Newsreels Fire Imagination

During World War II we sometimes saw black and white newsreels with moving pictures of how the war was progressing. We kids enjoyed watching the tanks clank across the screen firing rounds of ammunition. Sometimes the newsreels also showed other news. One time we watched a motorcycle daredevil drive off a ramp and fly over a group of men laid out on the ground like logs.  This fired my imagination. I went and built a ramp of my own. Then I persuaded my brothers, Willard and Howard, to lie down on the ground.  Trusting me, they agreed.  I pushed my bike a long way behind my ramp, and then rode it as fast as I could. The ramp launched me into the air, but not as far as I had hoped and I landed on top of my brothers. I thought I could fix the ramp for a better leap, but my brothers didn’t want me to try the stunt a second time. On another newsreel, we watched paratroopers leaping from aeroplanes and parachuting safely to the ground.  I found an umbrella and thought it would make a good parachute. I climbed onto the roof of the garage at Litein, where we lived, and leapt off.  The umbrella did little to slow me down and I crash-landed to the ground.

Dilly Andersen, Laikipia