We went to grandson Morey's confirmation on Sunday. Mo and 25 other awkward 16-year-olds regaled the crowd with their thoughts about the world and their future. Following the ceremony I asked Mo what he was doing on his summer vacation. Avoiding any mention of a job, he replied, "I want to leap across the Grand Canyon with a rocket pack on my back."
"Why in the world would you want to do that?" I said.
"I'll be the youngest person ever to do it," he said. "It'll be in the record books until I'm a very old man. Maybe even 30years."
Having had nothing alcoholic in the previous 12 hours, I asked, "but isn't that a bit dangerous?"
"Not any more dangerous that driving an automobile. Did you know, Papa, that 10,000 teenagers are wiped out in cars every year?"
I said, "Mr. Smarty Pants, what experience do you have leaping canyons with a rocket on your back?"
"Lots. I'm on the track team, in the concert band and I studied geography a few years ago," he said. "I won't get lost, and I can trampoline."
"You know, if you fall into the canyon and float helplessly down the Colorado River, the National Park service will have to mount a dangerous, very expensive rescue effort. Other people could get hurt," I warned.
"Isn't that what they get paid for? If it wasn't for daredevils like me, they'd be slinging burgers at McDonalds."
I turned to Mo's mother. "Nancy, talk some sense into this kid. He's too young. He hasn't a clue about what he's getting into."
She said, "We've talked about it a lot. He's watched the Evel Knievel documentary five times. If he shows as much skill with the rocket pack as with the X-Box, I think he'll make it. Plus it's not that far from home."
"And, with his religious upbringing, he'll be in good hands. Just like Abby Sunderland."
~ Fred Rothenberg,