With snow bearing down this evening, ready to whack New England starting early tomorrow morning, thoughts naturally turn to sledding down hills while young. Or, rather, memories of same. My friends and I used to sled at Cal Hill, behind the Dutch embassy in the District of Columbia. Cal Hill, which apparently nobody knew about but us, was a very long and very steep hill with a stone building on top where, I don’t recall but am informed, hot chocolate could be had, and woods at the bottom, requiring sledders to brake hard or abandon ship.
The land was apparently owned by the Dumbarton College for Women then, whose staff never chased us away. Today it is apparently owned by the Divinity School of Howard University.
Sledding at Cal Hill was, in a word, divine. It was memorialized on 8mm film by me one late afternoon, or so it seems in my clip, which runs a bit over one minute. [Trigger warning: violent falls off sleds, stray voice in background discussing baseball, film quality execrable.] Well, some people consider grainy footage to be tantamount to historic, or at least old. However grainy, or rather perhaps blurry, this footage might be considered fun.
See Steve Mields flying down the hill and hitting our hastily built snow ramp. Will he crash? Will he abandon ship? Will he make it over? Chills and thrills aplenty in this clip. If you cannot go out and sled down a snowy hill tomorrow, this may be the best opportunity you will have to recall what it was like. Enjoy!
And by the way, in case lightning strikes and I do go out sledding tomorrow – I have a 9-year-old boy, after all – anybody know the best sledding in in Providence?