September 8, 2012

"Three West Lafayette youngsters engage in a bit of outdoor sport called skateboarding..."

"... balancing themselves on boards to which skate are attached."

Untitled

The news — just handed to me — from 1964, when Indiana newspaper readers were assumed not yet to have heard of skateboarding and when kids made their own skateboards by breaking up a metal roller skate and nailing the pieces to a board.

(The caption misspells Meade's first name and his last name.)

Here's Jan & Dean on "American Bandstand," singing their 1964 hit "Sidewalk Surfin'" — and calling this "the newest sport around":

113 comments:

kentuckyliz said...

How nice of the paper to print the addresses of the boys as a service to the pedophiles.

The Crack Emcee said...

Now that's cool!

Very pre-Dogtown!

Shouting Thomas said...

For Christ's sake, Althouse...

We're trying to get a little work done here!

Don't Throw Things Dammit! said...

I think it's a glimpse into a very different era that they listed the addresses of 3 minors. What sort of hullabaloo would be raised today if that were done?

Sorun said...

The Sixties were really cornball.

kentuckyliz said...

They weren't cool about lip syncing or looking directly at the camera.

Looks like Chip Ahoy.

Meade said...

If my big sister is reading this, it might be a good time to say sorry for repurposing your old skates without asking permission first.

Oso Negro said...

Heh. So Meade, do you have any scars from old skateboarding accidents?

Ann Althouse said...

In 1969, the newspaper printed a picture of me and 2 other high school girls who had won National Merit Scholarships, and we all got phone calls from a lady who started by inviting us to work as models and proceeded to ask "what color is your pubic hair?" I immediately hung up and she called right back, asking the same question, more urgently. This hang up and call back continued. I told my parents. They didn't believe me, but my father answered the phone the next time. He verified my story and that was the end of the phone calls.

The Crack Emcee said...

So, "what color is your pubic hair?"

Kidding,...

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse, I've got an older sister just like you. National Merit Scholar, straight and narrow her entire life... the hormones never seemed to get the better of her.

I've never been able to understand this, because the years from about 18 to 26 were lost years for me, because the testosterone took over completely.

How did you do this?

Fortunately, I did get a couple of babies out of the deal.

Meade said...

"Heh. So Meade, do you have any scars from old skateboarding accidents?"

A few broken pubic hairs. That's about it.

Ann Althouse said...

A cool thing about that picture is that the boy in the center, who looks least sporty, is actually the one with the most skill. They aren't posing, but are actually going down a hill, and that boy is the one who is calmly and easily remaining in an upright position.

Freeman Hunt said...

My mother loved skateboarding. She said she rode her skateboard everywhere. This is nearly impossible for me to imagine.

kentuckyliz said...

Don't think I'm overly concerned about pedophiles. I was HS classmates with the older brother of Johnny Gosch, and I worked at a restaurant with his older sister. His abduction happened in my HS senior semester. Johnny was abducted while he was out early for his newspaper route (The Des Moines Register).

Another Des Moines Register newspaper carrier boy was abducted shortly before I left for my sophomore year at university--Eugene Wade Martin. But he was a poor southsider so he doesn't have a wikipedia page.

Then Jacob Wetterling was abducted when I was out of grad school and working at my first professional job...at a college in northeastern Iowa, where some of the students are from the area where Jacob lived, so there was quite an uproar in our college community.

It's weird to grow up in a time when abductions of boys by pedophiles becomes normal.

Then you see this newspaper clipping and it's an instant gut reaction.

I guess everyone carries the wounds, even if it didn't happen to you personally. (Was discussing these boys with high school connections on facebook earlier this summer. A lot of us think about them fairly frequently and pray for them.)

The Crack Emcee said...

OT - but related to Meade's "intimidation" thread from a couple of days ago - the police came to my place last night because I had to throw the fear of God into one of my roommates.

It was the extreme liberal of course,...

Sorun said...

If all three boys looked like the center one, skateboarding would've died right there as the world's most boring pastime.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Those kids could have been me. The nuns at Old Mission School actually let us have skateboard day one day a week. John Mussachia brought a ready-made skateboard with composition wheels and a cast plastic deck, made by Hobie No one had ever seen the like. I thought it was pretty bush-wa.

Freeman Hunt said...

Meade looks like a happy kid.

Shouting Thomas said...

OK, Althouse Hillbillies and Cons...

Keep it going.

I can change guitar strings and watch the thread.

Piece of cake.

bagoh20 said...

I've always thought of skateboards as really cool means of transport. You don't need any special clothes, you can immediately pick it up and carry it when needed, so you don't need to lock it like a bike or take it off like skates.

I have tried a number of times but never got the hang of it. I do see people of all ages cruise past my house on them every day. I need to give it another try. If I don't post anything else, call 911.

elliot said...

Meade grew up in West Lafayette? Are you a fellow Boilermaker?

chickelit said...

Ah, 1964. The nascent desire to move to California to join the surf craze was still gesticulating in the womb of imagination.

If only Mad Men reflected this reality.

Tom said...

OMG! I lived in Lafayette in 1964, and I'm guessing I'm about Meade's age. Wonder if we ever crossed paths.

What school did he go to? I went to St. Dominic's Catholic school.

Paddy O said...

Meade certainly is freewheelin'!

Great picture and vignette. The article, at least. The stories in the comments are creepy. Real, but creepy.

I am left wondering both what your father did, Ann? Was he polite, yet firm in asking the calls to stop? Or was there vigilante action taken?

Also interest in what you did, Crack? I suspect you upped your response beyond sharing firm opinions and giving your roommate a link to your blog.

garage mahal said...

Haha that's awesome, brings back memories. We used to buy the trucks and make our own skateboards in my dad's shop.

Nena's 99 Luftballons Song said...

What a cutie !!

sydney said...

Meade looks like a happy kid.

Well, he did live on Happy Hollow Drive.

cassandra lite said...

Truly hard to believe that skateboarding wasn't known in the great Midwest in '64.
Growing up in L.A., my posse and I skateboarded all over town on $17 (top of the line) Makaha boards with Chicago wheels.

Coincidentally, one time my friend Jay and I had skateboarded ten miles west, into Westwood, and were sitting in a record-store listening booth with our skateboards in view when a blond 20something walked in to the booth. This was the summer of '63--and Dean Torrence himself put on Sidewalk Surfin' for us to get our opinion of it. (He'd grown up in Westwood or around there.)

Little known fact: It was Dean who financed, though somewhat unwittingly, the kidnap of Frank Sinatra Jr., giving the money to his former high school buddy, Barry Keenan, for the kidnapping that was supposed to go down 11/22/63.

Meade said...

@Tom - the summer that photo was taken, all three boys were entering 5th grade at Frank A Burtsfield Elementary School in West Lafayette.

kentuckyliz said...

In related blogospheria, Ta-Nehisi Coates lambastes Gawker for soft-pedalling pedophilia: "Born This Way"

edutcher said...

The further East you went, the less popular skateboarding was.

We did, after all, have the Atlantic Ocean in which to surf.

bagoh20 said...

If you could send back a message to your kid self of 10 words or less, what would it be? Other than stocks or gambling tips, it becomes clear to me that there isn't much that would make a difference. Kids don't listen to old folks. All I can think of is "Go for it." My only real regret is that I didn't aim higher in all things. Our fear response was designed for a more dangerous environment than today's civilized safety net.

Go for it - get on that thing and ride!

Deirdre Mundy said...

So what happened to the other two boys?

Shouting Thomas said...

If you could send back a message to your kid self of 10 words or less, what would it be?

Then city slickers ain't no different than country folk.

Shouting Thomas said...

Shit! That should be..

Them city slickers ain't no different than country folk!

alan markus said...

How nice of the paper to print the addresses of the boys as a service to the pedophiles.

Or, they can get this kind of information from their school district (at least in WI):

By state law and school district policy, directory data is public information and may be released to the
public by the school, unless the parent or guardian denies permission in writing of release of such information. Directory data can also be released to a third party upon request.
Directory data information includes:

Student name, address, phone number, date of birth, major field of study, participation in officially
recognized activities or sports, weight and height (if a member of an athletic team), dates of attendance,
photograph (still, digital or video).


Never gave much thought to opting out, and I think most parents are unaware of this verbage buried deep in policy handbooks. Now, I'm thinking of doing the opt out, as a form of protest.

pm317 said...

Wow, Meade is a local celebrity -- he made the newspapers!

edutcher said...

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse, I've got an older sister just like you. National Merit Scholar, straight and narrow her entire life... the hormones never seemed to get the better of her.

I've never been able to understand this, because the years from about 18 to 26 were lost years for me, because the testosterone took over completely.

How did you do this?

Fortunately, I did get a couple of babies out of the deal.


Shout, there's a big difference between testosterone and estrogen.

Teenage girls go on crying jags a lot.

Teenage boys try to wrap their cars around phone poles.

This is why the insurance rates for males are sky-high until age 25.

AllieOop said...

Bagoh, my advice to myself a kid would be, don't pet that spider monkey and don't worry, Castro won't fling nuclear missiles onto the playground and if he did, ducking and covering wouldn't save your butt, so don't let those drill scare you.

AllieOop said...

Oops did you say 10 words or less?

Tyrone Slothrop said...


(The caption misspells Meade's first name and his last name.)


Althouse's headline misspells "Lafayette".

AllieOop said...

Also, I flew off of those narrow early skateboards more than a few times, going down the sidewalk on the hill, have a scar on my knee to prove it.

bagoh20 said...

"Oops did you say 10 words or less?".

Women.

PatCA said...

Back when kids were kids!

Very cute.

(Yes, isn't the Gawker article horrific!)

edutcher said...

Oop proving once again he/she/it's just another Lefty.

Meade said...

"So what happened to the other two boys? "

Left: Ph.D and JD
Center: MD
Right: Blog commenter

Meade said...

None of the three were ever molested by pedophiles (as far as I know).

Ann Althouse said...

"How did you do this?"

How did I win a National Merit Scholarship? There was the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, the NMSQ. You sat down to take a multiple choice test for a few hours. You don't have to be "on the straight and narrow" all the time, just those few hours to take the test. You have to be at the top of your game when that test comes up. There's plenty of other time to throw away however you want, so don't assume I didn't.

I went through a large part of school, up until high school, thinking it was inappropriate to study. Learn it the first time, when it's said in class and be tested on how good you were at that. Like studying is cheating.

That saved a lot of time.

Then I decided I was close enough to getting straight As that it looked bad not to keep a clean record and get straight As. But I was never a drudge about, never a nerd. I figured out efficient strategies, and I never accepted the teachers' overriding good-citizenship agenda.

I was frequently sent to the vice principal's office for the 1960s offenses of having skirts too short and bangs too long, and my Chemistry teacher tried to get me rejected from the Honor Society, despite my grades, for having insufficiently good character.

And from elementary school, I was influenced by Mad Magazine and drew comics and wrote song parodies insulting the teachers.

Blah blah blah... bottom line: I am affronted by your stereotyping me.

These kids who try to do everything right: 1. I wasn't one of them, and 2. They may not maintain the spirit to keep going successfully over the long run.

kentuckyliz said...

And if they were, your mates can prosecute and treat them.

Shouting Thomas said...

... skirts too short and bangs too long...

Got any pics? I like that kind of stereotyping.

kentuckyliz said...

My 10-ywar old self: 4th grade. 1975.

Don't cheat on your grease pencil self-instructional math folders.

I was eventually busted by Mrs. Finchem but I never got over my math gap.

What lunatic thought up the scheme that 10 year olds can teach themselves math out of laminated folders, and take the quizzes, and grade themselves, as a totally unaccountable self-directed thing on an honor code?

Such a person should be taken out and shot.

kentuckyliz said...

It gives me a tingle to think of 10 year old Ann not buying into the teacher's good citizenship agenda.

Shouting Thomas said...

Got any pics? I like that kind of stereotyping.

Polaroids will do.

Weren't Polaroids great?

Seems like a lot of work to get affronted before noon on Saturday.

Meade said...

"And if they were, your mates can prosecute and treat them. "

lol

MadisonMan said...

When my picture (or my siblings') was in the local paper, Mom always went down and bought the picture and framed it, so we don't have the clippings, but we do have the photo. My sister was in more often than my brothers or me.

Ann Althouse said...

"I am left wondering both what your father did, Ann? Was he polite, yet firm in asking the calls to stop? Or was there vigilante action taken?"

He reported that answering the phone with a man's voice would end it and he was right. I don't remember what he said. I'm sure he didn't "ask" that the calls stop.

Ann Althouse said...

Happy Hollow, that place glowed.

Chuck Currie said...

I grew up in Hawthorne, CA and in 1962 my father was the manager of the toy department at Sears in Inglewood. He came home one night and told me about a salesman who came in with this thing called a skate board and how it could be used to practice surfing and skiing - I already had a surfboard.

So we went out to the garage and he cut down a piece of 1/6 and shaped it like a surfboard; it was probably 2 feet long. We then pounded flat one of my old steel shoe skates and bolted it on the bottom.

First skateboard in Hawthorne. Didn't take long and everyone was making their own - usually out of 2/4s with the wheels at either end - they were made for high speed, down hill racing. Mine had inset wheels and a wider deck, which is more like today's boards - it had more maneuverability. I was the slalom guy, they were the speed freaks.

We had a blast on the hill at the end of my block until we ran out of skates - steel on asphalt at high speed - a couple of weeks and your wheels were toast.

My cousins, who lived down the block, got the first store bought skateboard. A Hobie, with wooden, roller rink wheels and trucks. Smooth ride. The wheels lasted longer, but we wore them down to the races, before their dad would get them new ones.

It was great fun. We looked a lot like the kids in the picture - in '62 - our hair was getting a little longer by '64.

Thanks for the memories. Cheers

Ann Althouse said...

"In related blogospheria, Ta-Nehisi Coates lambastes Gawker for soft-pedalling pedophilia: "Born This Way"..."

Good thing we've got Ta-Nehisi Coates to "lambaste" things that are already obvious. What a bold and brave man! Where will this gutsy blogger strike next?

Chip Ahoy said...

If you could send back a message to your kid self of 10 words or less, what would it be?

This interests me tremendously but Crack's impulse will be to kick my ass solidly, and he's in the mood for it, or maybe it's been worked out with the cops, anyway, *vooooooop* forcefield up.

Why must it be 10 words or less? Is that an attention span thing? A time folding information packet thing? I'm having trouble with that part because opening a time channel takes some attention and ten words or less is, I don't know, giving yourself the short shrift after all that.

You've stated the wistful "if" backwards. I think. The thing that you're talking about is a two-way thing and it is more clearly stated conversely, "don't you wish you had the sense when you were a kid to open a channel to your adult self and ask your adult self's opinion or advice, or inquire to any it's-a-trap! things they might notice? And then heed what comes through?"

Because I did that. And as a kid thought, "man, this is some weird shit. you are one stupid ass little kid" but I did it anyway, and I did warn myself, and I did say, my older self said in those episodes to my younger self, well, you're not going to listen to all that anyway, so just go for it."

And then, as an adult, having a moment during the course of resolution of all that earlier pondering, having a moment and finding myself talking to my younger self and telling myself all that happened, and warning myself, and how ineluctable it all is even to you, myself, even then as now, you little asshole, I told you.

This occurred a few times, the hardest involving the purchase of a house, and that's separate story loaded with detail.

Then I get up from that, as an adult idly drifting off thinking about talking to my younger self and warning him and I go, "damn, if I didn't!" There was like a fifteen year gap there. Damn, I was a freaky little kid.

Ann Althouse said...

"It gives me a tingle to think of 10 year old Ann not buying into the teacher's good citizenship agenda."

In 1964, when Meade was 10, I was 13.

Chip Ahoy said...

Do you mean to tell me, I just hit this button and my comment publishes? That's awesome!

Ann Althouse said...

""don't you wish you had the sense when you were a kid to open a channel to your adult self and ask your adult self's opinion or advice, or inquire to any it's-a-trap! things they might notice? And then heed what comes through?"

I did do that all the time when I was a kid. And it was a 2-way visualization. I expected my adult self to keep the faith with me, the kid.

Freeman Hunt said...

Gawker story was muddled and ridiculous. "Pedophilia may be inborn and incurable, so we shouldn't punish it so severely." Oh? Sounds more like two reasons to castrate, commit, or execute convicted pedophiles.

Ann Althouse said...

I recommend time-travel visualizations that are effective in whatever present you find yourself in.

Picture yourself at some other age, past or future, talking to you now. No point nudging or warning or comforting that past boy/future man. What are you doing right now?

William said...

Little wheels have gotten much better with the passage of time. Electronic devices and little wheels have taken quantum leaps. Some complain about the alienating effects of our advanced technology, but such people do not remember how even a sidewalk crack could cause a nasty spill. Civilization is much less alienating if you don't have a skinned knee....How many pedophiles feel an unnatural attraction towards Merit Scholarship winners? Dollars to donuts your caller was a teacher.

Shouting Thomas said...

I recommend time-travel visualizations that are effective in whatever present you find yourself in.

Maybe, I'll surprise you, Althouse.

I have achieved almost everything I ever dreamed of when I was a kid. Including, playing with the guys who were my heroes when I was a kid.

And, of course, there was Myrna.

Ann Althouse said...

William said: "Civilization is much less alienating if you don't have a skinned knee...."

Bill Bryson, born, like me, in 1951, talks about his knee scabs in "Kid World" in "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir":

"In such a world, injuries and other physical setbacks were actually welcomed. If you got a splinter you could pass an afternoon, and attract a small devoted audience, seeing how far you could insert a needle under your skin—how close you could get to actual surgery. If you got sunburned you looked forward to the moment when you could peel off a sheet of translucent epidermis that was essentially the size of your body. Scabs in Kid World were cultivated the way older people cultivate orchids. I had knee scabs that I kept for up to four years, that were an inch and three-quarters thick and into which you could press thumbtacks without rousing my attention. Nosebleeds were much admired, needless to say, and anyone with a nosebleed was treated like a celebrity for as long as it ran."

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe, I'll surprise you, Althouse. I have achieved..."

But the question was what are you doing now? Is the answer: Looking back on my past, feeling satisfied? Does your old or future self want you to do that?

Ann Althouse said...

Your old self = you as a child.

The kid you is old. Isn't that strange!

We speak of the ancients. They're old to us.

Shouting Thomas said...

Does your old or future self want you to do that?

The guys I'm playing with now are a blast, and they are funny as hell. Also incredible musicians. Big Joe is a veteran of one of the old Borsch Belt house bands. He played in the same hotel for 20 years.

I'm a music whore. The whore part of me keeps getting me into new shit.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

My conversation with my future self, usually when I was feeling oppressed and marginalized by adults, went pretty much like this; "Never, never, never forget what it is like to be a kid." I don't think I have.

rcocean said...

Going back in time to talk to my "young self" would do no good. I'd just say what other adults were telling me at the time. Advice that I half-ignored, since the advice was contradictory. "Live it up, you're only young once" vs. "Study hard, so you'll get a better career."

ricpic said...

I was basically unconscious and happy as a kid.

deborah said...

"I was frequently sent to the vice principal's office for the 1960s offenses of having skirts too short and bangs too long, and my Chemistry teacher tried to get me rejected from the Honor Society, despite my grades, for having insufficiently good character."

Even then, too cool for school. Rock on :)

Freeman Hunt said...

Ten words?

"Read Ecclesiastes. Look up Richard Swinburne. Your intuition is good."

That would cover it, I think.

deborah said...

Bago, I was thinking the same thing about trying again. My mistake was trying to stand upright, I think. More of crouch is needed at the beginning. And something to hang onto. There's a huge smooth blacktop nearby. I think I'll call my sis to see if her son has a skateboard she can bring over.

Freeman Hunt said...

I got sent to the office once for having 112 classroom absences in the first semester of my senior year. (I guess it didn't occur to me until senior year that if I were bored, I could simply leave.) I was told that I should go to class to "set a good example." As I was not employed by the school, I found this suggestion ridiculous.

William said...

When I was a kid, skinned knees often led to gangrene and cellulitis. Amputation was often necessary and was done without anesthesia. There was nothing much to love about the old days.

Pogo said...

Going forward or back, I would tell my younger or older self, "One word: Plastics".

Both of us would find it hilarious.

mojavehicular said...

Anyone from a town where there's a gas station museum is all right with me.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

"When I was a kid, skinned knees often led to gangrene and cellulitis."

When I was a kid, half the class the was crippled or only had one eye. Reason: Running with scissors and/or paper airplanes.

The Crack Emcee said...

rcocean,

When I was a kid, half the class the was crippled or only had one eye. Reason: Running with scissors and/or paper airplanes.

When I was a kid, I almost took my big toe off trying to be like my heroes in school.

Good times,...

wild chicken said...

It's not a "caption." It's a cutline. And cutlines are invariably written by the photographer, who is usually some semiliterate graphic type.

Don't Throw Things Dammit! said...

S'funny, but I was just thinking that Obama should talk about skateboards and how they wouldn't be possible without all those 'government' roads and sidewalks. He could even end it with 'You're welcome, dudes.'

Carry on.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

When I was in my forties for a time I had to park several blocks away from work. I saw a lot of twenty-somethings cruising in on skateboards and thought, "Why not?" I borrowed my kids skateboard and found to my chagrin that I couldn't do it anymore. Can you forget how to ride a skateboard? Apparently I did.

Paddy O said...

"If you could send back a message to your kid self of 10 words or less, what would it be?"

When I was 10 we were living in the hills above Santa Barbara, not near Oprah, but not too far away, where homes were, then, more middle class affordable. 1984.

We had moved to Santa Barbara in November of my 4th grade year, (1983). I was very social and had lots of friends before we moved, but became immensely introverted after the move. The public schools in Santa Barbara itself were terrible, very remedial, and homeschooling was very fringe if even heard of then. So, I went to an "Alternative school" run by hippies, where I could hang out and read and play games all day, without having teachers impose their rules on us. I got about 2 years behind in math during my 1.5 years at that school.

It was then, at about 10 or so, that my parents started going to a Pentecostal church. I remember speaking in tongues around age 10 and feeling a strong call to pursue a life of ministry. A couple more years in Santa Barbara, they closed the branch office my dad was working at. He was out of work in 1987, and we lost our home, lived in a motel for a few months, before leaving Santa Barbara to go back to the eastern LA suburbs where my dad was offered an entry level position working at a Boy's Home. That's where he started teaching. There were a whole lot of other problems in life, but I won't go into that.

I think my life then makes much more sense to me now, and my life now would make much more sense to me then.

I had a pretty bad 20 years in between then and now where hardly anything made sense.

After moving back to LA area, I fell into depression, and stayed inside a lot. So, I'd tell myself to get over what seemed wrong, and focus on playing sports, go outside and take time to be alone.

I'd also say, "Don't take it all so damned personally."

rcocean said...

Crack,

Good link.

ndspinelli said...

Why is everyone pussyfooting around the obvious question?

What color are those pubes??

Jim S. said...

1. Wow, everyone's saying how they were happy kids or something along those lines. I was a desperately unhappy child. Childhood was hell for me. And it wasn't my circumstances, I had a loving family, I was a good student, a good athlete, etc. I just thought life was an unbearable tragedy. I'm feeling much better now.

2. What would I tell my childhood self? I'd tell him to start getting into philosophy ASAP because it's his lifeblood when he's older -- primarily logic, philosophy of science, and epistemology. I'd tell him my one regret is not being involved in advanced mathematics. I'd tell him that he becomes a total Bible thumper, so he'd better explore his false ideas about Christianity to see that they're smoke screens, not stumbling blocks.

mojavehicular said...

A cool thing about that picture is that the boy in the center, who looks least sporty, is actually the one with the most skill.

Mmm . . . I disagree, Professor. Take it from one who skateboarded until the plies of the board separated and the wheels ground to nothing: It's unwise to skateboard with your legs straight. Your Meade is exhibiting the proper form here.

Meade said...

To that ten year-old self in the photo, I would say: Count your blessings in having such good friends as Tom and Mike. Try a little harder to be as good a friend to them as they are to you.

MadisonMan said...

Per zillow, 1821 Happy Hollow Road is now a 6000+ square foot house worth north of only $300K. Street view shows a split-level-ish thing.

The Crack Emcee said...

Meade,

To that ten year-old self in the photo, I would say:

You came into this world without a family, and to try and make one is a major mistake. Strike out on your own, so if you strike out, you can own it.

Fuck this half-assed shit,...

ad hoc said...

Message to 10-year old self: your intuition is good, ignore it at your peril.

Oh, and don't be afraid you'll get caught forging all those notes for skipping class. You won't. That's one of the few perks of being a total nerd in school.

Eustace Chilke said...

Ten words to send into my past?

Buy Walmart stock. Then Apple. Then Microsoft and Intel.

I've only got one word left or I would add; Don't fuck Patty. But I wouldn't listen anyway.

Lem said...

News you can use.

Eustace Chilke said...

Damn. As I think on this, the advice to buy Walmart stock would have come at exactly the right time.

We used to take summer vacation in Harrison, Arkansas. Walmart number 2 was down the street from my aunt's house. Sam Walton was door greeter there one summer. "Welcome to Walmart, kids! Whatcha got? A quarter? Come on in here and get you some candy." I had no clue. A clue would have made billions. Now I'm wondering how my grade school self could have convinced my parents to buy stock.

Freeman Hunt said...

2. What would I tell my childhood self? I'd tell him to start getting into philosophy ASAP because it's his lifeblood when he's older -- primarily logic, philosophy of science, and epistemology. I'd tell him my one regret is not being involved in advanced mathematics. I'd tell him that he becomes a total Bible thumper, so he'd better explore his false ideas about Christianity to see that they're smoke screens, not stumbling blocks.

Oh my, Jim S. Were we the same child who then splintered off into two adults?

ricpic said...

The boy in the middle is focused and still
He's already a leader of men,
He's also the point coming down the hill
He's the one who says where and when.

Richard Dolan said...

Sending a message to your 10-year old self across the intervening decades? The idea is so conditioned by movies and old sci-fi novels. Is the point to tell your current aging self something, or (as in those movies) to point out something to an earlier, clueless age? Judging by the comments here, it's the first -- imaginative time travel is really about standing in front of a mirror where you are.

Growing up in Salem, MA in the same era as Ann and Meade, I don't remember skateboards being all that big a deal. It was much more a bike-focused time. Like others upthread, I had a morning paper-route, but never gave any thought to possible kidnapping. Fortunately all the pedophiles were either in Iowa or assigned to a different parish -- whatever, it just wasn't part of the mental universe of the time.

Our house was on top of a hill; the ocean was three blocks down at the bottom. But surfing was something California blondies sang about, not something local kids took up. Unlike sailing or water skiing, e.g.

It was a nice time. But enough of the mirror-gazing, when today's weather-tainment is about a tornado in Brooklyn. We have small one here but it's still enough to get everyne talking.

wyo sis said...

I remember slamming into my room having a temper tantrum an after the anger wore down thinking of all the things I could have said and done differently to get my point across. Then having to apologize and take up my life again.

I really had one of the best childhoods it's possible to have, so I coulden't have had all that many things to throw a tantrum about.

Although...I do have a bit of a drama queen reputation in my family.I have no idea where that came from.

Batman AZ said...

Reminds me of my own neighborhood skateboarding experiences in Okemos, MI during the same year. A bunch of us boys had the boards and the re-purposed roller skates. Having someone pull you behind their bicycle (like water skiiing) while going down a hill in the road was the biggest thrill. No helmets - yikes! I also recall about the same year in the winter months doing snowboarding (only I think it was called "snurfboarding". A short waterski type board with a rope handle to hold as one flew down the hillside. Wasn't any of that illegal??

Ann Althouse said...

"Mmm . . . I disagree, Professor. Take it from one who skateboarded until the plies of the board separated and the wheels ground to nothing: It's unwise to skateboard with your legs straight. Your Meade is exhibiting the proper form here."

Okay, I agree. He does look like he has great natural form (and I know he wasn't posing or following instructions).

Meade said...

ricpic said...
"The boy in the middle is focused and still..."

Very perceptive, ricpic. All-star point guard and captain of our high school basketball team.

Meade said...

Not following you, The Crack. You're against having good friends and being a good friend?

ricpic said...

Thanks Meade. That poem came very quickly, often the case when a poem's right. Only problem I had was the first line that originally was:

The boy in the middle is silent and still

Silent wasn't really doing any work so I came up with:

The boy in the middle is centered and still

Clear redundancy: middle, centered:

So I went to dictionary.com thesaurus and got focused for centered:

The boy in the middle is focused and still

Just right, said the Mama Bear.

Palladian said...

Not following you, The Crack. You're against having good friends and being a good friend?

Whatever it is, Crack's against it!

The Crack Emcee said...

Meade,

Not following you, The Crack. You're against having good friends and being a good friend?

No, no, The Meade (hee-hee) I've had visits, or been on the phone, all day with my good friends - every one of them people I can count on, whether we agree politically, or are the same color, or from different cultural backgrounds, or anything. We love each other.

But I tried to make a family - something I've never had - and the negative repercussions of that betrayal (an "inside job") almost destroyed me, and will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. It's definitely cleaved my trajectory into a "before" and "after," with the breach a weak point in my very being. And, if it were possible to speak to my younger self, I'd tell him to "Forget that - simply forget it - it's not for you":

"Everyone else can have it, dude. They're used to making excuses, and bending the rules, sneaking out, compromising their ethics, and 'leaving the nest,' but not you. You've got no experience with it and never will.

You have always been on your own, under stranger's roofs, following their dictates, getting lectures on right and wrong, and facing severe punishments for violating them in the slightest. That'll maKe you strong, someone others look up to, who they seek out for advice, and want to protect in return. Embrace it.

A family will change that, making you desire being weak, like guys in shorts, socks and sandals, carrying bags and pushing strollers behind wives eating candy in shopping malls. That's how it starts, and that's how it'll end - whether you succumb to it or not - because it's what's expected, and you (of all people) have no rightful place in it.

Some men are here to lead, or simply to be hated, to challenge and be made fools of, as well as admired. That is your place, your only place, as your birth has dictated - you're one of a kind:

Forget about a family, man, seek conflict, music, adventures, and smile."


I was a foster child, Meade, practically lost, and without that talk - without ME to warn what's coming - the pull was just too strong,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Palladian,

Whatever it is, Crack's against it!

You're damned skippy!

DADvocate said...

About that same time, I took a 1x6x18 piece of pine, nailed the wheels from my metal skates to one side and took off. Dangerous as hell.