We all remember innovating with our winter sports equipment. What would get us down the hill the fastest in the given conditions was our after school focus. We had the most excellent sliding hills on the island growing up. The golf course was great on powder days, with a good snow boat that didn’t have scars on it from riding over rocks on boney days. Or if you could wrestle my grandmother’s silver tray away from a cousin (or my Grandmother), you would fly down the long hill spinning in circles and laughing your face off until you planted it.
Another great spot was Kent’s Hill, which takes you into town where the ferry docks. That location was ideal when the roads were thick with packed snow and ice and you had a good runner sled. It was an intermediate hill on some days because if you didn’t make the big left turn downhill, you’d end up swimming in the icy thoroughfare, which thankfully never happened. A good run took you all way down through town. It was a long walk back up and you would have to dodge your friends that were hauling down toward you screaming and laughing. On the occasions when you did get slammed by an oncoming sled, there was always bloodshed followed by scars and bruises on your shins where the sled took you out. I remember getting on the bus with bandaids all over my face from the previous day’s sliding adventures and the bus driver looking horrified.
Then there was the Sleepyville hill. It looks tame today, but when I was little it seemed steep and dangerous. Sleepyville had the highest concentration of kids and many were my cousins— all were good friends. Granny Bubbles was a sweet older lady that lived at the top of the hill. She loved it when we were all sliding out front and she would give us warm brownies, which I will never forget.
I wish we had some of these days on film. Here are a few fun clips of wintery adventures, some with innovative equipment and all with very happy people recreating and having a great time. — angela