Friday, April 27, 2012

The Sins of My Youth...

Years ago, my friends and I would get our faithful .22s out... you know, those handy rifles that every adolescent boy could have shot the eye of a bird out at a hundred yards or taken Hill 409 with the careful sniping of our tin can enemies... and fill our pockets with half a brick of the cheapest Winchester Wildcats or Remington Thunderbolts our chore allowance could afford... and head out into the country side for some youthful fun and occasional mischief.

There were several lines of old telephone and utility poles that were long out of service along old railroad tracks and through clear-cuts in the woods.  We'd walk along and take shots at any old glass insulators left on their perches, even though it seemed it wasn't long before you had to cover quite a few miles to find any left on the crossbars of the old poles.

I remember one day, just as I was about to put the last little, glinting, glass insulator that I could find on my excursion out of it's misery when... for what ever reason, it was spared only to seek it's own revenge upon me.  I set my rifle down, climbed up that old, dry, creaking wood pole... reached out... carefully un-screwed it from it's perch... and it was mine.  I carefully slipped into my pocket, then as I slid back down that ol' pole...ahhhhrrrgg... it had it's revenge on me with a six-inch long sliver of wood that skewered my inner thigh.. in one side and out the other... just like a regular ol' shish kabob.

Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; 
according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
~Psalm 25:7

Not sure I ever shot a glass insulator off a pole again.  Partly out of respect for the revenge set upon me by that utility pole on behalf of his brethren that had been stripped of their glory by an immature kid and his rifle... and mostly because I realized that the firing of a .22 bullet, or any bullet for that matter, up towards the sky like that was a really, really stupid thing to do.

Over the years, my respect for those glass insulators has grown into a bit of an admiration and even an obsession resulting in a nice collection with some dating back into the 1800s.  Their not really anything artistic or special, just mass-produced pieces of utility history... but I do find them interesting enough to give the gals a bit extra to do when it's time to dust around the house.

Shooting those glass memories of my youth these days is more of a hobby, and done with a camera and some studio lighting.  I still enjoy looking at them even when they're not covered by my front sight.  Who knows, maybe I'm just getting old and makin' good for... The Sins of My Youth...


  1. Insulators! We have a bunch on the deck at Dad's house, I just love those!

  2. I love these too! In fact....I need to get some to add to my antiques collections! lol Good story!

  3. Fabulous story. I really do love reading these stories you and the others tell. My childhood was nothing like that and it's nice to live vicariously.

    Youthful sins hold lots of lessons, but some of them were fun:)