Children

Junkyard as Playground? Sounds Like More Fun Than a 'Safe' Childhood

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The Land
Erin Davis

When I was a kid, I used to roam the streets and woods with my friends, romping through construction sites as a diversion from the tube steel and asphalt playgrounds that were the norm for most of my childhood. I earned a few battle scars in the process, including a perfectly circular black eye from looking through a loose length of pipe at a buddy who unthinkingly nudged the other end. If you share a fondness for that kind of upbringing over eternal hovering over oh-so-precious wee ones who never seem to be allowed learn how to shake it off and get back into the mix, you'll enjoy Hanna Rosin's take on "The Overprotected Kid" at The Atlantic and alternatives thereto—including a playground seemingly modeled on a junkyard.

Rosin writes:

It's hard to absorb how much childhood norms have shifted in just one generation. Actions that would have been considered paranoid in the '70s—walking third-graders to school, forbidding your kid to play ball in the street, going down the slide with your child in your lap—are now routine. In fact, they are the markers of good, responsible parenting. One very thorough study of "children's independent mobility," conducted in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the U.K., shows that in 1971, 80 percent of third-graders walked to school alone. By 1990, that measure had dropped to 9 percent, and now it's even lower. When you ask parents why they are more protective than their parents were, they might answer that the world is more dangerous than it was when they were growing up. But this isn't true, or at least not in the way that we think. For example, parents now routinely tell their children never to talk to strangers, even though all available evidence suggests that children have about the same (very slim) chance of being abducted by a stranger as they did a generation ago. Maybe the real question is, how did these fears come to have such a hold over us? And what have our children lost—and gained—as we've succumbed to them?

Rosin details how lawsuits and a growing cultural obsession with safety fueled a push for sterile, supervised children's play. The result, perhaps predictably, is that kids denied approved access to thrill and a feeling of danger develop phobias and also engage in increasingly risky behavior with real consequences. They don't learn to test and set their own limits.

By contrast, she writes about "the Land," a playground in Wales that seems to embody a perfect rejection of the modern safe, orderly, and approved children's environment.

It's still morning, but someone has already started a fire in the tin drum in the corner, perhaps because it's late fall and wet-cold, or more likely because the kids here love to start fires. Three boys lounge in the only unbroken chairs around it; they are the oldest ones here, so no one complains. One of them turns on the radio—Shaggy is playing (Honey came in and she caught me red-handed, creeping with the girl next door)—as the others feel in their pockets to make sure the candy bars and soda cans are still there. Nearby, a couple of boys are doing mad flips on a stack of filthy mattresses, which makes a fine trampoline. At the other end of the playground, a dozen or so of the younger kids dart in and out of large structures made up of wooden pallets stacked on top of one another. Occasionally a group knocks down a few pallets—just for the fun of it, or to build some new kind of slide or fort or unnamed structure. Come tomorrow and the Land might have a whole new topography.

The Land sounds like an odd, new, and interesting experiment. But it's actually a reversion to the sort of "adventure playground" that was popular in 1940s Britain. Even though it's a decades-old idea, it's different enough for the modern world to be the subject of a documentary by Erin Davis (see part of it below).

Rosin also discusses experiments in New Zealand, covered by Reason in January, in which school officials minimized playground rules and saw important improvements in behavior, and reductions in bullying.

Rules-wise, it seems that less is more when it comes to childhood.

Read Rosin's full article here.

"We haven't finished yet!" from Erin Davis on Vimeo.

NEXT: The New York Times Warns That Drinking E-Cigarette Fluid Could Become a Fatal Fad Among Toddlers

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  1. Construction sites were kid nirvana. There were so many things to build forts and primitive catapults out of.

    1. And climbing on the studs and joists of unfinished houses was the pure shit, too.

      We lived next to an old sand quarry. I distinctly remember how dangerous and awesome the tunnel we dug behind its face seemed.

      1. When I was between 3 and 5 years old, our family lived in a huge apartment complex in Chapel Hill. When ever there was a vacant apartment us kids would climb up or across the balconies (sometimes three stories up) and break in through the patio door. We’d run around like maniacs inside, until Rudy (the complex supervisor) caught on and busted us. Then all the kids would spill out into the hallways and out the balconies like a bunch of roaches. Bigger kids would help the little kids, and we had a lot of fun. Then we’d go into the woods and catch crawfish, and eat wild black berries, and throw rocks at each other, and at hornet nests…

        1. You kids sound like you were a bunch of assholes in need of supervision.

          1. IOW, STAY OFF MY LAWN!!!!

          2. You sound like you need your fence plowed.

            1. I don’t understand what this means.

              1. Fence plowing. Look it up, fogey.

                1. So that’s what gun ownership is for.

    2. They had so much room for activities.

    3. All we needed was a big pile of dirt to play King of the Hill. When we got clobbered by heavy rain and all the local streams flooded, we got giant pieces of Styrofoam (sorry Dow, expanded polystyrene, since my father worked for Koppers/Arco Polymers) and went rafting. We played army with BB guns, had rock battles, and slept outside almost every night in the summer. Much more fun than Math Camp.

      1. We split into two sides, armed with broom handles and metal garbage can lids. Using the latter as shields, we violently attacked the oncoming “other” side, hitting them as hard as possible with the broom handles. The sound was glorious, and the lids made pretty good shields.

  2. Watch the kids’ playground scenes in 7-Up to see how far we’ve come (or gone).

  3. For example, parents now routinely tell their children never to talk to strangers, even though all available evidence suggests that children have about the same (very slim) chance of being abducted by a stranger as they did a generation ago.

    I don’t teach my child never to talk to strangers due to some fear of abduction; I teach her never to talk to strangers due to the fact that most people are assholes.

    1. I also thought that kids not talking to strangers was the standard back in the ’60s and ’70s. I’m sure things have gotten more paranoid since then (the kids-on-milk-cartons “abduction epidemic” era being a milestone), but we shouldn’t paint the past as being a time of Edenic trust.

      1. They had “stranger danger” educational films in the 50’s.

        1. Weren’t they specifically warning against homos back then?

        2. I was in grade school in the very white suburbs in the 50s. I clearly remember the school bus driver hiding his copy of Playboy (or Gent or whatever it was) under his seat as we got on the bus for the trip home.

    2. I grew up in a tourist trap. Strangers were always stopping us to ask for directions to somewhere.

      Of course, we were the assholes and always gave wrong directions to any tourista dumb enough to ask for them.

      My wife still doesn’t realize that the reason I never ask for directions is because I am scared of some karmic payback for all the times I sent some poor soul on a hopeless quest around Lake Melissa.

  4. When making across-the-board comparisons, my daughter and both my niece and nephew are well overdue for their first broken bone.

    1. When exactly is that due?
      53 and still waiting

      1. Fell out of a tree at 6 years old in 1961…you got lucky or weren’t particularly adventurous NTTAWWT.

  5. Um, some of us parents don’t let our kids have the freedom to explore and experiment we had not to protect our kids but to protect ourselves.

    I have literally had CPS called on me because I allowed my 6 and 8 year old children play “unattended” in our front yard on a cul de sac off of the lone road in and out of a dead end upper middle class subdivision (and by unattended I mean I was sitting in front of the window looking out over the front yard on my computer checking on them periodically). Now there is probably not a safer place in the friggin world for children to play outside and yet some of our neighbors had enough of a problem with it that the nice people from the state came and gave our home a thorough inspection “just to make sure there was no abuse or neglect going on”

    1. Yep. The problem isn’t just our government masters, but our neighbors who voted for them.

    2. Fun fact: When my daughter was a toddler, she was riding her big wheel down our street and someone driving by on a Volvo yelled “Helmet”.

      In a more just world someone would have started shooting at her and yelled “Bullet proof vest!”

      1. I just had a lovely daydream about walking over to Volvo’s house and having a nice, friendly, smiling, totally legal intimidation session with them. Motherfuckers need to learn manners in this country.

      2. We used to ride our bicycles with another kid sitting on our shoulders. Really freaked out the mothers on our street. Same with 5 or six kids on one bicycle coasting down a hill. Never even thought of a “bicycle helmet”.

    3. yet some of our neighbors had enough of a problem with it that the nice people from the state came

      More proof that most people are assholes that my child shouldn’t be talking to.

    4. “Now, Junior, we’re going to learn about “stranger danger.” If someone you don’t know tries to talk to you, run away. If they are wearing a uniform, you should scream “Help me, he/she tried to touch my private bits” while you are running away.”

    5. In Sarah Palin’s REAL AMERICA you can find 10 year olds driving ATVs on the public roads.

      1. The school bus route does not include my road. My daughter started riding the ATV to the bus stop when she was 10. There is a small cut out where a few kids park and lock the quads.

        1. Sounds like a challenge. If you can lock it, I can steal it.

      2. At 10 drove on the farm to market roads in OK delivering trucks full of wheat. Distinctly remember sitting on one leg with the other leg on the gas peddle to see over the steering wheel. It was cool. When I got to the Coop my buddies would doing the same thing would have dirt clod fights while we waited in line for the trucks we drove in to be unloaded.

        Different world. Didn’t realize how special it would become, that’s for sure.

        1. Dirt clod fights rocked in my youth…a few lumps but no great shakes.

    6. This is a big part of it, too–there are way too many people willing to employ authoritarian solutions to solve problems.

      But as I mention below, a lot of it has to do with the fact that we live in such a high-scale, low-trust age. The lack of community trust bonds creates a low-grade form of insanity that’s constantly looking for demons to vanquish.

      Even as little as 40 years ago, your neighbors wouldn’t have gone to such an extreme because 1) they’d have gone over to the kids and your house first to say hello and just make sure everything was okay; and 2) they would never have gotten bent out of shape about them playing “unattended” in the first place because they were watching them as well from time to time to make sure they were safe, and tobe available to help if one of the kids got hurt or whatever. This approach shows neighborly concern as opposed to the paranoid snitching.

      1. Yeah I call BS on this. ‘Trust’ is a necessary evil at best. The problem is there is the emotional need and the government means to ‘stick it to somebody’ for being a ‘poorer’ parent than they are.

        1. ‘Trust’ is a necessary evil at best.

          It’s also a feature of stable communities, but don’t let that get in the way of your rant.

          1. I don’t care about communities.

            1. I don’t care about communities.

              Yeah, why bother with a substantive response when glib gooniness will do?

    7. Isn’t this the kind of situation where you should knock on your neighbors doors and make clear to them who you are and how you like to do things and what they should expect and if they have a problem they should call you or talk to your face or otherwise they can shut the fuck up and mind their own business?

      You know, “good neighbor stuff”

      (no, not the comedy group, but that’s apropos too)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5XDjafxHxE

      1. Yeah, the problem is which neighbor did it? The CPS agent couldn’t tell you who filed the complaint if they wanted to. There were 5 other houses in the Cul De Sack and another 8 with a view into it and that assumes that it wasn’t someone who lived further back in the subdivision who saw them out there playing from their car or a visitor to one of the neighbors etc.

        Hell earlier on when the kids were just babies my ex wife had a friend of hers call up and file a bogus complaint of child neglect as a way to get revenge, only thing she forgot was that I knew her livejournal password, so we called the cops (false charges of child abuse or neglect are a misdemeanor in Ohio where we lived at the time) and showed them the private posts where she and her friend planned the whole thing out but they wouldn’t even file charges unless either the ex or her friend were already in Ohio.

        The way CPS laws are set up in America is every but as terrifying as the secret police of totalitarian dictatorships except instead of killing you they’ll just take your kids away and torture them.

    8. I was walking my dog and a 2 year old was playing in the yard totally by himself. He came up into the street to see my dog and said “his knees are backward” so I knelt down and said “no you see that’s his ankle and there’s his knee.” Then the dad came out and made like I was trying to kidnap his kid. Hey man, you were the one that let him play alone in the yard and run out into the street. Asshole.

      1. So I guess next time you’ll just kidnap him to make a point, right?

      2. That was funny, Juice!

      3. I had a similar experience once. I was walking my dog and a young girl (~8-10) asked if she could pet my dog. I said “Sure, why not.” Her dad came to the door and called her inside and told me to “Take your dog and leave.”

        Gee, if you’re that paranoid about your special snowflake, maybe you should keep them inside under lock and key, or drag your fat ass away from the TV and go outside with them, asshole.

        Actually, I did notice some bruises just above her knee, maybe I should have called CPS on him…

    9. This would have been 20 years ago in Richmond Virginia:

      One of my neighbors had a couple of toddlers. They played outside all the time. I don’t recall whether their parents were outside with them or not, but I’m guessing not.

      Oh, did I mention that if either of these kids owned a stitch of clothing, I never saw it?

      AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED.

    10. Your neighbors are assholes whose houses are in dire need of a good old fashioned egging at the hands of your “unsupervised” children.

  6. I suspect part of the “safety” obsession also has to do with our age’s anxiety-ridden and solipsistic culture, where any sort of inconvenience to one’s daily routine has to be headed off and squelched at all costs. If your kid falls out of a tree and breaks his arm, maybe that’s less time you get to spend on your daily blog post. If he’s kidnapped, an Amber Alert gets sent out nationwide. This environment is enabled as much by the government forming top-down solutions as it is by an increasingly atomized and rootless population with little sense of binding culture or community outside of professional sports teams.

    1. This environment is enabled as much by the government forming top-down solutions as it is by an increasingly atomized and rootless population with little sense of binding culture or community outside of professional sports teams.

      Pfft. It’s the community that’s calling CPS in the first place. We need more atomization not less.

      1. Thanks for proving my point about the solipsism of modern society.

  7. This is fundamental, formative stuff. And I have to admit, I have a hard time seeing how the eradication of free time and free play from the lives of children is going to turn out well.

    1. Children need order and supervision, not free play. What are they supposed to do with free play? They’re kids they are too stupid to know how to do anything.

      1. Age is not the cure for stupidity, experience is.

        1. Kids that young are too simple to be able to do anything good with experience.

        2. Wisdom comes from experience. Experience comes from lack of Wisdom.

      2. Children need order and supervision, not free play.

        Sounds better in the original German.

      3. Anal much, I guess you don’t like to have fun.

  8. I can’t read the comments – how’s the derp?

    1. Not bad.

  9. It’s way past redundant as I’ve said it too many times before. But if parents today would see live footage of what we did as kids, they would drop instantly dead of a heart attack.

    We roamed hills full of rattle snakes and copperheads, swam in rivers, and whatever else we could find. The world, as far as our feet could carry us, was our playground. I owned my first 22 rifle when I was 7. I would go out in the woods and empty a box of shells, totally unsupervised. We all had dirt bikes by the time we were 10 and if you didn’t have a horrific wreck on yours within the first month, you were deemed a pussy who was afraid to take chances.

    Now we have typical young boys who play with girl toysand want to be known as Bronies. When I was a young boy, we stoles our sisters dolls and colorful little ponies, and blew them up with M80s and Silver Salutes. Or else nailed them to a post and filled them full of bullet holes.

    1. My friends and I were exploring the wooded area near our houses when we came upon a group of kids from the neighborhood on the other side of the woods. We went there all the time because there were lots of hills that you could take your bike down and get going really fast. We didn’t know most of these other kids because they went to a different elementary school. Instinctively, we all had an awesome crabapple fight to get to know each other. By the time we all got to middle school, we enjoyed ripping on each other and everybody was pretty good friends with each other.

    2. “But if parents today would see live footage of what we did as kids, they would drop instantly dead of a heart attack.”

      Are you kidding me? My heart skips beats right now when I think about what I did as a kid- much less showing live video of these activities to blogarents. It gets even worse when I imagine my kid doing the same. Existence is a crazy messy thing, man.

  10. “kids denied approved access to thrill and a feeling of danger develop phobias and also engage in increasingly risky behavior with real consequences”

    I earlier mentioned the type of parent who only let their kids ride their dirt-bikes in ‘safe, approved’ areas… and Playa said, “yeah, that was my mom”…. my first reaction was, “Well, I bet you probably compensated by developing home-made explosives” (paraphrase)

    and he said, ‘yeah, totally!’

    its almost a clich

  11. Can you believe this playground is legal?

    1. Holy shit… where is that? Wait… St. Louis city museum. Damn. That’s a playground.

    2. That’s pretty cool! Hey I hear that kids like clowns……

      http://observer.com/2014/03/th…..en-island/

    3. That looks fucking awesome..

  12. It’s amusing to see all the “libertarians” here engaged in a communal celebration of theft, vandalism, and trespassing.

    Property rights are sacred, but only THEIR property rights.

    1. Drink, then die in a fire

    2. Really? You’re having a hysterical hissy fit because Hyperion stole his sister’s Barbie when he was a kid?

      You realize as I type this, 1,000s of women and children are being hacked to death by machetes and other farming implements in the Central African Republic, right?

      1. You realize as I type this, 1,000s of women and children are being hacked to death by machetes and other farming implements in the Central African Republic, right?

        Again?

      2. Hmmm – do you think we should do something about the CAR?

        It’s tricky as I was an interventionist-libertarian until the Yugoslavia wars erupted. I was all for going into Rwanda in ’94. Not really “all for” but I thought we could’ve pulled it off….

        1. do you think we should do something about the CAR

          No. China wants Africa as her playground? Then let the Chinese do some of the heavy lifting in UN humanitarian land.

          1. Unless and until the CAR mounts an attack on the United States, I see no reason why we should get all military on them.

            Humanitarian aid? I’m sure a quick Google will lead you to many people you can donate money to for this purpose.

          2. Confucious say: “African man with implement in skull make Chinese cancel prane ticket.”

    3. Theft? Other than swiping a sister’s dolls, I have heard no tales of theft.

      Vandalism? Again, I see no tales of vandalism. And no, rearranging construction materials or digging a tunnel in a quarry are not vandalism.

      Trespassing? Well, sure. Kids, you know, are not necessarily held to the same standards as adults, and I don’t see anyone saying they do this stuff today, as adults.

      1. Come on, man, those strawmen he put up aren’t going to burn themselves!

      2. Egging is what it’s talking about. Of course, it thinks this is a “gotcha” that discredits libertarianism for all time.

      3. We ripped off campaign signs and threw them in the river. That count?

      4. Only four or five yards in the neighborhood were “off limits”. We had a gang of around thirty kids.

    4. It is not unlibertarian to say that theft, vandalism, and trespassing should be illegal while also saying that people can go ahead and do those things anyway if they decide its a good idea. That’s why libertarians also think that firearms are a good idea.

    5. The Derp factor is way above 100% on this dolt.

  13. I seriously doubt that, if lil’ JD Tuccille, Jr. gets impaled by rebar in a construction site managed by Deep Pockets Industries, suffering major brain injury and requiring a lifetime of care, that Old Man Tuccille will let it slide for liberty’s sake.

    Everyone talks tough!

    1. suffering major brain injury and requiring a lifetime of care, that Old Man Tuccille will let it slide for liberty’s sake.

      What’re you talking about? He did let it slide.

      1. Zing!

  14. How Russian kid uses ruined buildings as playground

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQhbJcRqCNU

    1. Not much else to do in Chernobyl.

  15. I am sure that the helicopter parents who shelter their snowflakes from criticism or failure are going to have children that hate them, and the CPS stories are rage-inducing, but I am still glad that the above-relished stories of kids wandering around shooting stuff up unsupervised or trespassing are exceptional if not unheard of today. ‘Free Range Parenting’ = ‘Not doing your job as a parent’. Kids should have their homework reduced to make time for a job.

    1. Your concern trolling is noted, Cytofascist.

      1. What? Does all this nostalgia lend itself to curt stupid posts in response to thoughtful examination?

        1. Aw, now it’s butthurt 🙁

  16. *the sort of “adventure playground” that was popular in 1940s Britain*

    Nothin’ says “adventure playground” quite like unexploded blockbusters, smashed-to-timber houses, shot-down Messerschmidts and Junkers and bomb craters. Whee!

  17. I’ll never forget the Canuck lady in Georgetown (ON) at the highland games who wouldn’t let her son play with ours because our son had gun toys.

    So her boy got to sit there, looking on in envy, alllllll day….

    And I just thought, WTF is wrong with you? But I knew…I haz a sad 🙁

    1. I took exception to the free range parents next door because my stuff started getting fed to my dog. Simple solution; I installed security cameras in broad daylight on a Saturday afternoon. I never even had to turn them on; the problem stopped. No calling CPS, no fights with neighbors.

      Now I’m out in my backyard with my kids teaching them to shoot BB guns and how to use a bow and arrow.
      Why should the kids have all the fun?

  18. my roomate’s step-aunt makes $67 /hr on the laptop . She has been laid off for ten months but last month her payment was $16399 just working on the laptop for a few hours. site link……
    http://www.Works23.us

  19. In our tweens, my brother and I would go down to the Ellicott City MD B&O railroad tracks just outside of town where old box cars were lined up on a side track. We’d throw track bed gravel at each other playing “war”, climb all over the rusty hulks, even pick up abandoned “torpedos” and flares and set them off. This was in the 70’s and railroad officials would just tell us to “be careful” but never told us to beat it or they’d call the cops.

    As a youth, I (accidentally) impaled my self with fishhooks and nails;I burned my eyebrows off with model rocket engines; I shot arrows through hornets nests (and paid for it)…all for fun…all as part experiencing freedom.

    As an adult, I’m not necessarily proud of these antics…many were irresponsible, destructive and dangerous. Was I risking myself unnecessarily? Who can say?

    What I do know if that I’m a libertarian not just because of what I’ve learned, but from what I’ve experienced.

    1. I never needed any of this to be libertarian and I really doubt it has anything to do with anyone else’s libertarianism.

  20. “going down the slide with your child in your lap”

    It crossed somebody’s mind that this might be dangerous? It actually sounds more safe.

    1. It’s safe until someone trips at the bottom, resulting in a 200 pound adult landing ontop of a small child at speed.

      1. And you know what, dipshit? I misread the sentence. It was actually saying that parents should go down slides with their children in their lap, rather than letting children go down slides by themselves.

        1. I’m with you, until they’re about three or four. Then they need to learn to slide by themselves.

    2. The article referred to going down the slide with your child in your lap not as dangerous but as “paranoid,” i.e, overprotective, i.e. not allowing you child to take even minimal risks.

      1. Slide with them when they’re toddlers. After that, yes, it’s over protective.

  21. Sounds like a great piece. I seriously worry about the next generation of America’s kids, who will grow up with fear and overprotection. There’s so much that our generation learned from just running around outside of constant parental oversight. What kind of children will emerge from a childhood without that tiny bit of freedom and autonomy??

    1. There’s so much that our generation learned from just running around outside of constant parental oversight.

      Like what?

      It’s weird watching libertarians become a bunch of reactionaries regarding child-rearing.

      1. //Like what?

        You’re acting like you don’t understand and being deliberately obtuse

        1. It’s not acting. Cyto’s really that fucking obtuse.

      2. That you even post this shows you were raised in a snowflake enviornment. I feel for you that you never experienced pegging snowballs or tomatoes at a vehicle and experienced the thrill of getting chased.

      3. This is utterly ridiculous…you learn limits by testing limits, einstein. You are the reactionary here bro.

  22. The reason is simple, cable news. Back in the day every actual stranger kidnapping wasn’t national news.

  23. ‘Trust’ is a necessary evil at best.
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  24. Fond memories of growing up in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

    As long as I was home for dinner, they didn’t care where I went. And I went all over. The best was “junk day” each spring when the town picked up bulk items. We’d grab anything we could to use in our forts up the mountain.

    Now I’m trying to instill that sense of adventure in my grandkids, while still honoring the ‘safety’ their parents demand. Tough juggling act.

  25. Boy Scouts these day are just as interesting. Most of the Dads that are involved seem to feel as its the last refuge from the over protective Moms of the world. At my son’s first official Boy Scout campout they went caving and came back covered with mud and the boys thought it was great! Not many places left that will teach a twelve year old to shoot or allow them to have the experiances other kids dream of. I’m sorry more boys (and girls) don’t have that chance.

  26. Used to climb the towers of apple crates, then kick the bottoms out. Made quite the tunnel network.

  27. In our tweens, my brother and I would go down to the Ellicott City MD B&O railroad tracks just outside of town where old box cars were lined up on a side track. We’d throw track bed gravel at each other playing “war”, climb all over the rusty hulks, even pick up abandoned “torpedos” and flares and set them off. This was in the 70’s and railroad officials would just tell us to “be careful” but never told us to beat it or they’d call the cops.

    As a youth, I (accidentally) impaled my self with fishhooks and nails;I burned my eyebrows off with model rocket engines; I shot arrows through hornets nests (and paid for it)…all for fun…all as part experiencing freedom.

    As an adult, I’m not necessarily proud of these antics…many were irresponsible, destructive and dangerous. Was I risking myself unnecessarily? Who can say?

    What I do know if that I’m a libertarian not just because of what I’ve learned, but from what I’ve experienced.

    ??? ??????
    ???? ?????? ????? ??????

  28. In our tweens, my brother and I would go down to the Ellicott City MD B&O railroad tracks just outside of town where old box cars were lined up on a side track. We’d throw track bed gravel at each other playing “war”, climb all over the rusty hulks, even pick up abandoned “torpedos” and flares and set them off. This was in the 70’s and railroad officials would just tell us to “be careful” but never told us to beat it or they’d call the cops.

    As a youth, I (accidentally) impaled my self with fishhooks and nails;I burned my eyebrows off with model rocket engines; I shot arrows through hornets nests (and paid for it)…all for fun…all as part experiencing freedom.
    ???? ????? ?????? ???????
    ???? ????? ????? ???????

  29. In our tweens, my brother and I would go down to the Ellicott City MD B&O railroad tracks just outside of town where old box cars were lined up on a side track. We’d throw track bed gravel at each other playing “war”, climb all over the rusty hulks, even pick up abandoned “torpedos” and flares and set them off. This was in the 70’s and railroad officials would just tell us to “be careful” but never told us to beat it or they’d call the cops.

    As a youth, I (accidentally) impaled my self with fishhooks and nails;I burned my eyebrows off with model rocket engines; I shot arrows through hornets nests (and paid for it)…all for fun…all as part experiencing freedom.
    ???? ??? ??? ???????
    ???? ???? ??? ???? ???????

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