A few years ago I was a member of a motorcycle gang called “The Caps“. We had motorcycles, a couple of motorcycle mammas and a few of us even wore kerchiefs. We tried to be bad, but Hell’s Angels we were not. I think our name gave it away. Cap stood for Children at Play which was a traffic warning sign we would occasionally see on the road. It fit us perfectly since after all, we were still kids having a long weekend moment where we let the back roads take us where they might while we appreciated the journey.
It wasn’t that different from my real experiences as a child where a friend and I would hop on our bikes and ride out after school in search of adventure. Maybe we’d find a pick-up baseball game at the high school, or a basketball game at the Brosnans; maybe visit the tree fort we’d built last year or catch a few frogs at the pond at Pogmore’s farm. The possibilities were endless. It was an unscripted world for kids. Except for Little League, I don’t remember participating in any organized activities after school or on weekends. Today in the era of helicopter parents, arranged playdates and 24 hours news outlets telling us how dangerous everything is ( if it bleeds…it leads), it’s difficult to imagine a parent letting their child get on a bike (certainly without a helmet, kneepads, and cellphone) and ride off after school in search of adventure.
The following photographs were taken at Jericho Hill in Marlboro, MA. This is a great sledding hill and these images represent throwback experiences like the kind those of us of a certain generation had as kids. No adult organization, no fees, no hill grooming…..just plain old unscripted fun.
They look a little apprehensive don’t they?
Rarely, in a group photograph, do you get a good expression on everybody’s face. This is the only time this group coupled their tubes together for a group ride so I was very lucky to get this shot.
This is my absolute favorite of this set of images. I imagine eating corn on the cob required going over the corn cob twice.
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Wonderful, Frank! I too have good memories of being on my own around the neighborhood as a kid — and I know we didn’t have a problem with ADHD like I was just reading about in the NY Times (and have experienced as an educator). Kids need freedom! Kids of all ages!
Hey Francois…… The Gang wants royalties! Nice pics of the kids but I didn’t see any of the BIG kid. Maj Tom
Love the photos. It is wonderful to see the pure joy on the faces of the kids. It is a reminder for us adults to rediscover that joy that we experienced as kids.
You captured the spirit of our youth! Love the joy in their faces! Hope you are feeling better!
Sent from my iPhone
Thanks to all. These are some of my favorite images from last year.
Just came across these while looking at your blog. Of course it brought back great, carefree memories. I don’t need to tell you but you have such great talent. Two weeks ago I was in Toronto visiting the grandkids and we tried out a few hills. Your pictures tell the same story. Thanks.