Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)
TITLE: My youngest kid is almost 30
By Ed VanDeMark
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Well I’m a senior citizen.
When I had teenagers in my house I couldn’t tell them all the fun stuff we did as kids. There’re rules against that sort of thing. Now that I’m old I’m liberated to talk about that stuff.
To be sure black berries grew on a bush 50 years ago. If you’ve paid attention in history class you know television was new back then, but kids were kids the same as today.
We celebrated the 4th of July by putting three loads of hay in a hedge row and torching it. The firemen weren’t in a festive mood.
We whacked several dozen three foot long carps in the head with sticks then we weren’t sure what to do with them. After a three second discussion we put them on the railroad tracks so the train could mangle them. The highway workers who had to load them in the back of a pick up truck weren’t in a festive mood.
We put flares in the middle of the highway. Back then cars stopped when they saw a flare. Twenty minutes later there was a traffic jam. The police weren’t in a festive mood.
We put leaves across the road. Then we hid on the front porch. When a car ran over the leaves one of us would scream. It’s a good thing the Sheriff had a sense of humor.
There were eight boys and one girl in our neighborhood. Three of us fell in love with her. Eventually we all fell out of love with her and in love with someone else. We also fell out of love with this someone else. After a while two of us fell in love and it stuck.
Five of us went to church. I was the only one that wasn’t Catholic. That led to some good discussions.
I was the only one that came from a Republican family. That too led to some interesting differences of opinion.
We played backyard sports. Our only official/umpire was the kid that shouted the loudest. Occasionally the big mouth had to back up his claim with a hammer lock or his fists. In the end the rules were clarified and the game continued.
Grades in school were important. Not because they really meant that much to us but because it gave the winner bragging rights.
We had discussions about whose dog could beat up whose dog. I always avoided that topic. My dog got beat up by every dog in the neighborhood. In fact I’m sure dogs from all over came to my house to whoop up on Patches. That meant it was up to me to defend my dog rather than the other way around.
I have a little brother, some times that was cool other times it was totally un-cool.
I was the third oldest. That meant I was the third one to get a drivers license. That’s when anyone that still rode a bicycle was a dweeb. Of course the word dweeb hadn’t been invented yet but the little kids were whatever a dweeb was back then.
Girls only liked guys with wheels. It didn’t matter what the ride looked like as long as it required a driver’s license to operate it. In my case it was a 1947 Studebaker truck with a standard transmission and holes in the floor. For my first six months with the Studebaker I always went to town the long way. That was because I had to look cool. Going the short way I had to stop on a hill. Stalling the truck out five times then getting a hip hopping start wouldn’t exactly enhance my reputation.
If you had outhouses around today I’m sure you would tip them over on the door so the guy would have to crawl out through the hole. I’m sure of this because I was a teenager once up on a time. Teenagers have been teenagers since Shakespeare was a boring writer, and English teachers were all out of touch with what it means to be a kid.
The heart of that teenager still beats inside this aging chest but there is also the heart of a daddy with children to protect beating in here too. So eat your vegetables, and go to Sunday school. They’re good for you.
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