March 26 • 06:23 AM

Cherished skis made for simple winter fun

January 14, 2009
This winter's snow reminds me of winters long ago. How we kids did enjoy playing in the snow.

The 'big' kids in town would pass our home on the corner of Hough and Shoemaker Roads on their way to slide down Sand Hill. They would hitch their way out on their skis or toboggans by tying a rope behind a car or a farmer's team of horses pulling his set of sleighs filled with a grist (bags of grain) just ground at King's Mill.

It looked like such fun and I wanted a pair of skis. My father made me a pair out of barrel staves. They didn't quite cut it and I consulted our Montgomery Ward catalog before Christmas one year. Christmas morning there they were under the tree! My mother ordered them from the catalog and

they came by train to Imlay City. No fancy bindings and ski shoes back then, only an adjustable strap that you stuck your galoshes in.

I talked my brother Roy into riding my Shetland pony, Dutch, and pulling me on my new skis. That didn't last too long, as the snow from Dutch's back feet would fly back and pound me in the face. One time Roy was driving the team of horses on a sleigh full of manure to the field at the back end of

'the 45' as we called the 45 acres off Hough Road. I hitched a ride on my skis. That was a little more challenging, being of rough terrain and a little smelly.

Sometimes brother Floyd, who lived in Almont and was a pharmacist in Bowman's Drug Store, would drive out and pull me behind his car. What fun whooshing over the snow banks. Sometimes, with a stick of paraffin in my pocket to wax my skis and my skis slung over my shoulder, I would join friends from town who weren't lucky enough to hitch a ride all the way, and we would trudge the mile and a half to Sand Hill. Down the hill we would ski and walk back up. Whoever heard of a ski lift back then? What a thrill when the big kids complimented me on my wondrous skiing ability, especially Kenny Mosher who

worked in the then

National Bank.

One time when the old fashioned snowplows on the front of trucks left huge snow banks along the road, our neighbor Stella Herr hit a snow bank and landed upside down in the road. She crawled out and came to make a phone call. No cell phones yet.

Some 76 years later my skis are part of Carol's cozy basement decor, waiting for her son Curt and wife Susan to build their dream home where they will be part of the decor in their family room, or whatever.

I later graduated to cross country skis but, now am content with many memories.

— Country Cousin

Castle Creek
03 - 26 - 19
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