Funny Things from Yesterday: Ice skating on the sidewalk

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Robert N. Tidwell, Sr.

This is the time of year that weather conditions can change drastically and roads and sidewalks can glaze over if conditions are right. So far this year we have had some pretty weeks and one snowy day. When I was growing up, we had days when the sidewalks would really get slick. My story this week tells of a winter incident that happened when I was in the seventh grade.

As some of you will remember, at one time we had two school buildings on Highway 31, (Second Avenue) where the courthouse and parking lots are now. The building on the north side burned and left only one building at this location, and the seventh and eighth grade shared this one building.

If you remember the lay of the land, you will remember that a large playground was on the south side of the building. On the north side of the building was a sidewalk close to the building. This sidewalk sloped from First Avenue and Second Avenue.

One winter, about this time of the year, we had a snow and the sidewalk glazed over with ice. The next morning, when we went to school, the students were outside playing in the snow before classes started. The main attraction was the sidewalk on the north side of the building.

Mostly, the eighth-grade boys were involved in the skating on the sidewalk, but some seventh graders were coordinated well enough to try their luck at it. They would run part of the way down the sidewalk, get to the real slick spot, and they start skating down the sidewalk.

After watching several boys try this, I decided to try my luck at it. I went up the sidewalk, got a good run, and started my slide at the proper spot. I then lost my balance. I turned every way you can imagine and knew that every bone in my body would be broken.

After I slid to the end of the sidewalk and was able to get up, some of my friends were laughing and said, “You should have seen the look on your face when you fell.” If they think that was something, they should have felt the fear in my little old heart when I knew I was, as the cowboys say, “going to bite the dust.” I actually did bite the sidewalk and chipped one of my front teeth. The dentist later smoothed it up and ground the one next to it down to match.

Since that day, I have been most careful about walking on slick sidewalks.

HOPE ALL HAD A BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

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