Anybody Have A Flexible Flyer? by Jeff Meiners Does anybody still get a sled for Christmas? Maybe there just aren’t many good places to sled anymore, but Ashton in the 1960’s was nothing short of a sledding mecca…..at least if you were a 10 year old kid. The local experts had a choice between two prime sites in town. Morris Hill, which is actually Brown Avenue, was closed in the winter for two blocks from North Third Street to Route 38 just so we had a good spot to sled. It was spared from the usual treatment of cinders for car traction and the village occasionally ran the fire hydrants on it to make the ultimate sledding surface. The second option was Griffith Park, which is a converted gravel quarry. It offered some great opportunities for short, but very fast trips down the steep and tree lined hillsides. Winter weekends and Christmas break from school would find a die-hard group challenging the hills in a variety of store bought and sometimes home-made sleds. The elite sledders in the group even polished and waxed the run- ners on their sleds to gain competitive advantage. Legendary status was usually earned by the length of the run with the best sledders having enough speed to actually cross the dry pavement on Route 38 sending sparks into the air from the metal runners of the sled (pretty sure our parents would not have been happy with our system of avoiding traffic on the highway). On the other hand, simply staying on your sled going down the hills at the Griffith Park qualified as a successful run and distance beyond that was simply the frosting on the cake with those with the longest distances achieving hero status. When solo runs down the hill became routine, double and even triple stacked rides provided new levels of daring and some spectacular crashes. Waterproof pants were not really a thing back then and they would have been for sissies if they were…..we were hard core sledders wearing a pair of jeans or maybe two, long underwear, buckle boots with bread bags over your socks to keep the water out, mismatched gloves and a collection of crazy hats. Ah, but time seems to change everything. The same hills don’t look near as steep today, all the roads are salted, no one would ever think of shutting down a public street just so the kids could sled and what kid today would want to be out freezing on a cheap sled when they could play it on a video game from the comfort of their warm living room. I’m not saying that the era of my youth was any better than it is today…just different. What we lacked for in technology we made up for in innovation and a true love for anything outdoors. However, it sure would be great to once again see a gang of kids dragging their sleds behind them headed to their favorite hill in town again. Walking Club Wrap Up
What an interesting year for the Walking Club! Weather wasn’t our friend as we dealt with mud, heat, rain and downed power lines throughout the season. Overall though, Crest Foods employees endured and we had a very successful fundraising season for Sinissippi Centers. Participation was just as high as the last few years and we ended up raising $8000 to donate as a team! Highlights include: Our runners won the Reagan Run 5K Corporate Challenge for the 2nd year in a row; 138 employees signed up for the club, and about 30 employees braved the mud of the KB Tough Run. Thanks again to all of the employees who take time out of their busy schedules to come and raise money for charity. We are looking forward to running/walking, raising money and some better weather next year!
Susie Miller, Mike & Erika Meiners, Martha Holder, Jon Bakener & Jeff Meiners presenting a check to Sinissippi Centers
22 Crest Ink January, February & March 2019
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