Thursday, June 18, 2009

Damn That Gravity! -- A "Theme Thursday" Post

Time constraints again, fellow babies. My original plan for this week's Theme Thursday entry was to regale y'all with a story about a young man sitting on a rooftop, contemplating suicide while discussing its pros and cons with an angel and a devil seated on his shoulders.

Oh, well, maybe some other time.

Instead, there'll be a mercifully short reminiscence about my own roof-jumping period -- yes, I did it on a
regular basis -- and a link to an old but recommended column (from my other blog, "David'Z RantZ") about a related subject. And a nifty version of a classic (albeit predictable) tune, courtesy of YouTube.

* * * * *

When I was not quite twelve, our family moved from the house we'd lived in for the previous nine years. Our new home had a rather large two-car garage right up front, a garage which we soon converted into a storefront for tropical fish and related supplies (aquariums, fish food, etc.).

Also, rather crudely tacked onto the side of that garage was another garage of sorts, with a doorless front opening that was a bit more than a car's width wide, and an also-doorless opening in back, wide enough for people to pass through.

This garage was only about as tall as it had to be to hold the average 1960s automobile, which means that the ceiling & roof were only six or seven feet from the garage's dirt floor.

Sometime soon after we moved in (to the house, not the garage), the roof of the doorless garage became my occasional play area.

Thanks to the two full-sized wagons on my family's previous piece of property, I was no stranger to games that involved leaping from what were then, to me, great heights.

Maybe I was abandoning a sinking ship, whether that ship had been victim of a volley of pirate cannonballs or a Nazi torpedo. I might have been leaping through a window, to escape from a fierce sheet of flame, or a pursuing group of enemy spies. Or I could have been leaping from a bullet-riddled, burning airplane, with or without my parachute. Perhaps I was jumping off a truck which was itself headed for a cliff.

I can't count how many times I casually jumped off of that damned roof. As I said, it was no more than seven feet high, so it wasn't exactly life-threatening to me whenever I jumped.

The thing that strikes me most about the countless leaps was how resilient my young body was, as compared to now.

Now -- today -- I wouldn't want to jump from a height of six or seven feet. My whole body aches when I jump down from a tall chair, for cryin' out loud!

Just one more sign of getting old, I suppose. And not a very comforting one.

Oh, well...

Old-time readers of my "David'Z RantZ" blog will no doubt remember the post I'm about to link to, but I think it came out pretty well, if I do say so myself, so I heartily recommend it to my newer readers. It's about a persistent urban legend involving Superman! Have fun.

And finally, the "predictable" song I mentioned... although with a twist or two. There've been, oh, about eight million different singers who were part of The Drifters at one time or another, but Rudy Lewis sang lead on the original recording of "Up On the Roof." Sadly, Lewis died before this version was recorded with Johnny Moore singing the lead.

* * * * *

Sunday's post -- if I get to finish that -- will be about Father's Day.

Thanks for your time.


  1. My grandmothe had a garage just like the one you describe. I jumped it off a time or two but usually bit my tongue pretty hard. Lots of memories here.

  2. jumped off plenty of things but never a roof...but can imagine the reason for doing it, what withe the car heading for the cliff, the nazi's and all. got to love little imaginations.

  3. I can easily imagine you as a boy jumping with great MIGHT and POWER from the roof of that garage!

    Jill from The Glen

  4. Don't remember doimg it myself but my kids did their fair share.
    love the song.

  5. Love the images of your jumping - each time escaping a different enemy or perilous situation - and yeah, the song was predictable, but still one of my faves.

  6. We did this as kids (tho' did have a couple old matresses to land on ).And I just knew you were gonna put up that Drifters vid. The dang song's been in my head all night! Figure that one out ( seeing as I just got here )HA!

  7. Great post! Anxiously waiting for the story you mention in the begining now lol


  8. altho I didn't jump off the family roof, I did master jumping out of my 2nd floor window on to the hump of the chimney and then jumped off that to the ground to sneak out out of the house when I was a teenager.... of course sneaking back into the house hours later was always something I had to set up in advance!

    I still like to jump off things...I think it keeps the old body limber.... of course nothing higher than 6 or 7 feet now....

    the song was a great find....I forgot all about that one.... for me my song tie for today's tt was definitely the challenge!

  9. Just love the into,lol

    Great post,good memories!
    Have a nice day :)

  10. Oh fun! Boys will do anything! My oldest wanted to build a skateboard ramp off of our roof.

  11. I still do a lot of jumping around...and occasionally break something. It's not the's the mileage! (my favorite Indiana Jones quote)

  12. I always heard of roof-jumping exploits, but my little sis and I were way too...something. Fearful? overly well-behaved? I'm not sure. I think I might have missed out.

  13. Jumping off a fence was high enough, but no jumping off of a roof. Got stuck on one when I was five and afters hours of being stuck, I had a fear of heights, so was surprised I jumped off of fences later on. You were a brave kid in my books.

    Love the song. Always one of my favorites.

    God bless.

  14. See, I knew somebody, and probably more than one somebody, would be putting a video of "Up On the Roof" up today! That's why I didn't, although it was my first thought. You got a good one, although I'm still laughing at all that business with the pigeons at the end.

    We didn't have a garage when I was a kid, just a driveway. If I jumoed down from any heights it was from a tree or a couple of sandhills in the area. And yeah, these old bones wouldn't put up with that kind of treatment nowadays!

  15. Memorable childhood boy story. I didn't have one as I never climbed on the roof as a girl. Didn't see the need. My husband, on the other hand, did what you did. He even broke his "wittle" arm when he was five or so, jumping off the roof with his new parachute strapped to his back. He didn't know it was just for show.

    As for the song being predictable, I didn't think of it and I spent 28 years in radio. Dobie Gray was a lead with them for a while, wasn't he?

    I love The Platters.

  16. With nine brothers I patched up more then a few scraps that came from roof jumping. The hen house being the roof of choice and the rabbit hutch the mid point to the ground.

    Great story.

  17. Oh, gosh. I can't imagine jumping three feet now, let alone seven~! I do think our young bones were made of rubber. The things we did! And I never broke a single one, either.

  18. Great post. We all did plenty of things as kids that we wouldn't dream of doing now. We just watch our kids or grandkids do them instead! hahahaha

    Take care!

  19. Love it! The last time I damned gravity and took a leap it was off a stone wall. I was feeling jaunty and ended up limping into a pharmacy--with gore dripping from my savagely scraped knee. Lemme tell ya: Jauntiness isn't as easy as it looks! Beeeee well!

  20. yeah, i used to jump off roofs and out of trees, and i guess for a 40-something i am still pretty watch, i am going to go out and jump off something and the next post you read from me will be about my crutches!

  21. See now I have an image of a young CaryGrant wrapped in his mother's tea-towel and a colander for a hat,leaping off a roof! Very amusing . .'get down from there ..right now!'

  22. brings back memories of leaving the house on a saturday morning,weaving through alleys and jumping over fences and off roofs playing 'spy' until the daylight started to wane and we all knew it was time to go back home for dinner and just be kids. thanks for memories. loved the song.-c

  23. What a day, what a day...!

    Thanks one and all, for your comments. A few notes to several of you in particular, however.

    Ronda: Your comment about biting your tongue reminds me of an old line from the M*A*S*H TV show: "Bite your tongue! Or better yet, let me!"

    Marianna: I've been working on it. It's about one-third done.

    VE: That's my favorite Indy quote, too!

    Roy: I only saw one other TT poster use that clip, which surprised me. I couldn't resist, though!

    California Girl: Believe it or not, I've never broken a bone. Not one of my own, that is.

    Tom: Hopefully not!

    Baino: If you want to see a real picture of me in full (albeit home-made) superhero regalia, click on the link in the post that says "two full-sized wagons!"

    C.M.: I was a big fan of the spy era -- and was even instrumental in bringing back The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as a comic book in 1987 -- and I too remember when we were allowed to go where we wanted without supervision until the streetlights came on!

    Gotta run, fellow babies. There are still three or four TT posters who haven't posted yet, so I keep checking them... plus there've been two or three late additions!

  24. Tthat sounds like fun, wish I had a roof to jump off of when I was a kid...

  25. It did me good to hear that song again. Thanks for the memory. But jumping, nah! Never took to it. Great post.

  26. so you were well ahead of the trend in roof-jumping

    and this has reminded me that we used to climb up on our garage roof and that somewhere there is a photo of me, brother and sister, sitting all 3 in a row....

    thanks for the memory!

  27. oh and thanks for the prominent made4aid button!


  28. Hi! Silver Fox,
    The imagination of a small child is amazing!!!...and I can see that your imagination "up on the roof" was fantastic!...Thanks, for sharing!
    Nice post!
    Nice sounds!
    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

  29. Valerie: Never too late to start. Wanna start a club for roof-leapers? ;-)

    Lettuce: The button was the easy part. In my next post, I'll write a brief "plug" for made4aid.

  30. Lord I,m Late Again [It should be called Theme Saturday for Me!] Your post reminds me of the Leonard Cohen line 'I Ache In The Places I used To Play...' !
    Have A Fine Father's Day Sir!

  31. Heehee a club of roof leapers isn't a bad idea for agile idiots. Me being a very sane person I think I'll leave well alone. Hope I'm not letting you down by taking this selfish stance ... grins

  32. Valerie: Awwww, shucks!

    Tony: Leonard Cohen, eh? You may like this story:

  33. Jumping? Nooo. Scary. But I do love that song - thanks for posting it.

  34. What a nut!!!!Glad you survived!!!!I remeber that superman column, but it was nice to revisit it.


I strongly urge you to sign up for follow-up comments, because I (usually) reply to your comment! Comments left for me more than two weeks after a post is published will not appear until I approve them, but they will be answered eventually!


Related Posts with Thumbnails