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Postby NZcaver » Jul 12, 2006 1:28 pm

Back in my day we had DECENT fireworks. :flamed: And if you wanted to modify them - or make some of your own - that was fine. No-one would accuse you of being a terrorist or anything... :roll:
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Postby Mike Cato » Jul 12, 2006 1:57 pm

Wayne Harrison wrote:When I was in 1-2 grade, we had rock fights out on the dirt road in front of our house. We used to square off like in dodge ball but instead of throwing balls, we threw rocks at each other. It was great fun.

The mention of the spear reminded me of spear grass we used to throw at each other in Texas. You'll pull the blade out of the stalk, lick it (for some reason) and then throw it and it would stick in the clothes of the person you were throwing it at.

Scott, I often joke with my daughter that in my day we didn't have iPods and computers for fun. If we wanted to listen to music we had to memorize a song and hum it as we walked. And all we had to play with was a stick and box and our imagination.


We called those spear grass thingees "monkey spears". I think that's what Dad said they were.

Also, we had dirt clod battles like the rock battles you described, Wayne (or should I call you Mr. Hardcore for using rocks). Great fun 'til your little brother gets one in the middle of his forehead... thrown by big brother.
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Postby Mike Cato » Jul 12, 2006 1:58 pm

Oh yeah, did anyone ever hear the following while enjoying some of this "fun":

"Y'all cut that out before someone gets an eye put out."
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jul 12, 2006 3:40 pm

NZcaver wrote:Back in my day we had DECENT fireworks. :flamed: And if you wanted to modify them - or make some of your own - that was fine. No-one would accuse you of being a terrorist or anything... :roll:

Absolutely... I recall taking the powder from a few choice fireworks and repacking them (tightly) in a different container or whatever and having a more satisfying BOOM than a loud CRACK.
Got caught once and there was more concern that I might bust a window or blow one of my fingers off than concern that I might use it to try and level my school.
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Postby Teresa » Jul 12, 2006 7:53 pm

Speaking of grass spears-- the trash land around my subdivision had these really cool weeds. Grew about 5-8 ft high and very straight. By fall the stalks had dried--had a woody cover over a pith center. So naturally we would chop them off, strip off the leaves and break the seed tops down to about a 1/4 inch diameter, and use them for spears. They weren't so hard they would hurt anyone, though a poke could damage an eye and it hurt. The pith could be used as a tasteless gum for a few minutes...

It was only after getting through my first college degree that I found out our spears were actually.....(scroll down)...








Yep.....







GIANT RAGWEED!
Anybody else build "caves" out of loess clay walls, topped with old plywood, then more dirt? Well, we had to have *somewhere* to keep the mudball horde.
(Mudball war lasted until someone started spiking them with rocks and one of the mothers caught wind of THAT!)

Man, I wish it was summer again!
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Postby Wayne Harrison » Jul 12, 2006 8:34 pm

Otac wrote: [Also, we had dirt clod battles like the rock battles you described, Wayne (or should I call you Mr. Hardcore for using rocks). Great fun 'til your little brother gets one in the middle of his forehead... thrown by big brother.


I'm from the olden days... before dirt, there was only rocks. They were small, about the size of a quarter or half dollar. You dodged them and if you saw one coming right at you, you turned around so it hit you in the back. Then, when I was older, we moved up to BB gun fights. Never hit anyone in the eye, though.
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Postby Realms » Jul 12, 2006 8:45 pm

Lost a tooth to a BB gun one time. Boy did that hurt. I learned my lesson. Heh heh we stayed friends and no one got sued.
never stop imagining what could someday come to pass...
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Postby Wayne Harrison » Jul 12, 2006 8:59 pm

Didn't your mother tell you not to try and catch the BBs with your teeth?

:rofl:
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Postby Realms » Jul 12, 2006 10:43 pm

heh heh it's pretty obvious that I didn't listen. Man that sure did hurt. I was about 15 at the time and I still remember the pain and the story I made up to tell my parents.
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Postby Phil Winkler » Jul 13, 2006 8:27 am

Back in the early 50s we lived in south Jersey. There was a vacant lot between my house and the Porter boys where we dug tunnels, overlayed them with boards and then covered that with dirt. They were our forts and we'd spend hours in them.

Our yard was surrounded by multiflora rose hedges (?sp) and they made great protective walls when we had BB gun fights with Greg and Mike Porter.

We were little scientists back then. We rigged up a pseudo telegraph line between our houses from our second floors (that's where our bedrooms were) after finding two telegraph key sets while exploring the local dump. Interestingly, we powered the system by plugging into the 110v outlet. Man, you should have seen the sparks fly when we tested it with dit-dot-dit!

It is a wonder we are still alive considering all the risks we took back then.
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Postby graveleye » Jul 13, 2006 9:57 am

I grew up in Chamblee, Georgia, right on the side of I-85. If any of you remember the old 85 drive in on the NE side of Atlanta, I could see that sign from my bedroom window.
Anyway, when they widened 85 in the late 70s, they made a pretty intricate series of storm drains underneath the freeway, which we soon discovered. We made forts in them, played in them every chance we could. It was a great conduit to sneak into the drive in at night too. We had a little club called the Tunnel Rats. Thats probably where my interest in caving comes from.

One summer afternoon one of my buddies dragged a bale of hay into the main chamber. We were probably 13 or so. Like a moron, he decided to light it on fire thinking that would save us on candles. Well if you have ever seen hay burn, it makes heavy smoke which we soon found out. The smoke got so bad that we decided we needed a hasty exit.. but unfortunatly for us, a torrential summer thundershower unleashed, and the storm drains did what they were supposed to do... now the place was filling with torrents of rushing water. The quickest exit was up a brick "dome" (complete with rebar ladder hand-holds), but this time there was literally a waterfall pouring in on us. As I climbed up the ladder, about 15 feet up, the water washed the glasses off of my face so now I was both blind and wet. In a panic, I dropped back down into the rushing water, and thrust my hand down... and grabbed my glasses on the first try. I really think I was being looked after that day. Sounds almost like a cave accident report now.


They're still there too.. i've thought about donning my helmet and light and going down to see if I left any artifacts down there worth retrieving. I'm sure there I left some evidence in there somewhere. That might be kind of cool.

There was another place nearby on Dresden Drive that years before they had cleared the land to put in a building but the developer went bust and left it to fallow. Huge gullies boulders, and cravasses were everywhere, and made for some neat "desert" adventures. My dad was in the Army in the 60s, so he gave me all his old uniforms, utility belts and helmets to wear so we were always playing "army". Sure was a lot of fun....

...sigh.. now its the mortgage payment... home repair,... work... what the heck happened?

sorry for the long post...
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jul 13, 2006 4:03 pm

As long as "long posts" can get me to crack up and nearly spray Mt. Dew all over my monitor while reading... go for it. I don't mind at all. :kewl:
Keep 'em going folks... these are great reading.
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Postby CKB69 » Jul 13, 2006 9:56 pm

Yep,then were the days...
I had a hole below my lower lip once, from being hit with a rock.I could spit without opening my mouth!

Dirt clod wars eventually gave way to bottlerocket wars. Eventually we were using the BIG rockets and reloadable mortar shells. :shock:

Horse apple wars were a weekly occurence.
We had ducks. Most domestic ducks lay eggs wherever the mood takes them,nest or no.
You guessed it,rotten duckegg wars. :shocked:

We had dugouts,forts,treehouses,leanto's,of all descriptions.
In the summer,we would stay gone for days at a time,camping where we saw fit.

We wandered over a semi-wilderness of 100+ square miles,complete with caves,cliffs,creeks,woods,ponds,and swamps.
We explored every nook and cranny of this eden.

We were all wild,semi-civilized little hooligans,and,I have not a single regret. No one lost an eye,ear,or,limb.

We took risks and survived,gambled and won.
The biggest injuries were some lost skin,and,wounded pride.
We learned self reliance and courage,2 things sorely lacking in todays suburbanized,uber-safety world.

It would not happen today,sadly. While most of this land is still owned by the same farm families,a good portion has been sold to suburban 'fugees who want the usual 5 acre wooded lot in the country,then,buldoze the whole thing and build a house. :doh:
The only thing they grow is "NO TRESSPASSING" signs,and a deep desire to be "closer to a store". :roll:
They complain that the road is narrow,the deer eat their gardens,they can't get cable,and,they have a long drive to and from work.
:laughing:

I think they need to re-introduce bears,wolfs,and,mountain lions,to the area. That would put a stop to the 'fugees little 5 acre kingdoms,when they have to accept nature on her own terms.
We could feed the critters real-estate brokers untill they are fully acclimated to the new location. :idea:
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Postby graveleye » Jul 14, 2006 3:44 pm

Ralph E. Powers wrote:As long as "long posts" can get me to crack up and nearly spray Mt. Dew all over my monitor while reading... go for it. I don't mind at all. :kewl:
Keep 'em going folks... these are great reading.


Let me know where I can send you a new monitor!! Sorry bout that :tonguecheek:

Speaking of computers...

For us folks who remember when video games were just coming out.. PONG comes to mind, do you think we were happier before we had these things? I was thinking the other night that, despite how much I love my computers, having the internet, that I really was happier before I had it. Its almost like pandoras box though, once opened, you cant close it. As kids, we seemed content not even knowing what a video game was. Then once they came out and we had to have it. We were just fine without them - I contend we were happier without our computers, cell phones, iPods...

but I digress. I got the gadgets too. I guess where I struggle with these things is when they take the meaning away from that which is truly important in life. Its tough. I wonder how many folks could let go of it for a simpler life... and how long the withdrawels would last.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jul 14, 2006 5:15 pm

graveleye wrote:
Ralph E. Powers wrote:As long as "long posts" can get me to crack up and nearly spray Mt. Dew all over my monitor while reading... go for it. I don't mind at all. :kewl:
Keep 'em going folks... these are great reading.


Let me know where I can send you a new monitor!! Sorry bout that :tonguecheek:

Speaking of computers...

For us folks who remember when video games were just coming out.. PONG comes to mind, do you think we were happier before we had these things? I was thinking the other night that, despite how much I love my computers, having the internet, that I really was happier before I had it. Its almost like pandoras box though, once opened, you cant close it. As kids, we seemed content not even knowing what a video game was. Then once they came out and we had to have it. We were just fine without them - I contend we were happier without our computers, cell phones, iPods...

but I digress. I got the gadgets too. I guess where I struggle with these things is when they take the meaning away from that which is truly important in life. Its tough. I wonder how many folks could let go of it for a simpler life... and how long the withdrawels would last.


One of these days we might find out so lets not rush it shall we?

But imagine NOT having computers and the internet... then we wouldn't be spraying drinks all over our monitors would we?
Having computers in our homes/work and our lives is a double edged sword ... better and worse for us that we are becoming increasingly reliant upon it for communication (when is the last time you've gotten a nice letter... via Snail Mail?), information (how much have you learned from the world wide web?), entertainment and so forth.
The fact that we're able to share our caving experiences and knowledge with a wide range of people is wonderful.
So it was inevitable that these machines are a part of our lives.
Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible. ~ Reinhold Messner


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