In the movie FORREST GUMP, Forrest had a saying:”Stupid is what stupid does.” Well, I’ve done a few stupid or foolish things in my life time. Most of them were in my teenage years.
I had a friend named Bruce who was something of a daredevil. Bruce was a year younger than I was, but he was still able to talk me into doing foolish things. Rome, Georgia, has a small mountain named Mount Alto, and on top of the mountain is a television broadcast tower. Since the tower stood away from everything, Bruce thought it would be cool to climb it for the view. I decided to go and watch him climb the tower. I wasn’t going to attempt to climb it, because I’d lost my left foot in a motorcycle accident the year before.
I drove to the mountain top and up to the tower with Bruce. Surrounded by a chainlinked fence, the tower rose about three hundred feet above the mountain top. After climbing over the fence, Bruce started up the metal ladder that went straight up for over two hundred feet. Bruce was only a few feet up the ladder when I decided to climb the fence and go part way up the ladder. After having some difficulty getting over the fence, I stood for a while looking up the ladder.
When I finally started up, Bruce had already climbed about fifty feet of the ladder. My goal was to get to a platform that was about a hundred and fifty feet up the tower. That was as far as I wanted to climb. I moved much slower than Bruce because my artifical foot didn’t have good traction on the metal bars. Bruce was a hundred feet above me and still climbing. By the time I was halfway up to the platform, I began to get nervous. When I looked down, I could see all the way to the foot of the mountain. I felt like I was at the top of the Empire State Building. The wind was much stronger up there, and the palms of my hands began to sweat.
I climbed another twenty feet or so before it dawned on me how foolish I was being. I shouted up to Bruce that I was headed back down. Bruce kept yelling for me not to wimp out, but I was beginning to tremble and felt a little faint. I wanted to hurry down but paced myself to go slowly. I made it to the ground and looked up. Bruce was headed down, but he was still higher than I’d climbed.
I began to worry about Bruce falling. What would I tell his parents? They’d blame me, because I was the oldest and should have stopped him. Finally, Bruce made it down and we left. Bruce was excited about the climb, but I was just thankful we’d survived another foolish venture.