Peer Acceptance Stupid

Today's Post


Anyone who is aware of weather could assume Minnesota has frozen lakes in the winter. That was most certainly true during my youth. Those frozen lakes gave boys like I was a ‘gotta prove something’ early spring/late winter challenge.

After every freeze, there is a thaw, and the ice recedes toward the center of the lake. If I remember right, someone said something like, “Did you hear that so and so swam out to the shrinking ice at the end of some month?”

No one in that conversation seemed to remember who and exactly when, but someone added, “They do it every year,” to the conversation.

I’m sure I was looking for another level of early teen peer acceptance. That led to my thinking about going with them to the edge of a lake with road access as soon the ice was receding.

One of the rules was that the participant couldn’t just walk to the edge of the ice – he or she had to swim and break off a chunk. And there had to be two witnesses.[mfn]Well, those are the rules I remember being told to me.[/mfn]

Most of the lakes are in the final thawing process by April, but some years it’s earlier. I don’t remember my year, but it was probably 1951,[mfn]I was a new kid in town.[/mfn] the same as my first hearing about the alleged annual event. They drove me to one of the lakes that had public access and the ice was obviously receding.

On March 1st, I stripped to my Jockeys, walked into the water, and swam about 100 feet to reach and break off a chunk of ice. When experts talk about the shock of cold water, I completely understand.

Not one of the older boys wanted to tie the date.

I‘d been set up and learned don’t do peer acceptance stupid.


There are still more of my don’t do stupid stories. As before, This link tells where I got the idea.


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