Childhood Fort

When I was about eight or nine, the neighborhood kids and I built a fort made from items we found in a pile of junk not far from my house. It contained discarded construction materials like lumber and corrugated tin, some broken household appliances, tires, scrap iron, and other suitable materials that a group of boys could work with.

I was one of the younger kids involved in the project so I was elected as the one to test our fort’s strength against attack. I sat in the fort while the bigger kids hurled dirt clods at me. As it turned out, the fort was not a good defense at all against dirt clods and I caught one in the eye. I came out bawling and was certain that my eye was a useless pile of mush.

They continued improving the fort, while my mom doctored me up, and fortunately, I suffered no permanent damage.  This incident would have happened a couple of years before I was diagnosed with myopia and have been a wearer of eyeglasses ever since. I’m not sure if wearing eyeglasses would have made things better or worse in the fort incident.

I don’t know who the next “guinea pig” was, but I didn’t serve as a “fort tester” going forward with our building project.

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