Memory Lane - Trampolines

I'm thinking it was about 1990, and Leslie would have been about 9 years old. An age where she got maybe $5.00 a week in allowance, and that was if we had enough left in the budget to actually pay out what we'd promised.

Some friend of hers got a trampoline, which I'm sure made them infinitely cooler than every single other kid in the class. All the kids wanted to flock to that kid's house, play in their yard, be their BFF forever. So Leslie decided she needed one too. What nine year old doesn't want their house to be the 'go to' place?

I knew her father would say no. No way kind of no. So I had the talk with her about timing was everything, and she'd have to think out her reasons for wanting one, and convince him. And good luck with that. He's always been very safety minded, considering the risk, which would also include anyone who jumped on that trampoline in our yard, and might consider a law suit at the end of the day if things went south.

That same father had installed an enormous piece of board on the wall of our basement play room. What is now called a white board was then called a piece of board you'd use to put up walls instantly in a trailer, so we bought one that was about four feet by eight feet, and he'd hung it up for the kids to draw on.

Leslie had her mind set, so she called a family meeting. Attendance was mandatory, all family members must be present. She planned the meeting, with handouts for everyone, points of importance written out on the marker board, and snacks prepared and served. That skinny kid stood in front of the board, going through her rationale step by step, as to why this was a good idea. And of course buying a trampoline is never a good idea.

At the end of her presentation, she opened the floor for questions, which were asked, and answered. Then each of us was given a small piece of white notepaper and asked to give her feedback.

Yesterday, cleaning out a box of old photos, I came across the notes, and even though nobody wrote their name on theirs - all were 'anonymous' - of course I knew whose was whose.



Leslie's (the proposer)

Sarah, the 'could care less' older sister

Danny, the younger brother who would benefit but not have to pay!
At the end of the day, her father agreed with the impossible stipulation that she would have to raise the money all by herself. (You'll note the mother said 'the whole family would have to pay.') That skinny nine year old put a koolaid stand on wheels and went door to door. She sold stone soup. She bathed dogs, walked dogs, did chores for people, and put on plays in our backyard. Within less than two months she'd earned the impossible amount of $250 and her father took her to the store, and against his better judgment, let her buy the trampoline. He took it home, set it up, and shuddered every time he saw them playing on it in our side yard. Where all the kids flocked, Leslie's cool factor tripled overnight, and even the dog joined in the fun.

Ten years and two houses later, when the trampoline was set up in the back yard and teenage boys were jumping off our deck onto the trampoline at a frightening speed, it was decided, by Leslie herself, that the trampoline was too dangerous to have. The demographic of users had changed. She took it apart and dragged it all to the curb, then watched the trash men haul it away.

Sweet memories of times gone by. 


Sarah said…
Dad's note made me laugh out loud! And do you remember she charged us admission to that meeting, to start her fundraising? Smart girl! Also, the fact that I couldn't spell "hungry" at 14 makes me cringe.
Mrs. M said…

Oh, my goodness. That is a priceless piece of family history. I think I'd buy a custom made frame and get all of those up on the wall. I am going to enjoy that story for days :)

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