Poem for all us boys


September 24, 2008, 11:57 AM
I am currently working in Manila this week but wrote a poem about growing up in a small town. Since most of you are reloaders, you are still probably boys at heart.

A Town for Boys – Alleys and Vacant Lots

Any day, when boys run free
Pocketknife … loaded Daisy
Levis, Keds, an old t-shirt
Early morning rise, a cup of coffee
Grab some cold bacon, and slip out the door
Ready for the alley safari.

The Alley, a place and a time 2 generations past
Sparrow and tin can fair game
Stalking quietly, the yellow jacket’s lair
Slowly, carefully taking aim.
Every safari has its dangerous time
But without risk the adventure is lame
Any day, when boys run free
A hike to the junkyard … Got knife? Daisy?
A quick drink from the hose, before starting the trip
A mile west from the schoolyard … stop for a pee.
Turn north to the smell and smolder
Ready for the junkyard safari

The Junkyard, a place and a time 2 generations past
Rats and glass bottles fair game
Keep a sharp eye for feral pigs in the weeds
Sneak up on one, carefully taking aim.
Every safari has its dangerous time,
But without risk the adventure is lame
Any day, when boys run free
Walking the track … in a baseball cap … the Daisy
Pick up some spikes; lay a penny on the rail
Flattened by the train, when it passes at 3:00.
One hour down the tracks with the wind in your face
Hitch a ride back because you’re late … then face Mom’s fury

The train, a place and a time 2 generations past
A quarter to the city, one-way
A soda at the Corner Drug, a swim at City Park
Back to the depot at 5:00, the train won’t delay
Another quarter will get you home
To the end of a great summer’s day
Any day, when boys run free,
Over to the vacant lot for a look-see
To join a game of round-up … start in right field
Catch a fly ball and you’re batting for free
Hit as many as you can
Before flying out or getting called out at strike three

The Vacant Lot, a place and a time 2 generations past
We always played a fair game
Whether it was football or baseball, your age mattered not
What mattered … you are there ... that you came.
And so what if it was “tackle” without any pads
Without risk the game was too lame.
Any day when a man’s mind roams free,
He goes back home in his memory
And whispers a prayer of thanks for that time and that place
Now two generations past …. For the friends and his family
And those times with his friends still play in his mind
When he and the boys all ran free.

by Vacek

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September 24, 2008, 12:08 PM

Excelent! You really nailed what it was like.
It took me back to the early '50s.


The Bushmaster
September 24, 2008, 01:09 PM
Aah the memories. I lived next to a small train depot during the steam engine era...Do so miss it...

September 24, 2008, 01:42 PM
The train tracks ran right past my grade school,(my house as well). We would play duck the smoke from the steam locomotives as it rolled across the playground. While the diesels are more efficient, there's no comparison for the chuga-chugga sound of a steam engine!

Our community was more spread out, so a bike was a necessity. Fortunately lake Winnebago was less that a half mile away. Having a best friend that lived on the lake, had a dock AND a raft floating in deep water, well you know where most of my summers were spent!

September 24, 2008, 02:12 PM
Unfortunately, Vacant Lots, Daisys and Pocketknives have been replaced with video games, cable tv and text messaging.
I'm grateful that this technology crap wasn't around when I was a kid...

September 25, 2008, 06:50 PM
Without waxing too philosophic, reloading in a way is holding on to that sense of independence / freedom / self-reliance that came naturally to us with that Daisy, pocket knife, etc.

September 30, 2008, 01:51 AM
I have been in SE Asia the past 3 weeks. I am in Osaka Japan now on the way home. If the market keeps up I may be moving back to my little home town. OUCH!!!!

September 30, 2008, 01:59 AM
Wow wow too many memories. drinking from the hose. had to wait a few seconds as the water was burning hot at first. any empty lot around we treated it as we owned it. football baseball wow. We probably wore through 3 sets of tires a year on our bikes. i dont even think kids wear through one. Your bike was your life and you only had one. Today kids have so many and get so many growing up. i had 1 bike. it was a used bike but it was mine. with a can of paint it was new to me. .05cent ice cream from thrifty drug store. glass bottle soda.

October 1, 2008, 08:46 AM
This boy is back from Asia. Sweet Sweet US of A. A Lee 311 100 2R mold arrived in my absence. Looks like I will be doing some casting for some downloads in my No 2 Mark IV and MN38.

Scrat, I'm glad the poem brought back some memories. Was there anything better than an alley/junkyard/railroad track/vacant lot. If you had a good knife, BB gun and a bike, you ruled your world.

October 1, 2008, 09:55 AM
lol, smashing pennies.

did you know if you position a 1963 chevrolet impala on the tracks that the tires center on the rails?

so well centered in fact that once you get it going down the rails you can get out and smoke cigarettes on the hood while its rolling, just idling down the track.

(high bridges are pretty scary though)

dont touch the steering wheel. it will make it jump off the rails.

October 1, 2008, 10:32 AM
Yeah. All that plus getting a few buddies together two-three times a summer to go camping in the woods outside town. Having no back packs or any other "camping gear" we rolled our supplies in a blanket and tied the ends with a single rope which also served as a chest strap to keep the load on our backs. A squashed loaf of bread and beans heated in the can made dinner, washed down with water from a bottle. No tent, just a scrap of canvas we rigged between trees to keep the dew off our scrawny bodies.

Sometimes we would eat sun fish from the creek under the railroad trestle. Our method was to tie a cherry bomb to a chunk of gravel and drop it in, the depth-charged fish would float up and we would rake them in for cooking on a jerry rigged stick-rack over coals. We learned that we couldn't tie the rack together with string, we took along some wire after that first effort!

Parents had no idea where we were because we didn't even have a location in mind when we started walking out of town. No one was ever injured, and no one ever really worried about the rambeling bunch of 10-15 years olds. In the latter years we took our single shot .22s rather than the BB guns. Turning 16 changed all that. Too many new things to explore. Cars. Girls. At 67, some of those guys are still my best friends.

All that's a lost legacy now. My grandsons have no idea what they are missing in experience, comradship and self sufficency.

October 1, 2008, 12:51 PM
Wow I just read this poem, although I haven't done the same things I think I'm one of the few people that's a youth in America that doesn't own a single video game and doesn't know how to use one either, and to tell you the truth I love it I hate video games I love the outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping. Anything to do with the outdoors I love it. I recently moved into the city and I'm going crazy not being able to go do stuff when ever I feel like it and the parents not worring about where I am. I just hope that I won't become too "cityfied" that I forget how to appreciate the outdoors.

October 1, 2008, 12:55 PM
dont touch the steering wheel. it will make it jump off the rails.

Bryan, did that chevy go fast enough in reverse when you saw that train coming at you? Reminds me of the movie flim flam man!:neener::what::eek::D

Instead of roll-playing video games, we were out there making our own fun. You call this progress? Fooey!

Vacek, I have one of those molds, I got it for my .762X25 tokorav. It casts a good boolit for it, or could be used in a M-1 carbine. I tried some in my .308 with mediocre results.

October 1, 2008, 08:19 PM

You were truly born out of time. I have only one piece of advice. If you do try rolling up a blanket and going off to live on the land a few days remember.....AND I KNOW THIS FOR SURE.....An old pigeon roasted over an open fire is worse than just going to bed hungry.


October 3, 2008, 10:32 PM

I made a mistake. The mold throws 120 grains. Anyway, I think my Ruskie...a 38 should handle the .312 well along with my 303 Brit. I think I will load it according to CE Harris for light subsonic loads using Bullseye. What do you think?

October 3, 2008, 10:37 PM
Thanks Vacek, I really was born out of time, all my "city friends" don't understand how I'd rather be in the woods/field or at the lake rather than sit around playing video games, I guess I'm an odd ball lol but I'm sure I'm not the only youth like this.

October 5, 2008, 08:25 PM
Vacek, Thanks for the memories.

October 6, 2008, 01:43 PM
Yes the good ol days. What the hell happened? Now days a kid is walking with his ipod and cell phone texting, with pants 3 sizes too big, underwear showing. As they pass by, insted of saying "good afternoon sir"..its "what the f*&$ are you looking at"? If you holler at them for cussing at you they come back later and break into your car. Or maybe its just where I live, but I don't think so.

October 6, 2008, 07:48 PM

You are welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. No doubt, we were lucky.

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