NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 10, 2014

King of the hill with our double runner

Let us give thanks for the quick melt and runoff of our most recent — I was about to write “heavy” — snowfall for what was actually very light snow. There was a lot of it, but ...

And while we’re doing that, let us also be grateful for what followed by way of easing removal while providing for what can be made useful for sliders and out-of door-skaters.

As for the latter — if the weather cooperates — Bartlet Mall pond beckons.

It may have been the angle of the sun as I drove past, but it seemed that the skateable area of pond ice was slick as glass but with a dull green tinge.

That’s not surprising — so does the water as the ice melts unfortunately, a reality the Mall committee strives to return to its once environmental haven for wildlife.

As for snowfall, we take what we get and try to make the most of it. Unfortunately, venues are limited for what we once called sliding and more recently sledding.

Major among them was Hale’s Hill for most of us, and Mt. Rural for others.

That was before they bulldozed the crown to provide for the high school, and flattened it southerly to create the football and baseball fields.

The original hill was considerably higher and longer, a condition that added greatly to the opportunity to get the best out of a Flexible Flyer sled.

They were fast and controllable and we could race them downhill or in our streets.

We had no challengers to our double runner, however.

Given its 6 feet of length it was something of an effort for whoever we could get to help get it uphill.

My father had built one for my Christmas present in 1932. It had two sleds — one in back and a front one for steering. From front to back, there were side rails for our feet.

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