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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pitching Horseshoes

This past spring I started pitching horseshoes again.

G., a 53-year-old neighbor down the road, had pitched horseshoes earlier in his life and he had several sets of them, at least one of which he claimed had been handforged many years ago by one of his ancestors, back in the old country, in Slovakia, I believe, or Slovenia.

I had pitched horseshoes, too, when I was a child back in Landover, Maryland, and I still had two mismatched shoes dating from that time, plus two also mismatched pegs. I'm not sure about the pegs but I had held on to those shoes for more than 60 years, though I had never gotten a chance to use them till now.

But of course, in the intervening time, time had marched on, and those shoes, like G.'s, were out of date, technologically speaking. Among other things they weren't balanced, as all the official shoes are today.

So every Tuesday at 10 in the morning, G. and I, usually along with R. and some other neighbors, pitch for about an hour and a half.

I'm thought of as being the best, but that's only because, unlike all the others, I pitch almost every day at home. That has nothing to do with always wanting to win. In fact, when I win too much I get worried, for fear that the others will get tired of that and quit pitching. Instead, there are a lot of things about pitching horseshoes that appeal to me. It is simple, inexpensive, healthful, beautiful, and challenging.

If you don't think it's challenging, try flipping a U-shaped piece of iron that weighs nearly three pounds consistently close to a short peg 40 feet away.

The beautiful part requires a few more words at another time.


Blogger ellroon said...

How fun to read this. It makes me think of my father who died last year at the age of 94. He loved playing horseshoes and was good at it. I never understood the attraction.

Now I do a bit more.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous CopyOkeBob said...

Don't worry about winning to much. I win some and lose some. I would much rather play with someone who is better then me then someone who is not. It's so much more intence. I started flipping shoes with my father in 1960. He always threw a 1 and 3/4 turn. I never could throw anything but a flip. All the good ones I know throw a turn and not a flip. I once had a 72% ringer game with my flip. But I really only avg. about 44%. My son never got into shoes. But there is hope. My 4 and 2 year old grandchildren are soon to experience my teachings. CopyOkeBob

7:53 PM  

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