The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Audra Brown
Down on the farm 

Best fun is no-control thrill rides


December 1, 2017

The amount of time spent rolling in some vehicle or another is more than too much to count when you grow up on a big, flatland farm. Back and forth in the field, to and from the field, hauling to town and back, and all those circles and forward and back that is moving dirt — or stuff that’s dirtier.

What’s interesting to realize is that most of that time is spent doing the driving and being in control of the ride. That’s the point, of course, but there’s something to be said for being the one along for the ride.

Somewhere between the ages of 5 and 6, farm kids like me transition from the passenger to the pilot and never really go back. It’s a great feeling to know that you can operate anything with wheels (and most things without) by the time you’ve been around long enough to get the official go-ahead to drive on the road. It’s hard to conceive of not being able to go where you want and drive anything. But it does make me appreciate the occasional occasion when I get to be on the other side.

Myself in particular, because I can’t speak for what’s fun for many other people, I’ve found a lot of good feeling in the chances I’ve gotten to let go of the wheel. Sliding down the sandhills or down the bigger piles of manure on my yellow snowboard or anything else that would slide with me on it was always a hoot. It’s fun being pulled behind some vehicle or another when the ground is slick with snow or mud, usually on one of the same sufficiently slick-bottomed somethings that work for downhill sliding too.

As I got older, I’ve found myself using those driving skills to go places that let me do the same sort of things. I’ve got a couple of waxed planks that attach to my feet and I drive a lot of miles to get a chance to slide down a mountain over and over again. But the best fun so far, for this kid who’s always in control, is the true lack of driving, yet rolling fast, that is the experience of riding a good roller coaster.

Audra Brown is not building a roller coaster somewhere, but she’s enjoying the thought of it. Contact her at:


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