Adventures With Big and Little Boys' Toys
At the age of 3, for Christmas, Granddad Porky Sr. and Santa brought Randy his first motorized toy: a gas-powered mini go cart. He began to learn to ride it in a covered shelter at the city park. This area soon became too restrictive for Randy, who promptly headed out the door, and his uncle David ran to catch up with him before he reached the street. Arriving at the sidewalk, and because we were yelling after him, Randy made an immediate right turn, causing his uncle to run out into the street.
At age 6, Randy and I drove 25 miles to pick out his first bicycle. Upon purchasing the bike, Randy refused to load it in the pickup, insisting on riding it through the back roads the 25 miles home.
My wife, Bess, and I were there as our two sons, Chris and Randy, grew up. We were in the Cub Scouts together as a family. I was a Cub Scout Master, Bess was a Den Mother and the boys were in eight years of Cub Scouts. We learned to tie knots, swim, camp out, build projects and earn merit badges together. We had some 110 other Cub Scouts in the pack. On one Scout adventure, Bess and I took 25 Cub Scouts on an outing where half of them would trade between riding in the dune buggy and Bess's 1204 Simca car (a very small car).
When they were ages 8 and 12, Santa surprised the boys with motorcycles on Christmas Eve. During the night we discovered that Randy had pulled his blanket and pillow off his bed to sleep outside with his new toy, the motorcycle. They later used these same motorcycles with trailers behind them - they hauled trash to the city dump, hauled their lawn mowers to mow lawns, went after groceries and drove to pick up their friends to go fishing. To Mom's concern, they built ramps over the barrow ditches to jump their motorcycles.
Bess, the boys and I built several dune buggies together (VWs with fiberglass bodies). We towed them to the beaches in Florida, where we all learned to drive in the sand, jump sand dunes, and drive skillfully and defensively. The boys probably were 8 and 12 years old at the time.
We purchased a PPV (a two-seat peddle-powered vehicle) for the boys. They drove it everywhere, sometime as many as 8 miles to the state park and back.
We purchased an old King Midget car (a small two-seater convertible powered by a one-cylinder gas engine). The boys and I made it run again. The boys drove it everywhere, except on public roads.
We located and purchased an Amphicar (a 1964 floating car). We refurbished it, drove it in parades and drove it from south Georgia to Walt Disney World in Florida. While at Disney World, the engine broke down. The boys and I pulled the engine under a tree behind the Holiday Inn, replaced a rod insert and replace the engine with only a limited number of tools. When driving it back to Georgia, the rod started knocking again. Our oldest son, Randy, and I checked Bess and Chris into a motel and, with several cans of STP, crippled the Amphicar home. We then drove the company truck back to Florida to pick up Bess and Chris.
Then, when we were leaving the lake at dark, a park ranger stopped us and asked if we were driving it in the lake. We said yes and asked if there was a problem. He said no, but several people had called the ranger headquarters to report that some drunk had driven his car into the lake and was out there driving it around.
Today, Chris or Randy can operate or repair any piece of equipment they get their hands on.
The above is almost unbelievable, but it is true - this was our family time together that we all remember and cherish to this day.