Friday, June 08, 2012

Ringing the bell


I think it was the summer of 1962, the summer I turned 17, that I decided I became a man.

I’d had a driver’s license for a year and had taken up smoking cigarettes.

But the event that convinced me that I had arrived at adulthood was that summer evening when I stepped up to the High Striker at the Old Settlers carnival on the courthouse square in Delphi, Ind., slammed the maul down and heard that full-throated Ding!

I tried it again a few times over the next couple of days and got a satisfying ding every time.

My prize was a cellophane bowler hat with a picture of a naked woman on the top that I was embarrassed to show to my mom. It was tacky and sleazy, but it was a great little trophy.

It was a wonderful discovery to realize that I had joined a loose confederation of strongmen and tough guys.

Thank God, I got over it.

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