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‘Death slide’ on Lamade Hill

FRANK L. FORSHA JR.

Montoursville

Another homegrown, traditional childhood experience is being targeted in our need to be a politically correct environment.

As a child of the 1960s who was introduced to the horrifying experiences of riding down a hill at a breakneck pace on a wagon, piece of cardboard, or sled hoping to knock someone over or smash into the cluster of scrambling kids at the bottom of the hill … it was always a joy.

Just having fun was not my intent.

My little brain had a plan to do damage. Younger kids that took the risk of partaking in this activity were certainly in my sights. A collision that could produce a bleeding skull or cut finger was the name of the game. Injuries needing stitches offered a burst of self achievement.

Was I now an official juvenile delinquent? Surprisingly as I was engaging in this risky behavior, I also may have been on the receiving end of a scrape or even stitches. Yes, the red badge of courage. Off to mom with a wound that was me was nothing, but placed my parents in the panic mode.

Once receivng medical attention, I returned to the field for any number of risk-taking activities. An apple battle with the kids in the next neighborhood, hoping to have a good head shot. A sword fight or squirt gun battle that vanquished your opponent made for a pleasing afternoon.

By the way, these events correlate with other rough and tough activities such as football, hockey, soccer, wrestling, motocross, and possibly serving one’s country.

Seriously, I do not know the body count on Lamade Hill at Howard J. Lamade Stadium during the Little League Baseball World Series (Re: letter to the editor, “Little League slides on safety,” Sept. 1), but I do know that this activity can have value in offering a well-rounded childhood.

Yes, mom and dad need to watch over the young ones, monitor thier level of involvement and keep them out of harm’s way, but there are rites of passage in childhood and this offers a chance to be normal and learn from experiences.

No one wants tragedy to take place as children experiment in activities, but stopping this traditional activity is not a solution. All it does is help someone who has a sore butt because they are unprepared for the multiple-day experience.

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