Saturday, October 22, 2011


I was absolutely fearless as a kid.  Well, that's not true.  I hated spiders and snakes and bugs and that kind of thing as much as I do now.  And chicken guts.  And toads.

But I'm talking about stunts.  I mean truly stupid stuff I can't believe I survived.

Example #1-

I took this photo from on top of one of our Harvester grain silos.  I am awful at guessing heights, so I won't attempt it here - but these silos are big.  I guess that can be assumed, given this view of the barn roofs.

I had no qualms about climbing up there - even at the very top when you have to keep climbing without the safety of the semi-circle cage encasing the ladder.  I just wanted to get the photo on my Kodak Pocket Instamatic (we were inseparable.)

I remember sitting up there, just contemplating life.  Looking over all that land, not seeing another soul, it was peaceful.  

I wouldn't climb up there now if you paid me.  A lot.

Example #2-

The Talbert family lived down the road from us.  Actually, they lived at the very end of our dead end road.  They didn't have many visitors, so when I saw a car driving past our house heading toward the Talbert place I would count the seconds before I saw the car driving back.  (Did they not get the "DEAD END ROAD" sign posted at the corner?)  Anyway, David was my age and Peggy was a couple years younger.  Together, we explored every inch of woods surrounding our houses - and while mine was mostly farmland, they had awesome woods.  They had a waterfall and creek practically in their back yard.  And our favorite thing to do was to swing out over the waterfall on grapevines.  

Grapevines.  That can break.

I took these photos years later.  See the rocks below the waterfall?  Yeah.  That's where I can't believe my mangled body didn't end up. 

Here is my brother, looking over the edge.  I remember using a zoom lens when I took this.

Example #3-

This is a bridge that was near my house.  It is called High Bridge.  It is called that for a reason.  It's freaking high.  I took these many years after we hung out there as kids.  

See the railing?  Yeah.  I walked across that railing more times than I care to even think about.  It is maybe one foot across.  One slip, and you can see where you end up.  Legend had it that a kid we knew rode his bicycle across the top railing.  Thankfully, I wasn't that brave.  Or stupid.

And it's a rather long bridge.

This photo is taken probably half way across the bridge.  

My friend, Jill, lived right by the bridge.  Her family were the caretakers of a girl scout camp that owned the property to one side of the bridge.  Purdue University owned the property on the other side.  We camped out there a lot during the summer - but rarely far enough that we couldn't run back to the house to use the bathroom.  Purdue students would come down there to camp and party, and we spied on them.  

Now, heights completely freak me out.  I can't even drive across a bridge without getting sweaty palms.  Roller coasters?  Don't get me started.  I almost had "an accident" during the Tower of Terror ride at Disney World.  

What happened to me??  

We now live in the St. Louis area.  Don't expect me to go up in The Arch with you, and don't be surprised if I get weird while going over bridges.  I used up a lifetime of height tolerance at a very young age.

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