"If I don't believe in solipsism, who will?" - Al Batt

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road.

Jim and I can attribute our many, many successes in life to the Boy Scouts of America. (I am assuming Jim's got those "successes" covered.) If the parent organization knew what went on we'd have been drummed out of the organization. Scouts is where we went to learn how to swear, spit and chew tobacco. Our troop was compared unfavorably to an organized gang. I'm a little short on energy right now so this is from Jim.

"Listening to some old Statler Brothers tunes and smelling ex-skunks this afternoon had got me thinking about an old, old road trip from the mid-1950s.  Gunnar and I were in Clarks Grove Boy Scout troop back then and it was an unwritten article of faith that meetings on the hot, humid nights of the Minnesota summer were spent either at the Hollandale pool or the beach up at St. Olaf  Lake.  Our leadership mentors, Dick Rasmussen and my old-man didn’t like sitting around the old barn on a humid night any more than their bored, rebellious charges.  So, “swimming lessons” for the boys would be announced and off everyone went to the vehicles."  More


Margadant said...

It was because of our esteemed youth leadership that I was forced to learn how to make a corn cob pipe. Indeed, there were many formative successes that flowed from the hazing that taught us that a "Scout is always prepared."

Gunnar Berg said...

And you started smoking a pipe at 14? A habit you have nursed for 50 years. I'm certain the BSA had no influence on that.

I don't remember uniforms. We must have had them?

Addendum: I could take Chuck Wedge in a heartbeat. I never passaged enough to even think about Schoon or Halverson.

Margadant said...

Only shirts and neckerchiefs were required in order to be properly uniformed. Everything else was optional, I remember pulling into those multi-troop camping events and being directed to a spot somewhat "away" from our more well-equipped brethren.

It was reminiscent of a description I heard about the Pierre Polo Club going down to Colorado for some matches. A bunch of three-quarter ton ranch pickups pulling horse trailers pulls up to the manicured venue and guys in jeans, hats, and Tony Lama boots pile out and start dropping the gates and dragging out the horses and some stock saddles. Those Colorado folks were semi-convinced if the boys hadn't have cracked open the beer they would have gone ahead and started bucking the strings out.