At Week’s End


February 23, 2013 - 12:00 AM

Bob Johnson
When you’re young, snow is eagerly anticipated, but the perspective changes with each advancing year.
I fondly remember the former and appreciate the latter.
I suspect we didn’t have as much snow in the 1940s and ’50s in Humboldt as I think I remember.
Snowmen sprung up on Mulberry Street, creations made by me and my young chums, and we had our share of snowball battles, great fun until a hard-packed clump of snow hit a tender ear.
My fondest recollection was one year when snow came in heavy amounts and stayed for quite a spell. Coincidentally, I had a touch of some malady, probably tonsillitis.
I was 8 or 9 and didn’t have nearly as many diversions as today’s kids. No TV, no electronic games, just books and a big console radio, with programs that I liked — The Shadow and Sky King — only in the evening.
Dad was attune to my dilemma and on Saturday after the storm we talked about things I could do while I healed.
We kept chickens and ducks in a large pen out back. At each feeding birds of all sorts swarmed in.
With that in mind, Dad found a cardboard box, about a foot square and fairly deep. Outdoors, he propped it up with a stick, eight or 10 inches long, and attached a string, which he then ran into the house by raising a window just a smidgen. He put bread crumbs under the box, and placed me next to the window.
What occurred was predictable. Once they noticed the bread, opportunistic birds swooped in. They’d land just outside the box and hop under to dine. Once several were in, I’d jerk the string and the box would plop down.
Dad then went out, raised the box and the birds quickly flew away — an exercise he repeated several times, much to my amusement.

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