English: A lightning bolt as seen from about 5...

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Or so I thought.  I made that mistake at age 8.  First of all it`s important to note that my circumstance was special.  It happened in the early 80`s in a different time when people were a bit more understanding about things.  My father at the time worked 18 hours a day, at a few different tracks each day to make enough cash to survive.  So the people around the gate weren`t suprised to see me there.  I may not have had many friends my own age or even other children to play with but the people who worked on the gate were like my family.  Even though i was family I still was capable of doing dumb things.

This time the dumb thing I chose to do was try to ring the bell for the gate.  No horses were around then, I made sure.  I might be dumb but not that dumb.  Waited for just the right moment when the horses had all gone back to the barns for the day and snuck over and RIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNGGGG!   My father shot out of the clouds like a bolt of lightning, just appeared on top of me and I got the worst butt whooping ever.  Before you go getting all mad at my father, I deserved it.  What I tried to do could have gotten a horse , or person injured or even killed.  Dad tore into me like you wouldn`t believe. The rest of the guys that worked with him, watched on knowing they couldn`t say anything or try to help because of the severeness of what I did.

The aftermath of the beating was me sitting in a car by myself for the rest of the day.  While I regret doing what I did, the punishment I received was necessary and I wasn`t upset about it.  That`s the day I decided to let the starter ring the bell.

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