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Author Topic: Teach your kids archery  (Read 919 times)


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Teach your kids archery
« on: April 06, 2009, 09:25:34 PM »
I never laughed so hard or got a headache from laughing until I read this; enjoy, and get a kerchief before you start...

Around age 10 my dad got me one of those little bad to the bone compound bow beginner kits. Of course, the first month I went around our land sticking arrows in anything that could get stuck by an arrow. Did you know that a 1955 40horse Farmall tractor will take 6 rounds before it goes down? Tough sucker.

That got boring, so being the 10 yr. old Dukes of Hazard fan that I was, I quickly advanced to taking strips of cut up T-shirt doused in chainsaw gas tied around the end and was sending flaming arrows all over the place. Keep in mind this was 99.999% humidity swampland so there really wasn't any fire danger. I'll put it this way- a set of post hole diggers and a 3ft. hole and you had yourself a well.

One summer afternoon, I was shooting flaming arrows into a large rotten oak stump in our backyard. I looked over under the carport and see a shiny brand new can of starting fluid (ether). The light bulb went off. I grabbed the can and set it on the stump. I thought that it would probably just spray out in a disappointing manner... lets face it to a 10 yr. old mouthbreather like myself ether really doesn't "sound" flammable. So, I went back into the house and got a 1 pound can of pyrodex (black powder for muzzle loader rifles).

At this point, I set the can of ether on the stump and opened up the can of black powder. My intentions were to sprinkle a little bit around the ether can but it all sorta dumped out on me. No biggie...1lb pyrodex and 16oz ether should make a loud pop, kinda like a firecracker you know? You know what?  The hell with that. I'm going back in the house for the other can. Yes, I got a second can of pyrodex and dumped it too. Now we're cookin'.

I stepped back about 15ft and lit the 2 stroke arrow. I drew the nock to my cheek and took aim. As I released I heard a clunk as the arrow launched from my bow. In a slow motion time frame, I turned to see my dad getting out of the truck... OH Lord, he just got home from work. So help me God it took 10 minutes for that arrow to go from my bow to the can. My dad was walking towards me in slow motion with a  "cow lookin' at a new gate"  look in his eyes. I turned back towards my target just in time to see the arrow pierce the starting fluid can right at the bottom. Right through the main pile of pyrodex and into the can.  OMG!!!!! When the shock wave hit it knocked me off my feet. I don't know if it was the actual compression wave that threw me back or just reflex jerk back from 235 fricking decibels of sound. I caught a half a millisecond glimpse of the violence during the initial explosion and I will tell you there was dust, grass, and bugs all hovering 1ft above the ground as far as I could see. It was like a little low to the ground layer of dust fog full of grasshoppers, spiders, and a crawfish or two. The daylight turned purple. Let me repeat this... THE FRICKING DAYLIGHT TURNED PURPLE. There was a big sweet gum tree out by the gate going into the pasture. Notice I said "was". That  sucker got up and ran off.

So here I am, on the ground blown completely out of my shoes with my thundercats T-shirt shredded, my dad is on the other side of the carport having what I can only assume is a Vietnam flashback ECHO BRAVO CHARLIE YOUR BRINGIN' EM IN TOO CLOSE!! CEASE FIRE darn IT CEASE FIRE!!!!! His hat has blown off and is 30 ft. behind him in the driveway. All windows on the north side of the house are blown out and there is a slow rolling mushroom cloud about 2000ft over our backyard. There is a Honda 185s 3 wheeler parked on the other side of the yard and the fenders are drooped down and are now touching the tires.

I wish I knew what I said to my dad at this moment. I don't know- I know I said something. I couldn't hear. I couldn't hear inside my own head. I don't think he heard me either... not that it would really matter. I don't remember much from this point on. I said something, felt a sharp pain, and then woke up later. I felt a sharp pain, blacked out, woke later.... repeat this process for an hour or so and you get the idea. I remember at one point my mom had to give me CPR so dad could beat me some more. Bring him back to life so dad can kill him again. Thanks mom.

One thing is for sure... I never had to mow around that stump again. Mom had been bitching about that thing for years and dad never did anything about it. I stepped up to the plate and handled business. Dad sold his muzzloaders a week or so later. And I still have some sort of bone growth abnormality either from the blast or the beating. Or both.

I guess what I am trying to say is, get your kids into archery. Its good discipline and will teach them skills they can use later on in life.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Teach your kids archery
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 02:14:25 AM »
That reminds me of when I was an adolescent.  The state had recently outlawed real fireworks and we were left with the weak wimpy substitutes called "Safe and Sane" fireworks.  We want the real thing.  So using my Grandfather's 1883 8th Grade science book we set about collecting the ingredients for black powder.  the 1st pickle crock full wasn't so hard to get as there were still a few steam locomotives in use back in the 50's and all we had to do was walk the tracks and pick up the coal from the tender car and the sulfur from the gondola cars caring ths sulfer to the smelters.  The Saltpeter was a little trickier but we soon found that the local Rx Drug Store had a large stock of all 3 ingredients in jars.  It was used in home remedy's back then and charcoal, which could be substituted for the coal, was used for upset stomachs and ulcers.

So we colletcted popbottles and bought more ingredients and pulverized it as as small as we could using a hammer.  Note: don't mix it together before pulverizing, do it afterward. We soon had 3 pickle crocks full of cannon grade black powder and several 1 gallon milk jars.

We began making skyrockets.  We used on old piece of wooden raingutter for a launching pad and was soon shooting them down the alley behind our house.  Most, though, burn't up on the launching pad, but the smell of buring black powder is something you don't foreget.  Then one day we had our most successful launch and it flew down the alley at about 6 feet above the ground and took a right turn right into the back door of the local hag.  She came out screaming that she was calling the police.

Well, that did it, we hid our rocketry stuff and headed for the river for some swimming.  The Police, that day, just happened to be our father.   While we were swimming under the east bridge over the river there was a BIG boom and a HUGE cloud of black smoke rose high into the sky down by the west bridge across the river.

A few hours later we returned home and found all 3 pickle crocks gone along with the gallon jars of black powder.  At dinner that night my father took my brother and I aside, out of mother's hearing, and told us what had happened to our black powder and that we were to promise him 2 things: 1. never make black powder again. 2. Never tell our mother.  He informed us that we had made enough black powder to turn the entire city block full of houses we lived on into a pit.

20 Years later, after my brother and I had both gotten back from SE Asia and were doing some reminiscing about old times it slipped out.  Finally Mom heard the dreadful news of the Black Powder Incident.  She practically fainted and it had happened 20 years earlier, imagine how she would have reacted if she had been told about it at the time.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline 1reb

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Re: Teach your kids archery
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 11:56:18 AM »