Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sledding at the Schoolyard

Give a child a snowy hill and watch creativity come alive.

What could be more perfect than a snow day off school, a wide open hill, and plenty of friends!

The Pilot Mountain Schoolyard served as the neighborhood gathering place for snow fun. The land behind the school sloped just enough toward the ball field that a good push would start a sled barrelling downhill. The hill directly beside the school, even better. It was steep enough that a little push would give a thrilling, although shorter, ride.

Not every child had a sled. That's when the creativity happened. This was back in the 1950's and '60 when tubing was not a sport, but a side effect of innovation. It was when old car hoods and cardboard boxes doubled as instruments of recreation. Anything handy. Trash cans, gold pans.

Gold pans? These mountains offered more than sledding slopes. Underneath was gold, as in "There's gold in them thar hills." A favorite passtime was gold panning, but this was winter and the creeks were frozen over. A few dents in a pan wouldn't matter.

Catch of the day,