Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The (Soon To Be) Annual "Skitching" Post

Portia's comment about skitching in the post below reminded me of a comment I made over at a small victory (*sob*) a long time ago. I found it and now share it with you (again). The whole thread's a pretty good read. Enjoy!

"Skitching" was a time-honored Long Island ritual signifying the passage from sheltered childhood into pre-teen loutism. How many gloves did I lose in the quest of the perfect slide down Nassau Blvd? (An instant give-away to the sharp-eyed Mom.)

VW's were the best, of course, with their round tubular bumpers making for the easy grab-and-go, but the Bug's lack of horsepower sometimes meant that two or three thirteen year-olds could anchor the thing at a dead stop, giving the driver an opportunity to get out and yell, and for his trouble get pelted with snowballs. (Local legend had it that three friends were left sitting on their asses holding an unsuspecting Bug owner's bumper as the Beetle scrambled away into the distance.)
The wildest ride I remember was on the back of a Daily News truck. It was easy to ride because the bumpers were so high. But the driver was an absolute maniac who, of course, made every damned light. Eventually, we had to just bail out and tumble down the street a couple of miles from where we started. I never touched a newspaper truck again.

Glad to here that the practice continues up on L.I., and happier still that my Virginia kids don't know anything about it.
Posted by: spd rdr December 20, 2004 11:15 AM

Oh to be a kid the snow.


Anonymous said...

Cool story. I miss the snow now that I'm a left-coaster but I don't miss the freezing rain.

spd rdr said...

Nobody misses the freezing rain, anon. And anyway, you're probably not too far away from the white stuff (unless your in Death Valley).

KJ said...

Never had the pleasure, but sounds like dangerous fun.

Cassandra said...

Sounds perilously like boarding, something we used to do in Rhode Island, and something my little brother told on me about and I got my tail whooped for (the summer after I started my parents Rambler and got it halfway down the street with my best friend before I got the clutch hopelessly messed up on the hill and had to admit defeat) :D

Cassandra said...

Wow. Has this ever brought back a lot of memories.

Painful ones. Wonderful ones, of my best buddy Steve Williams. I haven't thought of him in years.

Amazing how that works sometimes.

spd rdr said...

That's the nicest thing anybody has said to me all day.

Cassandra said...

My childhood was so different from yours, spd. Moving around, especially every year, is hard. You never have a place you can call home. Maybe that's why it has been so nice for me to find such a lovely group of friends here. I've always made friends easily. But they're never permanent. I always know I will have to leave, so I can never really afford to let myself care too much.

But Newport was that one magic place for me. I still dream about it sometimes. My parents bought their first house there and we actually lived there three (3!!!) times, albeit only one year at a time, so I got to make lasting friendships and put down roots. I was there in 1st, 4th, 6th, and 7th grades. Strangely enough, my future husband lived there in 5th and even (though he lived way across town) got into the tiny exclusive exam-only school I went to that had only 1 class for each grade, so we would have shared all the same teachers, had I not moved away that year.

Anyway, Steve was the best kid in the world. He was good at baseball and smart and he liked books like I did, and just a little dorky but not too much and when the boys gave me a hard time (I was always the only girl in the neighborhood games) he stood up for me because he had a temper, and if they gave him any lip I waded in on his behalf because I could argue anyone to a standstill even when I was only seven. Nobody could take both of us on - together we were invincible.

He and I were kind of soul mates. We had that easy kind of friendship you don't question. Anyway this was all during Vietnam and both our Dads were away at the war. It didn't end well for Steve.

After reading your post I went in to put my hair up and freshen up and all the memories came flooding back. It's amazing how much you repress when things are painful. I don't know, maybe I will write about it.

Anyway, thank you :) An important part of my life, and very precious to me.

spd rdr said...

You are most certainly welcome. It's a good thing to remember friends. Even if that memory makes you cry.

Cassandra said...

Well, it did. A lot.

All those summer afternoons watching him play little league (and I *still* don't understand baseball but I turned into a mean little football player), and stupid arm wrestling matches, and endles poker games with broken crayons for chips...


spd rdr said...

See your three reds, and raise you four burnt umbers.

Cassandra said...

Oh gosh. I haven't played for years and years. But I used to be dead lucky. The last time I played, I beat the pants off (not literally, thankfully) a roomfull of Tidewater businessness men down in some smoky little place in the Outer Banks after a day of duck hunting.

They didn't think I knew how to play. And I didn't remember, really... they kept having to tell me the rules.

Heh. :)

Now you'd probably cream me.