ! More than a few muscle sprains and one or two broken bones . Having been thrown off of my share of horses hogs and motorcycles ,I drew the line at bullriding.

    cry Havoc and let slip  the dogs of war..... 
  • asopasop Member Posts: 8,889 ✭✭✭✭

    I never ever did such things😜

  • roenm38roenm38 Member Posts: 32 ✭✭

    Growing up in Wisconsin in the 1960s the neighborhood boys including my self would ride sheets of ice when the Rush River broke up in the spring. The river was high and moving fast and the big sheets of ice were slippery. We farm boys were hardy and fearless. No wet suits, no life jackets, no head protection. My advice to anyone contemplating such a stunt, no,no,no!

  • ltcdotyltcdoty Member Posts: 4,158 ✭✭✭

    When we were kids back in 1957, it was common for us to take the icicles off of buildings and eat them like popsicles.

  • SW0320SW0320 Member Posts: 2,376 ✭✭✭✭

    Did about the same thing except with a dog. Town did a lousy job plowing so we always had snow on the road.

    We had a Weinerhamer and she just loved to run. I would get on my skis and hook the leash to her collar. My brother would start running down the road and she would chase him. I usually ended up in the ditch when the dog saw a squirrel and she ran off the road.

    It took me a couple of times for me to learn when she was heading off road to let go of the leash.

  • FrogdogFrogdog Member Posts: 2,753 ✭✭✭✭

    Well, times never change that much, I guess. My kids have been doing similar stuff just this week with our dog (who loves to run). Daughter # 1 scavanged an old kid-hauling bike trailer, tore it down to the frame, made a plywood seat, and added a tongue made out of an old fertilizer spreader handle. Sewed a full-body dog harness……and off they went. Daughter # 2 on roller skates leading the way with dog and Daughter # 1/chariot in hot pursuit. They were flying!

  • buddybbuddyb Member Posts: 5,223 ✭✭✭✭

    Many of us geezers on here grew up in the era of 18 year olds could legally buy alcohol,there were very fast muscle cars and Uncle Sam sending us to Southeast Asia.Thank goodness a few of us made it to old age.

  • Butchdog3Butchdog3 Member Posts: 599 ✭✭✭✭

    I made it by the grace of God only. My dad and neighbor cut an baled hay on the shares.

    I mowed and baled when I could just barely reach the pedals on ground that I have trouble just walking on now.

    Talk about guardian angels.

  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 14,090 ✭✭✭✭

    black powder, Tar, cherry bombs, and a couple 10 year olds, I think you all can guess the outcome, though we did live through it will all our fingers and toes........

  • slingerslinger Member Posts: 1,320 ✭✭✭

    Even though I'm rounding third base, I still haven't achieved adulthood.😉

  • Okie743Okie743 Member Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 3

    Just a miracle we baby boomers survived, no seat belts, dimmer switches on on floor board, no power steering or power brakes, no driverless cars other than from brain dead people or people high on moonshine.

    Most everyone carried pocket knives even in school and hunted with guns. (now days I would be labeled as a terrorist and banned from school. I've noticed that some kids now days get banned from school on purpose as punishment. I think the school system should assign them to janitorial latrine duty as punishment instead of being placed on detention from school.

    My school teachers had my respect after they had laid the big Oak paddle to my behind and if mom or day heard about such I would get more of the same.

    Not any such thing as ADD in my days in school. The Oak paddle and leather belt was the cure for that one and I know that it really helped getting and keeping my attention and respect for my teachers.

    And no cell phone. How can anyone ever survive without a cell phone. (might have to try to google the answer to that question)

  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,149 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 3

    We lived in the Atlanta suburbs, but Dad had lots of guns. South Dakota farm boy. On occasion, he would take us out to the country to fire the guns. One day, at age 10 I theorized that the little round bubble at the base of a 12 gauge shell was what made the shotshell fire. There in the Atlanta suburbs, with nobody watching, I laid the shell down on the ground, and from 5 feet away, fired at that little metal bubble with my Daisy Red Rider. My theory was proven correct and the shell fired! At least I had the brains to remove the shot prior to firing.

    The next year, I was given a "percussion" frontier rifle for Christmas. This toy gun was about four feet long. There was not a percussion nipple, there was a little flat spot where the hammer struck. You put a Greenie Stickum cap on that flat spot. The gun had a ramrod, and you rammed a .40 round ball down the barrel with the ramrod. The ball was made of cork. There was no powder. The Greenie Stickum Cap would fire the cork ball about 30 feet!

    I had been reading Little House on the Prairie, and Laura Ingalls Wilder explained in detail about how Paw put 80 grains of black powder down the barrel of his percussion rifle. Sadly I had no black powder. Fireworks were legal in Georgia, I theorized that the powder from 5 Black Kat firecrackers would substitute for black powder. I took apart the firecrackers, the powder was a fine, silvery powder. I poured the powder down the barrel, it was a couple good thimbles full, probably 40 grains of powder. I found a kids toy marble that fit the barrel perfectly. I rammed the ball securely down onto the powder. I put the Greenie Stickum Cap in place.

    Even my 11 year old brain realized that the rifle might explode. I wedged the rifle securely into a big bush. I aimed it at the concrete block basement wall of the neighbor's house 30 feet away. Ever careful, I tied a 10 foot kite string onto the trigger, and I stood back ten feet away. My parents and the neighbor parents were off at a restaurant having dinner, there was nobody else around.

    I stood back ten feet and pulled the string. The rifle fired! What a noise. A big plume of blue smoke. I looked at the rifle, and the barrel had not exploded, but it was bulged a little at the base. I went to examine the concrete block wall at the neighbor's house, there was a one-inch hole in the concrete block.

  • Ruger4meRuger4me Member, Moderator Posts: 3,272 ******

    @allen griggs and what happened when the folks and neighbor got home? ....🤣

  • Gregor62Gregor62 Member Posts: 3,040 ✭✭✭✭

    You mean like crossing a river next to your house that hadn't froze over before, with nothing but a stick to avoid certain death? Nope never did that.

  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,149 ✭✭✭✭

    Nobody ever noticed the little hole in the concrete block. Believe me I was holding my breath, because I would have gotten a whipping.

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