The Old Car Hood Sled

One cold wintry, early 1960s day, me and some of my friends decided we needed a sled for the snowy weather. We lived in Southern Oklahoma which was a place that didn’t seem to receive much snow in those days.

 

Several of us drove down to the local auto body and fender shop and asked the owner if we could have an old car hood. “Yes, he said, go out back and help yourselves.” We found an old gray hood that looked as though it might have belonged to the Buick family at one time or another.

We loaded the hood into Paul’s old ’48 Dodge pickup. We drove back to south second street where two or three of us lived. We unloaded the old hood. Paul happened to have an old forty foot rope which was, I swear, at least two inches in diameter. It was the biggest rope I had ever seen at that time. Perfect, we thought. That old rope would hold anything.

 

We proceeded to tie the old rope to the back bumper of the old ’48 Dodge PU. Next, we tied the other end of the rope to the car hood which we transformed into the car hood sled.

Roy and I boarded the hood sled, and Paul and his old ’48 Dodge pulled us, up and down south second street a couple of times. It was fun, let me tell you. Kind of dangerous which is probably what made it so much fun.

After supper in the waning hours of daylight, three brave souls boarded the old car hood sled to make local history. Mike, Randy, and Gary Dale boarded; and kneeled down on their knees, and found places on the old hood to grab hold of, and hung on for the car hood sled ride of their lives.

We towed the boys and the car hood sled up Second street till we were a block from Main street, then we traveled on another street over to Fourth street which passed ole Davis High, and then we crossed over to Fifth street heading north till we were about a block from US hwy 7. We crossed over one more time to south Sixth street and infamy.

As we towed the guys south on Sixth street, I stepped out on the running-board of the old ’48 Dodge ’cause I could hear the guys hollering; but, couldn’t understand exactly what they were saying.

 

I thought they were saying: “faster, faster, faster”. We later found out they were saying: “stop this thing and let us off.” I don’t know how I misconstrued their hollering.

Shucks, we were already traveling forty-five miles per hour, and Paul didn’t want to go any faster; because it just wouldn’t have been safe. Safe, why I hadn’t even thought about the safety factor even entering the sledding equation at that time. After traveling about ten blocks on south Sixth street, a curve came into sight. We never even put two and two together. Sixth street was running south, and this curve would be almost a ninety degree turn, after all was said and done. On the south side of the curve, a brand spanking, new five strand barbed wire fence was waiting for its first three victims.

As we traveled around the curve, the old ’48 Dodge PU went into a left handed spin, and Paul and I stepped out of the truck after it stopped, laughing our heads off. But, hey wait a minute, there were no guys or a sled anywhere in sight.

 

The Moon was shining; but, we couldn’t see anyone. Then we began to hear lots of moans. The top and bottom strands of the new barbed wire fence were all that was still attached to the oak fence posts. The top strand had a toboggan hat wrapped around it. Randy had hit a post with one of his shoulders, and almost knocked it out of the ground. Gary Dale had been wearing a jacket of mine.

 

The jacket looked as though someone had laid it on the ground, and had taken a razor blade, and cut it into strips. Gary Dale’s back looked like some lost lover had raked her fingernails up and down his back. We later heard that Gary Dale’s mother had raked his backside with a hairbrush for even getting on the old sled. We really never knew for sure if that was true or not.

Mike had five stitches taken in a bad cut on his left wrist. The people who lived on that curve had just, that day, completed that new five strand barbed wire fence. They said they thought they had heard a car accident outside when the old car hood sled and the guys had crashed through it.

The next day, Paul and I helped rebuild the five strand barbed wire fence. I never did know why that two inch diameter rope broke, and I never knew what happened to our old car hood sled; but, after the guys maimed that new barbed wire fence, I didn’t much care.

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2 thoughts on “The Old Car Hood Sled

  1. It was a steep hill, just south of town. A load of guys from Pasco, Wa., just across the river, were crawling into, you guessed it, an old car hood they brought from who knows where. Once loaded, the last guy gave’er a push and down the hill they went: all six of them. Speed was immediate: the hill was steep. Snow flew, the hood gained speed, careening with abandon, then about a third of the way down, it hit a good-sized bump and went airborne. that’s when the memory flashed its picture for all time. Boots and arms and legs were flying every direction possible, while the old car hood disappeared on down the hill . . . by itself. I don’t think that old hood ever came back up the hill. I know some of those boys who rode it down didn’t, not that day anyway.

    1. If you like my Short Stories, go to Amazon.com and purchase: “REMEMBERING OLDEN TIMES” BY Edward S Bumgarner, sixteen short stories about growing up in Southern Oklahoma during the ’50s and ’60s.

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