Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ferret Kids

Kids see things much differently than adults. I was reminded of this recently when I walked over a drain in a large parking lot. It took me back to this big strip mall in the neighboring town where I grew up. This was the hangout for kids on the weekends the way malls are today.

This shopping center was especially cool on Sundays because there were blue laws in New Jersey and most stores were closed. This left us an empty 20 acre flat parking lot surface to ride bicycles. Though, after a couple hours of riding we looked for other things to do.

Somehow one of us came upon the parking lot drainage system. These were large concrete pipes under the parking lot where the rain water would run off into and be carried away. This pipe line was just the right size for a kid to wander around in. Like ferrets we explored every underground avenue.

Oddly this new underground navigation skill came in handy one day when a friend’s mother dropped her keys down through the grate. I told her to wait right there and I’d be back with her keys in ten minutes. Like a river rat I navigated the pipeline in little time and retrieved her keys. She gave me a few dollars as a reward. Being a curious kid paid off for me on that day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bwahahaha! Knowing the underbelly of Astoria has paid off for most of us over 30s that grew up around here, one way or another! Most of us know someone who came through the streets to pinch an item or two from the shelves downtown when we were youngsters, or it was just a cool place to hangout, mellow out, hideout, or just be plain old spooked out! Dang it is creeeeepy down there! Another creeeepy underground is the bunkers out by Battery Russell and the dunes. F Lee should do a Creepy Clatsop blog. Only the shadow knows ...

12:05 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I also used to crawl through drainage systems as a kid too. The terror! The thrill! (Probably peed my pants every time I was in one of them but I've blocked that part of the memory.)

1:37 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

See, now that's what kids today are totally missing out on. Their play is often so structured, so supervised and so safe, they don't get cool memories like this. SH used to do drainage tunnels near the Oroville Dam. We had nothing underground in So. Cal. Instead, I remember catching tadpoles and growing frogs, and wandering the hills before they became crammed with stucco homes.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

We had an old wooden culvert under the road by our house. Dad used to dam up part of it so just a trickle of water was going through and we used to hang out under there alot. Otherwise, my youth was similar to MO3, catching frogs, bugs, etc.

6:27 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

So what you mothers need to do is forget play dates, kick your kids out of the house on nice days. Lock the door, tell them to pee in the bushes and drink from the hose and not to come home until dinner time.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

My childhood to a T, Guy

6:38 AM  

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