When I was a kid in Calgary, we used to toboggan on a tall, steep hill behind the neighbourhood public school. The slope had been terraced in two places, creating a couple of thrilling little jumps, especially the lower one, because you’d build up a lot of speed by then.
It was fun catching big air, especially if there was more than one person on the sled and you were really moving, but spills were inevitable. I remember slamming down hard once, slightly off balance. I banged my tailbone hard and then pitched forward, slashing my lip on the front of the toboggan.
I limped home to relative parental indifference. No one called the school board to complain the hill was a death trap, or a lawyer to initiate a negligence suit.
But those were different times. My best friend and I both had .22-calibre rifles we’d take to a gravel pit to shoot at tin cans. We were what they might now call “free-range kids.”
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