July 20, 2011

Things With Wheels

Tires for all the rolling vehicles on the farm where very important. I was a given that at an early age you learned to patch a tire. It has been so long since I did this; I am sure I would have a very hard time. Today the tires are tubeless, right? The tractor tires also had water in them as well as air. Edgar Newton's Store had the organized tire fixing station closest to us. I am not sure, but I was sent to fix tire tubes at a very early age. The tube had to be roughed up for the patch to stick. Edgar had the tool for roughing. I could even break down a tractor tire without very much difficulty. All this is about the working vehicle tires. The playing tires and wheels were very important to my brother and my two boy cousins. If we had a flat on the bicycle the same effort was put into taking it to Edger Newton's Store and patching it. The wheels off of junk lawn mowers were not wasted by the four of us either. We made more crazy go carts that would not hardly roll. The concept of balance and bearings was something that we as children had not figured out. The wheels always wobbled and eventually just fell off. The greatest one we ever built daddy helped us by using the axle out of a for real go cart someone had thrown in Estes Graigs dump. We built the frame and seats out of wood. It still amazes me how well I can still drive a nail. This skill came from working on pasture fences and building seats or what ever was the brainstorm of the four of us that day. A bag of nails and pieces of wood were gold to us. The go cart would roll very well, but it was time to go the extra mile and make this one the best yet. It would roll, so we needed headlights. We may want to roll down to the crossroads after dark. My bright idea was to use fruit jars for headlights. Wiring batteries was for sure something we did not know anything about. Batteries were not even something I remember having ever; They may not have been invented. Anyway simple we needed something that would light up in the jars for our headlights. The perfect thing was all over the front yard everynight. We chased them for hours upon end, lightning bugs. That was it all we had to do was catch thousands of lightning bugs to fill the fruit jars. As many lightning bugs as there were we just could not catch enough to make the light we needed in one night. So here was the plan we catch them every night until we had enough to make the headlights shine bright. This plan did not work all that great because in the jars so many of them did not make it. Our lights were dying before we even got enough to make it work. Thus the go cart didn't ever get those much needed headlights. Today there would have never been enough for us to get started, because I have notice there seems to not be as many of them now. Like toad frogs the number has lessened over the years. Like the stars seem not near as bright to me. It must be that my eyes are not what they were then. Life goes on, but the stars, bugs and frogs made it all good while I was gathering and learning stuff along the way.

1 comment:

  1. I remember too,so very well the lightening bug chase at my grandparents house ! We collected as many as we possibly could and my grandfather would put holes in the our jar lids so the bugs could breath. Then at night we would place them next to our beds and gaze as they did their little light dance until we fell asleep.Thanks for reminding me of good times !!