Skip to comments.Dangerous things you did as a child
Posted on 08/14/2010 12:35:16 PM PDT by JoeProBono
"Today, while driving during a snowstorm, I thought about a dangerous thing we used to do as kids. We called it "skitching". When it was very snowy out, we would wait for a car to drive by and grab the bumper and let the car pull us through the snow. This was without a sled or anything, just our bodies. You might start out on your feet but would usually end up laying down, holding onto the bumper for dear life. The one who held on longest "won".
I don't think this is possible today, because cars don't have the same types of bumpers and it would be harder to grab one. Also, they seem to plow every two minutes, so there is very little snow on the road, compared to my childhood.
Other things we did: One of us would tie a rope to the back of his/her bike and the other one would hold the end of the rope and be towed along on either a skateboard or roller skates.
I would climb to the very top of the tallest tree I could find and sit at the top while it swayed in the wind.
I would skateboard down the steepest hill I could find and stop by crashing into a bush or something.
Helmets? Knee and elbow-pads? Those didn't exist in the 1970s. It would never have crossed our minds to wear those.
When I was a teenager, my dangerous ways continued:
I would ride on the backs of motorcyles driven by older/drunk/stoned guys and we didn't wear helmets.
We'd stuff about 30 kids in the back of a pick-up truck and ride out into the woods for a party.
I'd stay out all night partying with older guys.
I tried pretty much every drug that was available in those days.
Amazingly, I never broke a bone, OD'd, or got raped.
Those were the days."
Ride cardboard down the stairs
Ride on the front handlebars while someone else pedaled the bike
Lay in the street at the curb playing hide-n-seek (BEST hiding spot there was until a rent-a-cop stopped to see if I was alive)
Physically carried to my car - driver’s side - to go home....amazing I made it home unharmed and unnoticed
Thanks for the memories!
Rode in the back of the rear window well of my Grandpa’s big chevy Belair.
I could watch the stars as we drove down the country roads of Kentucky.
I also roamed the toy department of “Penney’s” while my Grandma was across the store looking at clothing. She never gave a thought to my safey at the time.
I did that too, loved watching the stars from my little glass roof bed.
“surfed” my four wheel cart made up of lawnmower wheels, a 2x6 and two 2x4 for the axles with a rope for for steering down a hill in the middle of the woods.Slid down the roof of the barn. Snuck in the pig pen and jumped on the back of an old sow for a joy ride.Jumped off the highest rafters in the barn into a bin of wheat.Put 22 shells in a vice and hit them with a hammer.Blowed on our thumbs till we passed out.Walked accross the Mississippi on an Ice jam.
The most dangerous thing?
Lie to my father.
As Dad came to a stop sign or traffic light, he'd say "Slide, Baby, Slide!" and brake so that my sister and I would come sliding forward, shrieking with laughter.
He would never have allowed us to get hurt, but he'd probably be arrested if he did that today.
We used to ride our bikes barefooted all the time in the summer. If anyone had worn a bike helmet or kneepads back then, they'd have been laughed off the block.
I grew up in the 50s and 60s.
EVERYTHING we did would be considered dangerous by today’s standards. Yet, most of us survived.
Skateboards did not exist when I was a kid.
Just sayin’. The author is on the young side, lol.
Skiing, towed by a snowmobile, driven by a speed-crazy kid.
LOL. I remember grown-ups would let us sip on their beer and puff on their cigarettes too.
I climbed from the 5th story balcony to the 4th floor balcony.
Stupidest thing I ever did.
I used to love doing that to. My dad had a ‘59 Ford.
At the tender age of 15, my only mode of transportation was to hitch hike. I was given a ride on two separate occasions by old homosexual males that wanted sex.
Fortunately, when I demanded to be let out of the car they complied.
The most dangerous and stupid thing I ever did was vote for a democrat...
We ‘hopped cars’ using sleds... Snowy evening in Kentucky - a long time ago... we gathered at intersections - roads were covered - not much snow equipment - so the snow was packed on the roads. We build fires - waited for cars ... we ran behind - threw the sled under ourselves - grabbed the bumper and rode the the next drop off spot where others waited by a fire... and hop a car back after warming up. GREAT FUN! Sometimes another kid would hop on your back for a double decker ride or someone would grab your feet and legs to daisy chain down the road... Those amazing days -—
That is awesome!!!!!
Chopping off ice from the river bank to ride on as it melted/broke, then running from side to side like in a cartoon until you ended up in the icy water. The “safety” was to wade/run to shore, then run back to the house to keep from hypothermia until you made it safely inside to the 80 degree wood fired heat.
Riding a toboggan downhill like a surfboard.
Standing as a barrier to help my sister train a horse... that one nearly got me killed. Horses are dangerous!
Everything I did as a child was dangerous. But somehow my mother lived through it.
I remember when the Rock Island railroad company was in the process of being liquidated under Chapter 13 and they had a bunch of rail cars sitting off to the side of the main rail line close to where I lived. I was only 10/ll y.o. at the time and my buddies and I would climb on top of the box cars and run along the top jumping from one to another. We’d sit up there and watch the train go by on the main line or talk until the Sun went down. We’d also try to open up box cars that had doors which were closed. My mother never knew I was up there doing that and I’m glad she didn’t otherwise I she probably would have had a heart attack or something. When I look at 10/11 year old boys today I just can’t imagine them doing the same thing.
The stuff I did with fireworks every Fourth of July ...I’m lucky not to be blind or maimed.
I climbed around on the back side of a damn, smallish damn, only about 2 or 3 stories between the top and the overflow pit. 2 or 3 really rough concrete stories into really dirty water and I couldn’t swim. Got a neat view of the lake the damn made though.
Also practiced crashing my bike, pedal towards a wall really fast, jump off the bike, roll and watch it crash into the wall. That one has always struck me as a marvel of kidness, large because I’m not even sure how to jump off a bike with coaster brakes now, but I figured it out when I was 10, figured it out often enough to completely thrash that bike.
Skateboards existed long before they went commercial. In my days you would take and old pair of roller skates, a 2x4, and a wooden crate (preferebly one borrowed from the local market). Nail the skate to the 2x4, turn it over and nail the wooden box on the other side. Nail a strip of wood for a handle on the top of the box and you had free transportation.
Of course the wheels were metal and you would feel every rock in the road. And if you wanted a thrill, there was always a hill you could coast down with your only brakes shoe leather.
Somewhere along the line this little homemade toy got streamline into the skateboards we know today. But their history goes back long before the 1940s
Skateboarding while hanging off my Moms Studebaker ( she’d be arrested today), jumping stingray bikes Evil Kneval style over garbage cans, cruising around Ontario in the bed of the family pick up truck ( border patrol didn’t even bat an eye in the 70’s)
THe guys in my class used to take those big old lawn darts and throw them up into a tree and then try to dodge them, getting out of the way at the last second.
I had one of those.
Rode on or in appliance cardboard boxes down grassy hills.
Roller skated and biked without helmets.
Climbed trees as high as I could go.
Wandered a couple of miles or more from home without my parents knowing where I was. (Nowadays that would be too dangerous for a kid to do.)
Walked barefoot in creeks and caught turtles (can't do that anymore - diseases ya know), frogs and crawdads.
Rode down a snow covered in one of those new saucer shaped sleds and hit my head HARD against the pole of a playground swing set. Never told my parents and I survived whatever head injury I incurred.
Spoke back to both of my parents and I'm alive today to tell about it!
Does this ever bring back memories - way back from the ‘40’s. Aside from building snow forts, our favorite thing to do was hitch a ride on a bumper. Our first surfboard in the late 40’s was an ironing board pulled by a boat, and of course, no life jacket. I think my brothers also invented the first pontoon boat which was a platform mounted on barrels (no sides), with an inboard motor in the center of the platform, and wires going to the front of the platform to steer, control speed etc. I have a pix of that early pontoon buried somewhere in my archives. My brothers also used to unlatch the cable going to the top of the streetcars.
We would have called that a scooter. We had scooters.
—operate a hand clutch row-crop John Deere “B” as agricultural labor on my father’s farm—hands down , the most dangerous farm implement of its time-—
As someone else mentioned, almost everything we did as a kid was dangerous.
My parents smoked, if there is any truth to second had smoke being dangerous, all my siblings and myself should be dead by now.
In the summer we were put out of the house and told don’t come back until dark (which was around 9 pm)
I would take my bike and ride 10 to 20 miles away on different adventures.
A lot of they toys back then had small parts and sharp edges.
We are not even counting the pocket knife every boy carried.
We once took a cross country trip with so much stuff, that the back seats was full to the head rest of the front seat, me and five siblings rode laying down staring (and making faces) at the cars behind us.
Skateboards have been around since roller skates showed up.
Just take an old 2X4 and one of those roller skates that clamped on a pair of shoes. You would separate the front and back parts of the skate and nail them to the 2X4 — instant skateboard.
They were great heading down a steep hill, until the metal wheels hit an expansion band in the concrete.
Rolls of paper cap gun caps. Take the whole stuck-together five rolls out of a fresh box, carefully place them on the concrete curb, smash with a hammer with the head sideways, trying to fire as many as possible with one blow. Ears ringing.
Played with Jarts.
Played on metal monkey bars and merry-go-rounds. We’d fall off those monkey bars onto the packed hard ground, hitting a couple bars on the way down, and by God WE LIKED IT!
1. I would climb up on the roof of our neighbor’s detached garage and do a Parachute Landing Fall (PLF).
2. Climbed to the top of our tallest Maple tree and sit.
3. Rode our bikes down a large hill (no road, just tall grass), about a 40 degree incline, and jump a creek at the bottom of the hill. One time my brother caught a small stump on the hill with his pedal and straightened out the entire pedal arm. He flew about 15 or 20 feet while we laughed like crazy.
Many others too numerous to mention mostly while on our bikes.
I was lucky. I was an Army brat, so my typical ride was with an 18-22 y.o. G.I.
I will admit that I stopped doing this once I almost got mashed by an innocent driver coming along one of the cross streets....
However, then we'd go down and play "bike polo" in Riverside Park. This consisted of riding your bike like a maniac and hitting a stone with a stick or branch you'd picked up while other kids were trying to do the same.
Life was getting more dangerous at that time, but still, in NYC, your mother really wasn't worried about you until some time after darkness fell.
Used to ride my bike down a long series of granite steps
We did the “skitching” thing. But probably the most dangerous was running next to, and jumping slow moving trains. One slip or trip on those big railroad rocks and we could have been easily cut in half.
At which time, you instantly become Eval Knieval.
We had a rope swing and swung out back and forth before an oncoming train.
Too old to do that now.
Sounds like my brother and me, we did it all including a tree house 40 feet up. We also had BB gun wars wearing scuba masks and roman candle battles with trash can lids for a shield.
Don’t get me started about fireworks, M80s were still available and cherry bombs worked quite well lit by an assistant and fired from a wrist rocket slingshot. We somehow survived it all.
You all bring back so many memories.
Didn’t we have a great childhood.
My girl scout uniform wasn’t complete with my knife.
Never needed a watch, when the street lights came on,
time to go home.
LOL ..on one heavy snow, we took an old car hood and 5 or 6 of us would ride on it while it was being pulled behind a truck. I remember once we hit a mailbox and i was thrown off, the hood smoothed the snow over me like cake icing.... ahhhh good times... I’m lucky to be alive.