Thursday, February 4, 2010

ED’s Snow Fort

We’ve had a lot of snow across the USA this winter. Now, thankfully, since I’m not really a great fan of snow any more, it has now melted where we are currently living, but whenever there is a large snowfall I fondly remember my brother ED’s (short for El Dictator), huge, two story snow fort. This would have been in the late 1960’s. We had heavy snowfalls that year and lived in an area of the country where it stayed cold so ED had the raw materials available to make the snow fort of his dreams.

ED was a big boy. I think I’ve mentioned that, but it needs to be repeated. He was big and he was strong. Once the snow started falling, ED was ready to start the snow fort building. Hipee (my sister, the high powered executive) and I were among his willing little slaves, or , er, helpers. My best friend Scott helped too. I think his older brother, Mark, may have also enlisted in the labor force. As the snowfall piled up, we kept building. ED worked hard on that fort. Every available second he had, he was building. (If he wasn’t building, he was making money shoveling people’s driveways.) The rest of us were not quite as dedicated, even though we did help and we did reap the benefits of having a huge snow fort in our front yard.

The fort started out modestly and then grew from there. Dad stopped us from using the house or camper as a support for it at one point, which slowed us down temporarily as we changed that section to a free standing wall. Soon ED’s snow fort filled up one whole side of the front yard. ED would diligently throw water on it every night so it soon had a nice, thick, protective coating of ice. In the end it had two levels. There were slides from the top that could be used to enter into the lower levels. There were tunnels to crawl through. There were several ice rooms. ED had one large, main chamber that had openings to throw snow balls out of, filled up with piles of snowballs. Scott and I had a smaller little snow room we considered our territory. Although, if necessary, we could both throw a mean snowball, we were more likely to play games based on stories from our imagination than purposefully engaging in a snow ball fight.

There were several major snow ball fights that winter; most of them were against some kids who lived on another street. They were enemies of ED’s. Having been the recipient of a snowball thrown by ED, I knew he could cause major pain if he hit you. It was always better to be on ED’s team rather than with the opposition. Even better, in my opinion, was to become scarce and avoid the snowball fights all together. If you were conscripted into the fight, it was preferable to be the support team, the ones who made the snowballs for the main fighting force to throw.

I wasn’t involved in the fight - the fight that had somebody’s mother angrily calling up our mother. Apparently her son was hit with a snowball thrown by ED on his cheek, which now had a bloody raw spot and was turning black and blue. Her son was crying. She accused ED of putting rocks in the snowballs. She was very mad. This made our mom very mad – at us. I don’t recall what the punishment was, but I imagine it wasn’t light.

I don’t think ED actually did put rocks in his snowballs. I mean, come on, it was a winter with a record snowfall. Where exactly would we be finding/mining these rocks? I will concede that ED may have had some chunks of ice mixed up in his snow balls. Furthermore, he was strong and could throw very accurately. In any event, if your gang starts a war with someone who has a two story snow fort and you come into his territory, with a sled full of snowballs, to fight him, then maybe, just maybe, mommy’s best little boy isn’t quite as innocent as he would have you believe. I am sorry the boy was hurt but not that sorry. He should have known that you just don’t mess with ED.

1 comment:

Scottie said...

Lori, VERY well remembered & written. You captured things I had LONG forgotten (until you mentioned it, I forget we ever made that fort!). &, while 'ED' was a fierce 'war-monger' on both his INCREDIBLE size & strength (I swear he was a full man @ probably!) w/ BIG hands & HUGE feet & did have an assertive nature, (still remember the say we had a 'run-in' when we were messing around & he put me over his knees & spanked me w/ those BIG hands, it was a memory!)

Also quite sure there were no rocks, even doubt there was ice-balls in them, remember, we made many of those snowballs & he never instructed us or there would have been some discussion...), but no doubt he could throw 1 MEAN snowball & make 1 INTENSE impact when that badboi hit it's mark, which was probably almost ALWAYS...!?!

Scott (the neighbor, lol)