I had so much fun yesterday going on a ferry ride with my Dad to Staten Island, Manhattan and back again to Brooklyn. I am still excited about seeing the Statue of Liberty from the upper deck of the ferry ride to Manhattan. I get a chill when I think about it. I just want to tell everyone or anyone who will listen to my story. So when I got up this morning I ran up stairs to call Roger so I could tell him all about it. I knocked on his apartment door and his mother Emma answered and said. “Good morning Pepino, are you looking for Roger? If you are go to his room in the back and wake him up, otherwise he will sleep the whole day away.” Mrs. Emma is such a nice lady; she treats me like one of the family. I walked quickly towards the back bedroom passing through Roger’s three sister’s bedrooms, who were asleep. I opened the door to his room and I whisper “Roger, Roger, are you awake? It’s Pepino.” “I am now, shit head. What are you doing here so early in the morning?”
“Well it’s not that early. I wanted to get an early start so we can finish sprucing up that piece of shit bike you sold me.” Okay, Okay, you’re never gunna let me forget it. So I better get my ass moving. I just want to finish painting your stupid bike so that you’ll stop bugging me about it.” Roger was moving so slow but this gave me a chance to tell him all about my adventures on the ferry rides to Staten Island, Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. He did even look at me. He just kept nodding his head. I don’t think he heard I word of what I was saying.
It doesn’t matter whether or not he heard me, I was just happy to tell him my story. We got down stairs and pulled the bike frame and all the unassembled parts from the cellar. He gave the bike frame and fenders another coat of the black paint. After we let it dry we stared to reassemble the bike. You know what, that piece of crap I bought, really looks pretty good. I walked the bike over to the school yard for a test run. I don’t know what it was; maybe the fresh coat of paint, but it rode like a new bike. I heard Roger say. “What do you think about your spruced up bike now? SHIT HEAD!”
He was right, but I didn’t want him to see how happy I am, so I just kept on riding all around him. “When you’re finished riding around Big Head, get off the dam bike so you can help me build a Go Cart and wagon from a couple of old baby carriages I found.” So I rode the bike on the sidewalk back to our building on Columbia Street. I got to thinking that I’ll buy a new bike seat, and handle bar grips with streamers, and maybe a bell too. Roger helped me put the bike down the cellar for storage.
We went to the back yard again where open the old shed that was full of junk. Roger started to clear out a bunch of lumber, wheels from the old baby carriage, rope, nails, long bolts with nuts, washers along with old paint cans. I turned to look at him and said. “Roger, how long have you been collecting all this crap?” “Yeah, it a lot more than I thought it was too. It has to be almost two months that I got the idea about making a wagon for my little sister Diane and maybe a go cart for my cousin Jeffry. Last year I made Jeffrey big cardboard red airplane that he could slid over his body and run like he was flying. ” “Wow, do you have a plan on how to make this stuff or are you just playing it by ear?”
“What do you think Big Head? I’ve been making drawings for weeks on different designs and I think now that I have all the material we need we can start putting the wagon and go cart together. Just so you know that we have a deadline to meet. We have to build the go cart first so that Cousin Jeffry can race in the Sloan’s Ice Cream Parlor, anything wheels neighborhood kids race this afternoon.” “This afternoon; what are you crazy, there is no way we can complete a go cart in time for this race.” Roger started to laugh and said. “Do you doubt me?” I thought to myself, well no, not Roger the professor. He can do anything he puts his mind too.
He pulled out his tools and got to work. First he made a plywood platform on a two by four frame. Then he extended one two by four right down the middle of the frame about one foot. Everything was nailed in place. He took two separate two by fours about two and a half feet long where he anchored the wheels and axles from the baby carriage. He nailed one set of wheels on the back end of the frame. Then he drilled a hole through the extended two by four in front of the frame and then drilled a second hole in the center of the beam with wheels so that he could assemble it with the bolts and washers to the front of the beam extended from the frame. This will allow the front wheels to move side to side in order to direct the go cart to go left or right. Roger said that “Jeffry is a small kid but a little on the chunky side, that’s why we call him, “Fatso”.
It maybe tight, but he will have to lay flat on his belly on the frame facing the front wheels and put one hand on the right end of the wheel beam and the other hand on the left side of the wheel beam. Now Jeffry can make the go cart go left or right just by pushing the wheel beam with one hand or the other. For power to move the go cart, you can push Jeffry or find a street or road on a hill that can make Fatso move as fast as gravity can pull him down hill.”
Roger stepped back to look at his creation and said. “Hum, not bad. All we need to do is grease the wheels and Jeffry is good to go. It’s getting late and my sister’s wagon will have to wait for another day.” I asked Roger if me and my gang can compete in the Ice Cream Parlor race. Roger said, “The race is open to any kid who shows up with a three wheeler bike, street scooter, go cart, wagon or anything small kids can ride or push down hill.
” I said “Me and my guys made a couple of street scooters, I’ll call Mike Tomato and ask him to go with me so we can ride our scooters in the kids race, Where is it?” “Its way up on Court Street and First Place on top of a hill that’s great for a down hill race.” No sooner than Roger tells me the location of the Kids race, Jeffry shows up with his dad Larry BB. Jeffry is all dressed like a fighter pilot, with goofy looking goggles, airman hat and leather gloves. Jeffry’s dad talks to Roger for a while, picks up the go cart and walks with Jeffry towards Court Street. Meanwhile I run like hell to find Mike Tomato. I meet Mike on Hicks Street; we get our street scooters and start walking to Court Street.
It took about fifteen minutes to get there and it is crazy to see about sixty kids with parents and friends getting ready to plow down Court Street to the finish line on Fourth Place and Court. We were late in getting in line so our location in line sucks. We are four rows in from the start position. The horn blows and all the kids take off downhill towards the finish line. Even though we never came close to winning it didn’t matter. It was such a thrill to ride our street scooters with all these crazy kids who had no idea what the hell they were doing.
We did manage to get a free ice cream cone from the sponsors of the race. We walked home holding our street scooters in one hand while licking our ice cream treat with the other hand.