Posted 07-24-2004 at 08:18:18
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I read in your post below about swinging on grape vines.
Reminds me of when I first saw Johnny Weisemuller in a Tarzan Movie. All us neighborhood boys talked about it for some time. One of the things that impressed us most was his strong forearms. Whenever he was shown swinging on a vine, the veins on his arms would buldge out as tho they were ready to burst.
Now, us kids, with our kid minds, determined that, if we were to have strong arms, we would need to take up vine swinging. So, we headed for the woods and found just the right vine to use. It was about 1 and a hlf inches in diameter and when it was pulled away from the tree, it hung clear for about 35 feet from the branches above. And, where it was located added an extra danger to the swing because it was over a deep ravine.
Elmer was the first to give it a go. he was the biggest and if it held him, it would probably hold any of us. Well, to make a long story short, we swing on that old vine for the remainder of that summer. But, if you know anything about vines, you know that lack of sap and winter weather, with snow and rain and wind will dry them out and they lose their holding ability. And, so it was that the next spring I went again to the swinging vine and grabbed ahold. Without testing to see if it would hold, I backed up the slope and as far as I could go. Then by lifting my feet, I became airborne out over the 10 or 12 foot deep ravine. I sailed on across with the wind whipping my hair about my head and let go a strong Tarzan Call. When the vine had carried me as far as it would go, I hung momentarily until it started it's return to the other side. That's when all manner of popping and cracking started high above me as the vine lost it grip on the branches and I felt myself falling.... falling.... falling to land on the rocks at the bottom of the wash.
When I was able to move, I crawled out of that old ravine and limped all the way home. And, as I look back on it, I wish some one, anyone, would have explained to us kids not to try that sort of thing at home. For, I'm not entirely sure the chronic back pain I suffer today wasn't caused by that fall. Well, maybe not. But, it probably contributed some. And, I think I got those bulging veins and muscles from working on the farm and in the lumber camps......gfp