By July 2, 2017

10 Unforgettable Summer Lessons

By Chris Prickett — I lived in a small town near a major river and a very substantial creek (pronounced “crick”), as well as a few lakes and ponds. Train tracks bordered one edge of town. In summer, I regularly swam in the various bodies of water, jumped off the bridges, and hopped the freight train… all before the age of 12.

kickballAs much as I’d like to play the “macho” card, the reality is I did these things simply because everybody did. That’s how we rolled back in the day.

Using modern vernacular, I’d be known as a “free-range kid.” Back then, I was simply referred to as a “kid.” Maybe not the sharpest tool in the woodshed, but still, just a plain ol’ dirt lovin’, fort buildin’, ramp jumpin’ American kid.

During my formative years I learned many valuable life lessons:

  1. Ricky Wooden is not to be trusted when he tells you that squeezing a lit firecracker between thumb and forefinger will keep it from going off.
  2. If you are running across freshly laid tar on a hot summer day and you have only one set of flip-flops between you and your brother, don’t give them to your brother.
  3. Making a sliding board out of an old splintering dugout bench will likely result in posterior-splinteritis.
  4. Toads don’t do well when kept in cereal boxes.
  5. Moms don’t appreciate toads being kept in cereal boxes.
  6. The youngest kid always gets blamed.
  7. The youngest kid usually did it.
  8. Kickball is the greatest game ever invented, with the possible exception of dodgeball.
  9. The trunks of ’55 Chevys do not unlock from the inside.
  10. Only one in 20 adults appreciates the humor of a wise-ass kid; the percentage falls even lower in church.

Before summer ends, kids, go make some memories—just don’t do anything I would.

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Over the Prickett Fence is a column in In&Out Magazine.

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