Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Early Memories: A Run In with a Snow Sled and a Dog named Snoopy

         I grew up in New Jersey during the 60's and 70's.  I loved New Jersey's farms and rural areas--but it hasn't stayed that way for long.  New York City has been thrust upon New Jersey as it is just across the river and many people moved to get away from the city (including my parents) to make a better life for themselves.  Now in present times, New Jersey is so corrupt, I could never go back to live there. From Brooklyn we moved to what was a small town at the time by the name of Clark. 

        I came from a family of large noses.  So it wasn't much of a surprise to know that one of my earliest memories in Clark was a run in with a snow sled.  It wasn't my fault.  My older sister and I were exploring in the garage when we discovered a rope hanging down from a shelf.  She pulled on it and I was standing right underneath it so I was the one who got smacked on the bridge of my nose with the front blade of the snow sled.  I was only 3.

  My mother had to take me to the doctor right away and they made her stand outside the door while they sewed me up.  It was not pretty. You can still see a slight scar.  I suppose that first experience might be an indicator of what was to come in life. Although I am not accident prone, funny things just happen to me. 
       I don't really feel so bad now about the whole sled thing. My father would take us sledding at a park down the street that had a fantastic hill next to a river.  Every year we would take our sled there and take off down that hill with him steering.  One year, it was one of the earlier sledding experiences; my sister decided she wanted to go down by herself.  She sat head first with gloved hands on the steering mechanism. As she descended the hill, she realized it was a bit too much for her and closed her eyes.  I don't know what she was thinking, because those sleds don't steer by themselves.  She then ran smack into a tree towards the bottom and fell off the sled.  She was lucky not to break her nose in the process but all was well after we realized she was okay.

      Another winter when I was about 8 or 9 years old, we owned a rather hyper dog.  My sister and brother and I thought we could keep control of this rather obnoxious animal but that wasn't always the case.  We named him Snoopy but he was not anything like his cartoon counter part. It was my turn to take Snoopy for a walk on a cold winter's afternoon and I wore a large furry hat with furry pom-poms on the end of the ties.  These furry balls must have seem very attractive to Snoopy because as we walked along on the sidewalk, he kept jumping up to grab them.  I would push him down and attempt to keep walking.  He was persistent and finally caught them in his mouth.  

             If you have ever tried to take something away from a dog with an steel trap jaw--you know it is impossible to open. I was dragged by Snoopy all the way home by these pom-pom balls. He was uncontrollable and I was trying to stop him.  I wasn't very strong so there was no contest.  I finally made it into the house when Snoopy pulled harder and I was dragged on the wooden floor.  My mother, hearing the commotion came running and tried to break open the jaws of an iron clad mouth of this wild animal or at least get the hat off my head but to no avail.  I was dragged around by the neck gagging and my mother started to laugh.  I know she didn't mean to, but I'm sure the picture of this dog pulling the pom-pom ties to my hat with my head stuck in the middle was a funny sight and she couldn't help it. I don't remember what happened after that but somehow I managed to break free and I never wore that hat again.  (At least not with Snoopy around).  I guess I should feel lucky that I didn't lose my nose in all of that struggle.


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