It was cold, baby.
Probably in the teens.
Billy V, brother Ray, and adorable but gremlin-y sister Georgia Lee joined me for the long walk to the woolen mill, with sleds in tow.
Got to the mill, and found what we were looking for. The best sleigh riding hill in the Village of Montgomery.
Today, trekking that hill would require the implantation of an extra lung, and a hip or two. Back then, we did the up and down endlessly.
One of the things we all wanted to do was outdistance the others on any given run.
And one run, I did just that…..sailed forever!…much like Leo DiCaprio, arms spread, at the front of the Titanic.
I knew my chums were envious.
But, one problem!
There was a stream at the end of the run, which never came into play in prior runs. But it did this time. And it had about 18 inches of running water, very cold running water.
According to Bill, in a conversation just yesterday, he screamed, “Bail, Greg!”
But, seriously, what nine year old kid uses the term ‘bail’?
But bail I did not…and I plowed into the seventy five kajillion below zero stream.
Shock and awe. And pain. Such intense pain.
Climbed out of the stream. Like all kids of that time, I wore corduroy pants, which immediately turned into cardboard.
Chums drove up…I was crying, they were trying not to laugh…evil Georgia Lee could not even pretend she was not laughing.
We made the long trek home. Unmanly me crying the whole time.
Shit! It was cold.
Got to the house, and Bill’s mom, Georgia, rips off my duds, and tosses them into the dryer. My Fabio shaped body is covered with bath towels…I look like a twisted sheik.
Billy’s little sisters peek into my room, they had never seen a flash frozen, red splotch fleshed sheik before..and a crying one at that.
Finally Mom picks me up, and I blubber out the tragic tale. Mom is sooooo empathetic.
“You need to feed your dog when you get home.”
Mom’s caring love plays such an important role in my current mental health situation.
Spent the rest of the winter sticking to my family’s excellent, but not quite as good as the woolen mill, hills.
No streams on Dad’s property.