Sunday, February 8, 2009


These days Payson Park, pictured here, and Riverside are two of the prime spots to go for a family outing that involves tubes, sleds, flying saucers and such, but back then it was just the backyard at 820 Stevens, on those moonlit nights after ice storms. My sled, an old hand-me-down that my grandfather gave me, had a unique look- long, lean and fast. It used to be my Uncle Leonard's, lost in the Big One, WWII, and I think the envy of all the gang: Leo, Eddie, Skip, Buddy and Marty. We used to wax the metal to make 'em go even faster on the ice. A running start at the blocked-off, back breezeway got you flying down the narrow shoot, and then it was just faint whispers of the old trash dump on the left, the iced-over swamp, the Stanley's garage on the right, down a short hill to nothing but glistening, perfection of the uncut ice field called Gulliver's, as you raced across to certain death. After a fast, ice-flying turn at the end, just before the wicked bushes, it was only the long, uphill, depressing climb to try it again. Our faces were numb with the excitement. What memories! What fun!

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