When the Cabah was a Place Called Home: Roof Jumping

After the end of the school year for State College Area High School they had an auction. They sold off larger items, hundreds of chairs and desk, and things they normally have at high schools. One of the things they didn’t sell was a pole vaulting mat. The mat is essentially huge outdoor mattresses. And apparently new ones as big as ours cost over a thousand dollars.

Well Coyote saw this mat and had big dreams for it. Sleeping outside, film prop for jumping out windows, and hundreds of other even more ridiculous ideas. He really wanted the mat and needed to get it before they got rid of it, but he was at work. So he called up me and I mobilized the troops. Majesty, Tinaberry and myself went out to get that mattress. It took a while but we brought it to Coyote’s house, the Gulag.

It was used for more ordinary things like jumping out windows onto, but mostly it was used to run into. We ran into it standing up, laying down, leaning over, sitting down. We hit that thing from every direction we could think of/conceivably do.

Then we decided to bring this bag of fun to the Casbah. From there our fun increased exponentially. We rammed into it while it was leaning on walls, we charged into it freestanding, we jumped over bushes onto it. It was the new toy of the Casbah. Then we realized we should jump off the roof onto it. It started slow, with one person timidly jumping on it and then it grew.

Eventually everyone was up on the roof jumping off it. We even had random people walking by join in (meaning strangers were walking through our house, coming out our window and jumping off our roof). It was amazing. One of our neighbors was a diver and he did flips and twirls before hitting the mat below. We also garnished an audience of a little girl and her dad, Peter (our neighbor who occasionally yelled at us for being loud).

Then we had to up the ante. We began diving out windows. For this you had to get a running start and then dive through the window before preparing to hit the mat. Savages even jumped out a second story window diving downwards to avoid jumping into the building next door. This is how some of our windows at the Casbah ended up being cracked. Sadly I can’t find the picture of savages jumping out the window, though I know it’s out there somewhere.

But eventually the fun had to end. I believe what happened is that Peter mentioned all the fun and excitement we bring to the block to my dad. But one way or another my dad found out that we were jumping off the roof. He said that the mat had to go. But by that time we had already had over 6 months of fun.


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