Two Point Landing

by kfrego

When our family moved into our brand new house in Spokane it sat on the end of the block. Our neighbors were separated from us by four or five empty lots. The neighborhood was a mix of new and older homes. Most of the older homes were built in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Our home was built in 1954.Contractors started building homes on the lots next to us in the spring. It was very interesting to come home from school each day and see the progress that had been made during their work day. When the crews left for the day we would play in the work areas.

All of the houses had full concrete basements. The crews would bring in a bulldozer to excavate a huge hole for the basement. The bulldozer would back up close to the street and push the rocks and soil up into a huge pile at the back of the lots. New crews would come in to form and place the concrete basement floor. They would then form and place the concrete walls of the basement. As soon as the forms were removed from the walls of the basement they started wood framing of house floor and walls. The whole structure was standing in the middle of the huge hole excavated by the bulldozer. Access in and out was by walkways made of two sixteen foot planks at the front and rear of the new house. One end of the planks was on the dirt pile. The other end was on the floor joists at the top of the basement wall and about nine feet off the ground.

This was one of the greatest playgrounds in the world. There were no safety barriers or anything to restrict our playing in the work areas. We would run in the front and out the back of the houses being built. All was fun and games until one set of planks came off the floor joists and wall when I jumped on them while running out of the house. My two point landing eight feet below was less than perfect. The pain wasn’t bad, but there was no doubt about my being injured. My left wrist was at a ninety degree angle to my arm and the one inch long cut on the top of my cheek was bleeding. Poor Mom, it hurt her a lot worse than it hurt me. Off we went to the hospital.  A good cast on my wrist and six stitches on my cheek patched me up. Another great adventure.

The accident wasn’t a big deal…….the hallucinations from the anesthesia scared me more than the fall.