Some of the boys in the neighborhood built a pretty cool hideout out of branches that had been trimmed from some of the trees in the wooded area. I took these photos of Leif peeking out of the hideout and you can see it was pretty large.
Leif's friend Anil shared this memory of what happened to the hideout with me:
I have an interesting memory about this one...I believe that Leif and a friend of his from down the street (with whom I had a falling out) built this shelter. It was very well constructed and I believe it was built over a ditch or crater in the ground so there was actually quite a bit of room to sit inside.
In the picture there is a blue structure to the left and what faintly appears to be Sagamihara's back gate, and from what I remember the shelter was in the "Batman's trail" woods across the street from where we lived (so maybe the blue structure is the Ushijima's old house, and is across the street, i.e. in our court; maybe the car is on the street?).
These guys spent forever building it, then one day when they weren't around I went over to the shelter with another troublemaker, and we were horse-ing around, and pretty much collapsed the thing. I remember walking around and on top of it with another boy saying aloud "this doesn't look that safe, it's not that strong" which quickly became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe I was persona-non-grata with Leif and the other boy for some time after that. But I also think that they rebuilt it to some extent.
I don't remember that, but it sounds like the typical neighborhood boy story. They all got along well most of the time, and I don't remember Leif ever not wanting to play with Anil. :)