Up to this point I have been trying to maintain some degree of continuity, however, it now appears that I must abandon that concept, because there are so many things that overlap and confuse my poor old tired mind that, from now on, if you want to read this, you will have to take it just as I think of it.
It seems only a few years ago that Skate Boards were all the rage with kids, in their teens, and with some that were even older. However, their popularity seemed to diminish until, just lately we have seen a resurgence of the sport.
Now I am sure that the younger generation felt that they had discovered something, new and different, when those streamlined, computer designed, skate boards were introduced to them. Basically they are no different than the ones that we used to make when I was 10 or 12 years old.
We would take an old roller skate, separate the front wheels from the rear section and secure a set of those wheels to each end of a board that was about three or three and a half feet long. It was a simple matter to separate the two sections, because roller skates, and ice skates too, for that matter, were adjustable for length and were fastened to the shoe soles with a set of clamps, that were secured with a skate key and a strap over the arch of your foot.
We usually nailed and braced an upright board, with a cross bar at it’s top, on the front end of the skate board. This handle arrangement provided a means of steering. By tipping the whole outfit from side to side, it would cause the device to turn in the direction that you leaned. That upright board also assisted the operator in maintaining his balance.
I made one once, using a longer board, and mounted a potato crate at the front end so that I could haul some pay load.
Kids don’t have to be resourceful, like that, anymore. Most of the things that we played with were home made, by us, and were usually pretty crude in design and construction, but they did the job, because we didn’t know any different.
Now kids have to have specially constructed equipment that bears a particular designer’s logo and special clothes that also must have a designer’s label that is socially acceptable, in order to participate in any activity involving more than one individual. No, present day, self respecting mother would think of allowing her young son to help lay out and build a ball diamond, much less, allow him to play without a full uniform and the latest compliment of equipment.
To me, this attitude conveys to the child the impression that if there is something that he would like to have, the only thing that he needs to do is to just wait, and someone will bring it to him. In the meantime he can start taking dope to relieve his boredom and his sense of inadequacy. This then leads to the psychoanalysis of the boy, when it should be the parents that are evaluated. This analysis really inflates the parent’s opinion of their expertise relative to child rearing, but it further deflates the boy’s opinion of himself. It also degrades his image in the eyes of his friends. Because whether mama knows it, or not, the other kids say “boy you must be nuts, your Ma takes you to a shrink”.
Why not send MaMa to the shrink and let the kids do a few of these things for themselves?