Katie, a no nonsense farm girl, takes up the game of horseshoes during summer vacation, practicing from morning till the dark of night. During the village horseshoe tournament, the old “codgers” underestimate Katie, and don’t realize they’ll soon be bucking against a homegrown tornado.

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When I was 12 years old, the City of Port Chester, New York, ran a summer recreation program during summer vacation. Park Avenue School, the school I attended, was one of the sites selected. I went there to play softball but saw horseshoes sitting in the sandpit and started pitching. I liked it right away. It wasn’t long before I was hooked and started tossing at 9:00 am every morning, continued till 12:00 noon, ran home for lunch, and then returned at 1:00 pm. I’d pitch until 5:00 pm. At home, I found a couple of real horseshoes in the garage with jagged ends that had small rusty nails in them. They had been left there years before when the garage was a horse stable. My father found something similar to metal stakes and pounded them into the ground. I began practicing before and after dinner. At sunset, I’d attach handkerchiefs to the stakes, then played until it was too dark. After two months of practice every shot I made was a ringer. At the end of summer, I signed up for the cities senior horseshoe tournament at the main park. When I arrived, I found that the distance between stakes was further than what I’d been playing, but adjusted immediately. When the games began, I beat every old codger one by one and became city champ. I received a fancy blue ribbon and never played the game again.


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