Grasshopper Soup: We have hard heads for a reason
Special to the Sun
TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; Donand#8217;t lose your head. Nobodyand#8217;s perfect. Life is too important to take seriously.
Iand#8217;ve learned to forgive and appreciate my imperfections. They are due, in part, to a series of concussions caused by youthful ignorance of the laws of physics. As is typical with youth, I knew everything, which resulted in a long series of close encounters between my skull, concrete and other solid objects (like baseball bats and rocks), culminating with the worst one I can remember when I was 15.
I agreed to attach all 140 lbs of me to the end of a pulley that ran from our tree fort about thirty feet up in the gigantic oak in our back yard (our back yard was bigger than Truckee) all the way down to the ground. My friend, Tom Gordoy, who climbed the steps to the fort and attached himself to the other end of the pulley, weighed about 200 lbs.
As if it was going to make any difference, we decided to hook an old tire to my end of the pulley instead of sliding the heavy metal hook into one of my belt loops.
By now you have realized there is no point to any of this, but youand#8217;re not 15.
We actually had an idea. Well, it was Tomand#8217;s idea, but it sounded crazy enough for me to go along with. Like most ideas, this one was brilliant. I mean, if we were thinking it, how could it be a bad idea? Yes, our minds were beginning to mature, and we were bored.
I waited for Tom to climb the tree. It was unusual for there to be less than eight or ten of us kids engaged in a hair-brained scheme at the tree fort, or at any multitude of dangerous people, places and things we frequented, but this particular day it was only Tom and I. Ten more of us wouldnand#8217;t necessarily have added up to more brain power.
I looked up and saw Tom in the tree fort handling the thick rope on his end of the pulley. He was a big fat shadow surrounded by rays of sun, commanding me from above.
I stood on the thick, sturdy top deck of a fresh, wooden pallet which served as our tree fort loading platform, and I might as well have been loaded. Then the shadow spoke to me. and#8220;Sit in the tire! Iand#8217;m going to jump out of the tree fort and pull you up!and#8221;
Blindly I obeyed, then felt myself slowly ascending into the heavens.
Tom, the first, and last, man to ever jump out of the tree fort, came down about five times faster than I rose. We collided about six feet above the pallet with such force I fell out of the tire. My head landed sideways on the pallet. Heavier with speed, Tomand#8217;s butt landed on my head which split the nearly two inch thick board in half.
I still canand#8217;t believe I lived. My skull felt crushed flat. Maybe thatand#8217;s how my brain became Grasshopper Soup, almost miraculously, and the miracles never cease. No pain, no gain.
For many people, childhood ends abruptly. All of a sudden youand#8217;re 21, mom is throwing you out of the house, and you have no idea where to go. Thatand#8217;s nothing.
I was fortunate. I did not go to college for the education, I went for the skiing. But thatand#8217;s a long story for highly educated, open minds, so I donand#8217;t have a chance to tell it much.
Oh, I forgot! I wanted to write about short term memory loss today. Maybe next week. And we appeal to the two guys who took Carole Seskoand#8217;s now legendary Dabayo’Duwe? sign to please return it to the museum across the river from where you took it, day or night, no questions asked. Itand#8217;s the right thing to do. She deserves to have it back.
And do not hang a sign saying GRASSHOPPER SOUP where hers was. (Iand#8217;m hoping they are teenagers so they will hang a Grasshopper Soup sign just because I told them not to).
Now thereand#8217;s a great idea.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.