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childhood projects which (maybe) never came to fruition

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 6:58 pm
by Tubby
My older brother's same-age friend down the block had an above-ground pool in the back yard. I overheard the two of them talking about a summertime project to do for fun. They were going to make a mini film about a submarine. The idea was to use my brother's plastic model he had built of the Skipjack nuclear sub, wrapping clear plastic around Dad's inexpensive 8 mm camera so that the camera could be operated in the pool water.

I kept pestering my brother to get it done, but the summer went by without them getting serious enough to carry out their project.

Around grade 6 (~ 11 years old) I read a book on projects kids can do. It included a primitive electric motor to build. It gave me the idea of making my own telegraph for Morse code--something that may or may not have been in the book. I found some wires and switches in Dad's garage and did some testing with limited success in making a clicking sound. A school buddy of mine lived on the next block, so I decided his house would be the natural one to connect to. I talked about it with him, and he showed enthusiasm. But we would have needed to acquire a lot more wire, and would have had to cross two paved residential streets. Figuring out a practical street crossing technique was so daunting that we gradually cooled to the whole idea.

I built about a dozen solid fuel rockets from mail-order parts. The most expensive item in the catalog was a movie camera small enough to ride in a rocket. I drooled over that camera, but never had enough money sitting around to buy it.

Any similar stories?

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:24 pm
by Jobar
One summer my two brothers and I decided we were going to dam up a creek on my dad's farm, to produce a better place to swim.

We built walls out of sweetgum saplings and rusty sheets of roofing from an old house on the farm- we spaced them about 4 feet apart, because we knew we needed at least that much to hold back the water. But we didn't realize just how much dirt we needed to fill it! Over the course of a dry summer, we shoveled many tons of topsoil into that form- and even got to swim in it a few times in August and September.

But the first big rainstorm of early winter swept away all our labor. Looking at that creek today, I realize that even pre-stressed concrete the size of what we tried to build wouldn't have been enough to hold it back during a normal flood.

However, the hillside we were getting our dirt from still has a noticeable bite taken out of it!

Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:49 pm
by MattShizzle
From when I was 12-teens me and my dad wanted to spend an afternoon/early evening at the local lake (manmade by the Army Corps of Engineers in the late 70s with a dam) fishing and grilling steaks - it's a recreation area and has grills there for the public - and such. One or both of us was always too busy and now frankly we're both too old.

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 5:47 am
by Hermit
One of my childhood projects was to stop war, starvation, poverty and servitude throughout the world...