Vol.2..Norwegian Farmer’s Son..April 26th

April 26th…….“TELL US, GRANDPA, DID YOU ENJOY PLAYING DURING RECESS AT KIESTER PUBLIC SCHOOL? DID YOU EVER GET HURT OR CUT DURING YOUR RECESS TIMES”?

“I GOT IT!! I GOT IT”!!!, or so I thought, as my Kickball outfield team members backed off for me to make the catch and put out the kicker who was just launching himself from Homeplate towards First Base.

Except for the winter months, when heavy snow made this sport unplayable (or at least unenjoyable), Kickball was easily the most dominant choice for us Grade School boys at Kiester Public School. We were avid (almost rabid) devotees that relished the joys of this game at almost every recess. We little, pre-hormonal, boys would be “chompin’ at the bit” and all fidgeting in line in high anticipation of our teacher saying, “You’re now excused to recess”!!! Down that second floor stairwell we guys would fly, missing most of the steps, as we burst out those west-facing doors and out on the playground to choose up teams as fast as we could.

To the right of the red arrow, under Elliott’s name, is the little roof that Elliott climbed up onto to retrieve that Kickball

Recess was the “holy grail” of our kinetic kid kingdom in those memory lane days. Our school was blessed with a far-reaching, expansive paved play area that surrounded the large, red Future Farmers Of America educational workshop and classrooms building. The long, silver-roofed edifice had a small, adjoining room that jutted out to the west of the main structure.

Home Plate, for our legendary Kick Ball games was always located at the south end of the playground and we’d kick that tortured red rubber ball (or a soccer ball) towards the north “outfield”, then, the kicker would run the bases, just like the game of baseball.

Up to kick, that day, were some of our muscle guys like Doug Trytten, or Steve Rebelein or one of the Pederson boys. Being that the majority of us school boys were farm kids, we often wore the ankle-high leather work boots from our respective farms. Those leather boots made the kicking of that ball a sheer pleasure in those exciting, fun-filled times. One of those aforementioned “heavy hitters” was up to the plate on that occasion when our pitcher person carefully rolled the ball in the kicker’s direction. A “Tahwanga-POW”!!!! resonated from the connection of rubber and boot leather as that kickball acted like a rocket leaving Cape Canaveral!!! “I GOT IT!!, I GOT IT”!!!! came my bellowing voice in the outfield as I felt I could be below that ball as it began its descent back to earth.

My flyball catch satisfaction was stolen from me when that rubber ball landed on top of the Future Farmers of America class building and rolled on down and onto the small classroom roof that jutted out from the west side of that building. Well, being the young monkey that I was, I wasn’t about to wait around forever for “Pud” Bufkin (our custodian) to bring out a ladder to climb up and retrieve that ball. Heck, half of our playtime would be consumed in waiting for that to happen. {{{ IDEA }}}!!! I know, I’ll just shinny up the rain gutter at the corner of that structure and I’ll get that ball down all by myself. Faster than a midget’s burp, I was up on top of that roof, grabbed the rubber ball and flung it back to the pitcher for the game to continue.

You can still see the white rain gutter, at the corner of that little building. that Elliott slid down on and sliced open his hand that day during the Kickball game at Kiester Public School in Kiester, Minnesota.

Having monkey-shined my way UP to the roof, it was time to make a monkey-wiggle DOWN from the roof, ya? What I didn’t plan on was gravity speeding up that process to the bloody chagrin of my poor left hand. “Haste makes waste”, ya know, and that day I “wasted” a bunch of blood as the palm heel/base of my left hand got caught on some razor-sharp metal bracketing that held the gutter up tight against the wall of the FFA’s abode. It all happened in the blink of an eye, so when I landed on the ground, I inspected my profusely bleeding hand and found that the knife-like bracket had sliced way up into the actual palm of my hand, thus allowing me to peel back my palm’s flesh in a major slab of bloody mess. Such was one of those memorable playground adventures for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son!!!!

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