flyangler

Why no tree or “in the woods” forts any more?

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Comedian on XM radio asked his audience that question. His answer:

 

In the age of internet, boys don’t need hiding places to read their farher’s Playboy and Penthouse magazines anymore. Away from prying adult eyes, the traditional “fort” was a refuge away from adult interference. Now they just take hour long chits. 

 

I guess adolescent cigarette smoking fell into the same category. 

 

Who here had a “fort”? We did, one made out of a discarded above-ground swimming pool. The other a traditional tree house made out of “found” lumber. 

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There were no woods in the middle of the city. We built our forts on the side of the railroad tracks, using the wall of a supermarket for the back wall. 

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Ah yes, the "Party Shack"  

I vaguely remember it well.

 

In a patch of woods between two horse fields.

Build it with "salvaged" railroad ties as the corners set 3' into the ground

When they finally discovered it and tore it down (years after we were done with it) it took a bulldozer to do it

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there's still a ton around here. some fancy tree house too - one down the road has a spiral staircase between levels. 

 

i built a tree house and we had a camp in the quarry woods that we dug out of clay and built a hearth to cook baked potatoes in the fire. 

 

we did have a stash of porn too. we used to always find them on the rail tracks, and never knew why.

 

i know now - posh male commuters would buy them at the train station newsagents in Waterloo, and then dump them out of the window before they got home to frumpy wifey.

 

 

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I fortunately grew up when there was still an abundance of wooded tracts of land around. It wasn't like today where everything was posted [NO TRESPASSING].  We used to fight with other groups of kids over building materials. You would raid their fort when un-occupied for lumber, and they would do the same to you.  We also had some serious tree forts off the ground. Acorn wars with garbage cans full of acorns graduated up to bottle rocket wars, then our places to hang out and drink and smoke stuff.

 Jim

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During the "warm" months of the year we built tree forts all over the woods behind the house. Someone would always knock them down so we kept changing areas and built new ones. During the winter when the snow fell we would choose up sides, build snow forts, and battle each other till we destroyed the other fort. The only weapons we used were snowballs. Parents were happy we were outside playing. Sometimes on rainy days when mom wouldn't let me go out I would shoot my .22 or pellet gun out the window. I was about 10ish then and 11 years old when my mother let me take the .22 by myself into the woods "hunting". When I turned 12 my parents bought me my first shotgun and I was on my own with it. Times have sure changed.

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6 hours ago, JBreese1 said:

I fortunately grew up when there was still an abundance of wooded tracts of land around. It wasn't like today where everything was posted [NO TRESPASSING].  We used to fight with other groups of kids over building materials. You would raid their fort when un-occupied for lumber, and they would do the same to you.  We also had some serious tree forts off the ground. Acorn wars with garbage cans full of acorns graduated up to bottle rocket wars, then our places to hang out and drink and smoke stuff.

 Jim

Wow! Acorns and bottle rockets, you are triggering memories. Snow balls too. All back when our folks allowing wars or fights did not get child services called, 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

We used to walk out to the dump to shoot are BB guns. Every once in a while we would find a perfectly good box of Playboy's, and penthouses. 

 

Then you had to get that box of contraband treasure back across town to the fort. 

 

It was such vanilla innocent porn compared to what kids have access to now.

 

Three kids walking through town with BB guns would probably get the swat team called on them these days.

 

Edited by shb

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Posted (edited) · Report post

My ex-wife was 13 years older than me. Had three boys from her first marriage. Two pre-teen and a  13 year old. They were a handful to say the least.

We had been married a couple of years. Summertime. I would get home from work and the boys would be nowhere to be found. They'd show up after dark thirty...nasty with wood chips all over them. When asked they would shrug us off.... "Been playing." 

 Now I am not stupid....been a  kid myself ya know? 

I KNOW they're up to SOMETHING....and it's probably not good.

One day I get home early. Sitting on the porch I hear some hammering in the wooded lot across the road. Maybe 10 acres of lodgepole lines there. Now my curiosity is up. 

So I ease over and start walking thru the woods.

Lo and behold I find them and what they were up to.

Around the corner they were building a new housing development. These damn fool kids have stolen at LEAST 40 sheets of plywood, with supporting lumber, and have built a frikken condominium in the trees. 10 foot off the ground. 2 stories. 

i couldn't believe what I was seeing.

:beatin:

Made them tear it all down and take it ALL back. 

 "If ya get caught taking it back tough ****."

Needless to say I wasn't too popular with them for awhile.

Edited by 2mcfisher48

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