I was about 6 to 7 years old, and it was around 1972. We had just returned from a trip to the nearest “big city”, Springfield, MO. I was raised on a farm about 1.5 hours outside of the the “city”, and it became the regular routine to go into town once every month or two to go shopping at the nearest mall.
Part of the trip’s ritual was to stop at the department store “Ventures” just before leaving town. I would always get a helium balloon for behaving for the duration, and if especially good, ice cream!
After returning home to the farm on this particular day my only sibling (my sister who is 7 years older) and I went outside to play with my helium balloon while my mother was starting dinner early. My father had already left to go get some work done elsewhere before dark.
I had tied a small stick on the end of the balloon’s string that was just heavy enough to let the balloon float up a good 20 feet before gravity would take hold and bring it back to earth.
I had thrown it up in the air several times, when a sudden breeze came up and whipped the balloon around the corner of the house and to the side.