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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Great summers that grew on trees

Jim Bohn remembers one particular childhood treehouse.

It was in California, back around 1964.

“One summer we started a project up in a grove of eucalyptus trees adjacent to our neighborhood of tract homes. It was so cool being up there looking down, and no adults or girls would risk climbing up.

“After we had established a substantial claim with a simple triangular platform, the owner showed up, was about to run us off, but then relented (no harm done, he guessed). We didn’t see him for awhile but when he returned (from vacation?), the construction was three, going on four levels with walls, windows, hatches, ladders, several cantilevered porches, lifting devices, some furniture, and about 10 kids involved.”

Curtains for moose and treehouse.

Transitioning (or not) to civilian life: “When I was in officer training school, I met a master sergeant with 17 years service coming in as a new candidate,” wrote Jerry Hargitt. “I asked him why he would take that step at that point of his career. His response was, ‘I discovered there are very few job openings in the civilian market for a B-52 tail gunner.’”

Soon enough, even that job would disappear.

How eyeglasses got broken: “When I was a kid we raised hogs,” wrote Gary Silvers. “One hot summer day my dad was leaning over the fence to put grain in the food trough when his glasses slipped off his sweaty face and fell into the pen. Before he could react the glasses were munched by Bubba, the big boar we kept. When my dad was finally able to to retrieve them, they were a nearly unrecognizable tangle of metal and plastic. Life lesson: Never fall in a pig pen!”

Remember Wu’s pigs in HBO’s “Deadwood”?

And Steven Thain, renowned as a child for his ability to break spectacles, sent along a list of the circumstances in which his childhood eyeglasses met their demise.

Horseplay (3), bicycle accidents (2), playing football (3), wrestling (2), playing cowboys and Indians (2), glasses falling into machinery (2), car accidents (1), tripping over something (2), having someone break them on purpose (1), jumping from or falling off something (2), falling asleep and rolling on them (1).

“As a young lad, I drove my mother crazy with this ‘problem.’ May she rest in peace.”

Today’s Slice question (a summer rerun from this date in 1995): What’s the most unusual choice of music you’ve heard during a viewing at a funeral home?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Judi Durfee’s husband prefers classical music. She likes rock. Their solution? “Headsets.”

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