The Buck Knife and the Carnival 1953

Discussion in 'Sound Off' started by steve ypsi mi, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. I was always trying to find ways to get my hunting and fishing supplies cheap back in the 50's, they had to be cheap because I had little excess to any money back then and we had to stretch it.
    I had about $4.50 saved up from selling worms and what ever I could pick up in Pop Bottles at ,02 for the returns, I can't remember how long it took to save this much up but it was more than a few months, I was 12 then. I was saving it for a shot gun to buy in the next 2 years. Goat had some where near the same amount maybe a little more.
    Goat and I had been to the 4 th of July carnival In Ypsilanti, We marveled at all the ride's but they were about a dime to ride and there was no way we were going to waste our hard earned money on that stuff.
    we wandered around slowly taking in all the weird things. They had gaudy hand painted things on the canvas tents, One had a painting of a man calling him the snake man, it portrayed a man with green scales covering his body and a forked tongue coming out of his mouth and red eyes but the head and body were human. the barker out front was hollering out ** come on in only .25 cent's to see the snake man live, step right up and see the only live breathing half man half snake man in the world only .25 cent's** He looked at the small group in front and pointing at me he said give me a Quarter young man to see the only living half man half snake in the world, I shook my head no so he scanned the crowd pointing and asking them for the Quarter, Goat and I started walking away to see all the other amazing freak shows they had and I said to Goat do you think its possible for a man to be half snake half man? He said are you stupid? no way but he couldn't give me a answer why it wasn't possible, I was walking along trying to pitcher a man covered in scales with a foot long forked tongue, sure was tempted to give a Quarter to see.
    Another tent had a huge man painted on it with huge arms and chest wearing black trunks, the muscles in his arms were bigger than are bodies, his chest was as big as a front of a ford car and he was bending piece of railroad track over his bald head, the Barker was hollering out **step right up, only one dime to see the world's strongest man, see him bend Iron bars, see him lift thousands of pounds, step right up only one dime to see unbelievable feats of strength from the worlds strongest human being, step right up***. at least it was cheap only a dime but we passed.
    They had the usual Fat lady tents, two headed goats and other things also.
    we were walking past the games where you throw baseballs at the wooden bottle's and basket ball throw to win all kinds of stuffed teddy bears and other lesser prize's, there was always some guy trying to win a teddy bear for his girl friend, we would watch them for a few minutes and some times they did win, the guy would pick out a huge teddy bear to give his girl friend and she would be grinning from ear to ear and they would walk off holding hands still grinning with the girl carrying the teddy bear in one hand hugging it to her body . as they walked away I was thinking what a waste, spending a dime on a girl, no way would I spend a dime for no silly girl, I was 12, in 5 or 6 years this thinking would change and would not be a silly thing to do after all.
    we were walking by the games when we both saw it at the same time, The most beautiful hunting knife I ever saw, it was about 9 or 10 inches long with a real ringed multi colored leather handle, the blade was about 5 1/2 to 6 inch's long and it had a leather sheath, that blade just gleamed in the sunlight, we were both standing there staring at it in awe. The Barker saw that look we had on our face's and said come on young man you can win that, just a dime and it might be yours, its easy you only have to get 2 rings out of 3 on the bottles, only a dime and you could win the knife, step over here and give me a dime, Me and goat looked at each other and walked the few steps in front of the counter the hawker was standing behind, I said what do we have to do to win that knife, he said its easy turning side ways and pointing to a huge table that had hundreds of bottle's on it, they were coke bottles in low wooden case's, it was about 6 feet wide and 12 feet long just full of bottle's, he said gimme a dime and take these 3 rings and get 2 on the bottles, any 2 bottles and you got yourself that brand spanking new hunting knife. Me and Goat both looked and I was thinking any fool could get 2 rings on those bottle's, the wooden rings were about 2 1/2 inches to 3 inch's in diameter and the pop bottles were about a inch in diameter on top, I'm thinking this guy was crazy, he will go broke giving all these prize's away, this was a win win situation for me, a brand new hunting knife for a dime maybe twenty cent's for 2 try's, that's for sure all it would take, I might do it twice and win two brand new knives, I would wear one on each side of my belt. well I reached into my pocket as quick as I could to get my dime before this fool changed his mind and changed the rules to 3 out of 3 rings which was still possible but it might take 3 or 4 try's costing forty cent's, Goat had followed my lead and we handed the half toothless guy with the dirty t shirt on our dimes, he slipped them into a apron with pockets for the money at his belt line and he handed us our wooden rings which were different color's so he would know which was which, I took my first ring and mentally measured the distance and gripped it in such away I could throw it like a Frisbee so it would sail flat and land right in the center of the cases full of coke bottle's, they were only about 3 feet behind the counter I couldn't miss, I threw the first, it bounced around and was on end between the bottle's, I thought I must have not thrown it flat enough, I reared back and no problem I would get the next one, I needed that practice toss, I could still win the knife, missed again, it was almost on so I threw the third, it landed on a bottle, I thought darn if only one of the others had made it I had my hunting knife. this went on for close to a hour, get one on out of 3 or none out of 3, I was so close to my knife, well between me and goat we had used all are hard earned money and the scruffy looking half toothless guy still had his knives. I kicked myself all the way home,
    Hindsight I probably could have bought the knife for around $4.50 in 1953 but being 12 and smarter than most I was going to get it for a dime.
    To this day I have never spent a nickel on a carnival game again, been to maybe 10 carnivals since that day.
  2. Great read Steve, but the funny part is they still have them games and there still a rip-off....:lol: But being that young i myself probably would have done the samething......