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Front Page » December 17, 2002 » Opinion » Those big boys acting like little boys
Published 4,307 days ago

Those big boys acting like little boys


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By KEN LARSON
Sun Advocate Publisher

When is it okay for big boys to have fun like little boys?

I believe the answer should be, anytime they want to, but unfortunately many of us struggle with really having fun once we grow up. I enjoy life and have spent years practicing having fun, the way I once did as a little boy, but it has taken a long time and sometimes it still doesn't feel right.

I am not sure how old I was when I started getting more serious and lost the ability to really laugh but I suspect it was sometime after my dad left home and it was just mom and I struggling to make ends meet. I have no idea how my mother made it during those years and what she went through working the farm and ranch trying to keep things together. And I know she didn't mean any harm when she reminded me that I was the man of the house now and had to "be responsible." Somehow I interpreted being responsible as not having fun. But years of that message and years of seeing how much she struggled took its toll and I grew up a very serious person. As a young man I just could not let loose and enjoy fun things. There was always sort of a guilty feeling that I shouldn't be laughing like this or I can't do that because of what my mom might think. I grew up guarded.

I remember once when I was on a date when I was in my late 30's my girlfriend decided to ride the carousel horse in front of a grocery store up in Oregon. I was embarrassed that a grown woman would get on a child's horse and actually laugh herself silly trying to ride it. But she was having fun and had always wanted to do that. I was trying to hide behind the Coke display in case anybody I knew was coming or going from the store.

I can think of a dozen times where buddies of mine did stupid things but I wouldn't because big guys aren't suppose to act like that. It is really hard sometimes to be on the other side when a group of friends are really enjoying themselves, but you can't quite let yourself go there.

Such was the case a few weeks ago when several friends from the local Kiwanis group ventured off to Las Vegas and raced NASCAR type cars at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In real race cars these big boys crawled in and raced eight laps at speeds almost 140 miles an hour. When they returned to Price they brought the videos back and showed them at a regular meeting.

As I watched the videos and listened to the guys kidding each other about the fun they had I jotted down a few of the comments. Later I realized just how much fun these guys had and thought to myself, "Man I wish I would have gone and had fun like these guys!"

Here were some of the comments made at the program where the videos were shown.

"Understand that you will die if you wreck!"

"Death was mentioned several times in the release we signed."

"Any last words?"

"That could have been me passing my pace car."

The sounds of the engines and the smell of racing fuel was the best part."

"I was surprised the camera was fast enough to catch me."

"Yesterday I could not spell race car driver today I are one."

"That's my car."

"Didn't you win the award for the best dressed driver"

"Who's this Mr. Lamination?"

"I can't believe the team of Dave, Dave, Dave and Danny won"

"I got up to 145 miles an hour and it wasn't that fast."

"How do I get a job at that place?"

"This was a real show"

It was all about a new experience for 12 local guys, but it really was about creating new memories, and maybe a few new lies. Every time they tell the story the speed gets a little faster and the talent a little better.

You can bet I'll be joining them in the spring when they go again.


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December 17, 2002
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