I should have published this letter last winter when memories of snowball fights were more timely.
Winters in Jamestown were incredibly cold and the snow drifted pretty high. When I was a kid it seemed like every winter had snow drifts higher than my shoulders. Does that happen any more?
During snowball fights we tended to stick with snowballs, the other option being ice balls. My friends didn’t want to get hit by one of those. Some of them would throw them anyway, not caring what happened to me.
Have you read that list making the email rounds on the Internet, the one about all the stuff we did as kids but we somehow survived? They mentioned the lack of seat belts and helmets, but getting hit by a road apple was not on the list. Perhaps it should have been. Maybe Louie would have added it.
North Dakota had some very cold winters, so cold that it seemed that everything froze. including cow and horse droppings.
This of course leads me to a little story of choosing up sides and having a frozen horse tird fight.
A little history – cow droppings form a kind of pancake when it hits the ground. The best thing these are used for is kindling for a fire – burn hot and long.
The horse droppings form a kind of ball and when frozen, are hard as rocks.
We had chosen up sides and were having this fight out at the stock yards west of town. It was easy to find the ammunition as there were lots of horses in the yards.
When you get hit by one of these missiles, you almost always take yourself out of the fight as they sure hurt.
Charles Atchison was climbing up one of the gate fences when I noticed him. I thres a horse projectile high into the air, in the general direction of where Chuck would come to the top of the fence and low and behold, it was perfect. The tird came down, Chuck was coming up, they met and Chuck went down for the count.
Chuck complained of having a headache for a day or two and his eye sight seemed to get bad, but other than that even he thought that was a good shot.
For a while I was known as “Havelick, the best Horse Tird Lobber in Town!!”