When I was Young No. 21 – Captain Confident

Captain Confident

My ten-year-old imagination was triggered by comic books showing Superman and Captain Marvel leaping into the air. In the Saturday matinée movies at Van Hook’s theater, I saw them take a run to get started.

An abandoned church basement in the space between our outhouse and the Lundstedt place was off limits for playing. It had filled with snow and after it melted, Mr. Lundstedt removed the temptation for boys to take a swim when he pumped the water into a tank for his garden.

Whomever abandoned it left the floor joists and a wood floor over most of the basement. The exposed joists were close enough for us boys to swing from one to the next when playing Tarzan. If we missed it was a long drop to the concrete floor but no farther than flying off a swing at the school grounds.

One day I decided that I could run across the partly finished floor, grab a joist, and swing through a rectangular opening in the basement wall which was probably there for a door or window.  I knew I had to jump over one or two joists, go between the next to the last and grab onto the last one before swinging through the opening. I practiced by running near the edge of the floor and turning just before making the jump. I felt confident that I could do the maneuver.

I used one of Mother’s flower sack dish towels for a cape and took a hard run to get started.


Hitting the wall just below the opening, I slid down the unfinished concrete scraping my chest raw.

Acting on one’s imagination can be dangerous.