Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Picture Story Of One Insane Youthful Day.......

A pretty long (okay, a REALLY long) time ago, when I was a boy about to have a rare 'free' day in the summer on the farm, I started off by waking from a dream something like this

Having had a dream-state bestow upon me a

which I quickly committed to paper as a remarkable example of my early engineering prowess. The design was something like

And the object was to construct something like this, capable of great downhill speed.

So I ate quickly and headed for an old farm shed

where I scrounged up one of these

an old one of these

and a box or two of these to help complete the project.

I was soon joined by friends from the two neighboring farms who were somewhat like myself...

I explained my idea to tackle the nearby very steep hill that was blessed with a paved(poorly so) dead-end orchard access road, something like

which at the bottom turned left toward the main road, but had a nice gravel road leading to a boat launch with one of these

which we hoped to use to create a bicycle+boy one of these

However, after discussing things a bit, we realized we only had a rear wheel from the old 'English style' three-speed, which meant no brakes. This was not our biggest concern, that was the fact the thing was stuck in high gear, meaning it would have to be moving pretty quickly in order to allow pedaling. So, in our wisdom, rather than add brakes or shifting, we decided to modify the design to include three riders and needing to be pushed back up the hill. We figured this would give us time to dry off too, while allowing all of us to enjoy multiple rides. What we had in mind was something along the lines of

but, in reality, was more like a three-seat one of these with wheels.

Well, after much deliberation, readjusting, and refitting, about an hour later we were done. We had a 24" frame with front wheel and pedals attached to a 3-speed rear wheel with the carrier rack and the wide part of an old canoe paddle as a rear seat for two. No photo available, not sure why. Anyway, we were all set to become the

of the

In reality, we were more akin to the

and likely destined for this

as we were a supurb example of

Anyway, having hooked 2 old plastic bleach jugs to the frame so we could find the contraption and haul it out after splashdown, we declared all systems go. The first few runs went surprisingly well and made us feel like we were actually doing this

Then, fate dealt us a dose of reality in the form of something like

which was parked around the turn(did I mention the blind corner just before the dock on the gravel road?)sorta like

and looking to the three of us more like one of these

Sudden visions of a ride in

to the very rural hospital

followed by immediate

with dire outcomes for us all beset me. Being as I was the one doing the

I checked alternate paths on a road that suddenly seemed no bigger than

Reacting with amazing quickness born from excessive fear, I headed for the right hand patch of

which I figured would slow us down. I forgot one thing, they're 'raspberry' bushes. Note the thorns in this close-up

Well, we plowed straight through them and crashed over a couple rocks into the reedy, muddy-bottom area next to the boat launch. We sat there looking at each other like three

until we took note of two things. 1) The 'boat folks' had two daughters we knew from school with them who were laughing and pointing (I wonder why to this day) and 2)WE HURT!!! Plus we seemed to be losing great quantities of blood from various cut, scratched and punctured places on our disheveled bodies. Losing all interest in the 'devil machine', we headed as fast as we could to find my Aunt who, once she stopped her insane laughter, applied the contents of several of these

All in all, it was interesting(?) to look back at, after the stories finally stopped circulating around all the nearby communities. My Uncle R, in his usual graceful and thoughtful manner (laughing uncontrollably at us over supper)advised me the way I was to do to my future employees and offspring: (R)"Did it hurt?" (me)"Yes sir!!" (R) "Don't do it again or it'll hurt the next time too!" Such profound wisdom from a regular old Dairy Farmer. Until next time, stay well and take care.


Natalie said...

that was great! i could totally picture it! and such ingenuity...i wouldn't have known what to do to try to make a bicycle built for 3! fun times!

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Nice slice of life, Mike.

an average patriot said...

That was excellent! Very imaginative for sure. I can relate to every aspect of your story! Especially to a day off on a dairy farm in the summer! Day off that is impossible but the day off between milkings is a whole vacation indeed!

Mike S said...

Patriot, A day off was rare indeed. But I was blessed to have lived on a 'farm' that was really 2farms across the road from each other, only one of which had dairy cows. That meant that every so often, when things slowed at his place, my other 'Uncle', "F", would come over and let myself or my 'Uncle' "R" off for the day by doing our jobs.

Muhd Imran said...

I love your story.

When we were young we dare to go where no man had ever gone before. Fear was not in our vocabulary... well, never understood what the meaning was then, so we did it with conviction.

So, in retrospect, was it worth it? I bet, YES!

Good one.

Brother Tim said...

LOL --- That almost sounded like a Bush memoir!

greymatters said...

Awwwww, dude! It's a good thing I didn't know you when I was young. I'd have had a couple of more times in the ER than the dozen I earned growing up in midwestern farm country.

Loved the post!

patricia said...

Very funny, Mike. We made a bicycle built for 2 out of 2 bikes on several occasions, but it was kind of hard to ride. Never got around to a 3 passenger. Probably just as well.
Take Care.

Fiesty Charlie said...


Love this post!

Mies said...

I always suspected you were a little on the nutty side, now I know for sure:)
Funny story...Thanks...L

sandy's notes said...

You have such a fantastic mind. Did you ever become an engineer? Makes me wish I saw this story in action!