I was watching the X Games on TV, Sunday afternoon. I was really interested in the car racing, which was on a very tight, half-dirt and half-pavement course with a 70 foot jump in the dirt portion.
In between car races, they did skate boarding stuff. I’m not too interested in that, but it did bring back some memories.
When I was around 10 years old, I asked my Dad for a skateboard. Never mind that where we lived, the nearest pavement was 1/4 mile from the house, and even that was rough blacktop. My Dad, bless his heart, had no idea what a skateboard was, so I explained it to him. For the following to make sense, I should probably mention that my Dad was a welder.
In a couple of days, I had a skateboard. This ‘skateboard’ consisted of a rectangle of 1/4″ thick steel plate, with a couple of clamp-on steel-wheeled skates, the sort that you cranked a key to lock them to your shoes, welded to the bottom of it. The thing probably weighed 25 pounds, and if you fell off and got ran over by it, it would probably put you in the hospital. It had square corners, for crying out loud.
Bless my Dad, he tried.
Another time, he gave me a basketball, and welded a hoop made of steel sucker rod he heated and rolled, onto the end of my swing set. I should mention that my swing set was made out of 2″ pipe – sometimes he borrowed it to use as an A-frame to pull engines.
In any case, since we had no pavement, I learned how to dribble on rough ground. When I got to school and had to dribble on a flat surface, I couldn’t do it because I wasn’t used to the ball predictably going straight up and down. I was in high school before I learned to use a back-board.
Once, I made a swing by tying a rope to a limb high up in a pine tree. A bit later on, I ran the rope through the hole in the center of disc off of a plowing disc and tied a knot underneath, to make a seat. If I’d ever swung into the tree trunk while sitting on that, it would probably have cut my legs off at the knees. It was made of steel, weighed probably 20 pounds, and the edges were serrated.
I had a lot of fun, out in the boonies when I was a kid.
So, what stories do you have where your parents cluelessly tried to give you what you wanted?