Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday's Column - Alpine Slide

About ten years ago when my grandson, Evan, was about 6 or 7, we were left alone in the house one afternoon.  Both his mother and grandmother had gone out on female type business.  We got bored and so I asked him if he fancied a ride on the Alpine Slide, which is only a mile down the road from us.  He readily agreed and we took the trip up on the chair lift before climbing on a small plastic sled, which is how you go down this half-pipe ride set into the mountain.  I had ridden it before and knew that unlike many other things in S. California there is little margin for error, and in fact you can hurt yourself.

Reaching the end of the Alpine Slide - Safely!
There is a handle set between your knees, and as we went in to the second bend I had it as far forward as possible to get the maximum speed.
Unfortunately I should have applied the brake at that moment and the result was that all three elements of the speeding unit came apart.  The sled went left, I went right, and Evan being quite light went straight up.  When we all collected ourselves, most of the sticking out parts of us were damaged with cuts and abrasions.  The sled appeared unhurt.  At the bottom, we limped off to the car and went home where I applied various unguents and plasters to the boy as well as myself.
I knew I was in trouble as soon as the distaff side of the household appeared.  Both of them turned glaring looks at me for putting the apple of their respective eyes in danger.  I was forbidden to ever take him on anything like that in the future, and how could I, etc. etc.  No one showed any interest in my own considerable grazes.  Nor the first class efforts I had made to staunch the boy's bleeding.  Dear me!  You can read the entire column and find out about other features at the Alpine Slide at

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