Friday, March 15, 2013

Start Your Engines!

There was nothing quite so wonderful, quite so freeing, or quite so exciting as the Big Wheel.

An intelligent piece of plastic. Its colors and streamers, easy to reach pedals, and of course, its big front wheel made it so addictive.

My grandpa kept us well-stocked. There was a Big Wheel for everyone. And with the cement driveway that wrapped around his entire garage -- which doubled as his small engine repair shop -- we had our own version of the Indy 500 right there in Arcadia, Texas.

While I was careening around corners and screaming, "Yeehaw!", my sister and our cousin putt-putted along in the fire engine.

My grandpa also had a small, two-seater, toy fire engine. It went about five miles per hour. As you have predicted, it wasn't my choice of transportation.

As you have also predicted, Maria and our cousin, Dawn, never won the Arcadia 500. But, they probably didn't care and probably never consciously competed. I didn't need their permission to race against them.

Whenever I came abreast of them, I'd shout, "Gentlemen, start your engines!", and I would take off like a shot. They'd eat my dust as not only did I leave them way behind, but lapped them several times over in my ultra-fast Big Wheel. The pedals would set on fire as I rounded corners and shot down straightaways.

Maria and Dawn didn't stand a chance. Even if they'd tried.

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