Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

TidBits About Donna #13 Me Jane — You Tarzan

I’m guessing I was about 11 or 12 years old. We still lived on Greengarden Boulevard before we moved to Pasadena Drive in Lake Shore Country Club. Erie was not very built up yet.  My house on 38th Street was only about four blocks from the woods. My sister and I, and oftentimes friends, would go to the edge of the woods to pick wild blackberries. It was forbidden, but we did it anyway. The smell of the berries drew us nigh. The taste was too tempting.

The path that wound around the berry bushes pushed deeper into the woods and sometimes we took that path. It ended at a ravine – a kind of gully. It was a magical area. Many neighborhood kids would gather there. I’m sure they were being delinquent, too. I know their mothers would not have approved either. That didn’t stop most of us. I know it didn’t stop me. (Arrrghhh … I hope my mother doesn’t read this.)

One warm Sunday afternoon my friend, Kathy, and I headed into the woods. We passed by the berries only stopping to gather a few. Our destination had more pull. We were going to the gully.

On either side of the ravine were trees. I don’t remember what kind they were, but they had long, thick, trailing vines hanging from them – the kind of vines that Tarzan swung from.

Yep! You guessed it – that is exactly what we did. We swung from the trees bellowing at the tops of our lungs just like Tarzan. Most of our Tarzan days were uneventful. We swung from one side to the other and back again. It was thrilling. Kathy held the vine steady as I prepared to swing across the gully. I did the same for her. But this sunny afternoon was different. I was dressed in a fancy yellow and white dotted-swiss dress. How I even got out of the house dressed like that is a mystery. Kathy and I took turns swinging back and forth. I never looked down. It was too far and too scary. After a few swings, we decided we needed a new adventure.

I don’t know whose idea it was, but it was definitely a dumb one. (So, it was probably Kathy’s.) I took the sash from my dress. We decided that we would carry the sash with us as we swung out over the ravine and drop it at the center. The other would run down the side of the ravine and collect the sash. I got to swing first. I grasped the sash in my hand, grabbed hold of the vine, and as Kathy let go, I swung out screaming Tarzaaaaaaan. I actually only got half way through my Tarzan bellow before it changed into Auauauhhh! as I slipped down the vine and landed in a heap at the bottom of the ravine.

I was relieved to know that I was not dead and I had not broken anything. How would I explain that to my mother? But I was covered in blood – my knees, my arms, my yellow and white dotted-swiss dress minus its slippery sash. I don’t remember crying, but I probably did.

Kathy and I trudged out of the woods. We went to her house to clean me up. With a little soap and water I could get by. I can’t say my dress fared as well, though. Somehow I furtively crept into my house, disposed of my yellow and white dotted-swiss dress minus its sash – never to see it again. And I don’t think my mother ever knew. Oh the secrets to be kept!

(Clip Art compliments of DisneyClips)

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February 3, 2010 - Posted by | Anything Writing, TidBits About Donna | , ,

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