Hi, I’m Bo Lumpkin and I’ve still been thinkin’ about “The Redneck Games” of my youth.
Back then we really didn’t know we were rednecks. Most of the boys from town just called us country hicks (but only when they had us outnumbered). We didn’t have coaches or fancy trainin’ facilities and the adults didn’t come and watch us and sit in bleachers and get upset. Come to think of it if the adults had known what we were up to most of the time they would have put a stop to it in a hurry.
I did notice some similarity in the Olympics to some of our games. I was real disappointed when I tuned in to watch the fencin’ championships and there wasn’t a roll of barbed wire or a fence post anywhere to be seen. The pole vaultin’ kinda reminded me what we used to call the saplin’ bend. We would find a thin saplin’ about 25′ feet tall and about 3 inches in diameter at the bottom and we would climb it. As we would get toward the top it would begin to bend and we would climb toward the tip until we could ride it to the ground. We would then sometimes put a block of wood or some other large object on it and then let it go. If there was enough spring in the tree it would throw the object unbelievable distances. (This is not to be confused with the persimmon fling to be covered later.)
You are probably wonderin’ what this could possibly have in common with the pole vault. Well, sometimes the object we put on the tree was one of the smaller boys that liked to follow us around. There were times when we were closer to puttin’ a man in outer space than NASA. If the smaller kid told on us usually all that happened was that his parents usually wouldn’t let him hang around with us. That wasn’t a problem back then because most folks had 5 or 6 kids and there was always a new crop comin’ along.
I hope y’all come back for my next blog in which I will cover Kudzu Gymnastics in detail.
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