Scooter and go-kart days

March 7, 2012 

Yes, the price of gas is going up and we’re all frustrated because we don’t have the information to figure out why. From our vantage point, all that has to happen is for some Iranian leader to threaten Israel and we pay more for gas.

It took my daughter $87.43 to fill up her truck the other day. Her truck is a 2003 Ford Sport Trac. It gets good gas mileage for a truck, about 17 miles per gallon in the small town, 23 on the interstate, if you don’t mash on the gas pedal too hard. She doesn’t spend very much time on the interstate but she goes to a lot of fires so she gets 8 mph and 12 mph, but the cost of a fill up doesn’t change, it just comes more often.

What I need is an electric vehicle, but I think they’re charging way too much for those Fords up in Detroit. You’d think we could get a discount since we bought some of the other companies in the bailout. If they’re anything like a golf cart, that would be nice. I love the electric golf cart. You can get one for around eight grand and in towns where it’s legal, ride all over the place and sneak up on folks before you have to plug em’ in somewhere. Plus, the one’s I’ve seen on TV come with a blond. Too bad they’re illegal in most towns, but it’s for the best; I couldn’t keep the blond. We’ve got enough mouths to feed around here.

I like a vehicle with a GPS system. You wouldn’t need one with a golf cart, although I’ve seen some in them. I can’t imagine being so inept at finding the hole you would need a GPS system. Most holes can be seen from high ground, usually the tee box, due to a flag pole sticking out of the ground, The hole is usually right under that flag. Maybe a GPS is only to be used on par 5’s or dog legs.

Maybe it’s time to bring back the go-kart. We had one back in ’62, the year Fireball Roberts spoke at the high school. That thing would fly. The back yard was fenced in and since we couldn’t ride it in the street we drove the cart in a circle -- similar to Daytona without the concessions -- around the backyard. Gas was 25 cents a gallon and the only pit stops required were for driver changes. We could run all day for the cost of mowing the grass, which soon became unnecessary. Within the first week the backyard became an oval dirt track with a large brown cloud hanging over the driver and everything else.

We wore mostly browns to school that year. Our races were popular in the neighborhood and we must have had a huge, what we currently call “fan base,” in those days because the phone was always ringing in the house when one of us was “racin’.”

The Ramirez brothers, who lived across the alley and had a kumquat tree we used to raid, got Cruisaire motor scooters. Here they’d come, racin’ around the block sure to whiz past me and my brother peddling away on our bikes.

One day, on my knees and with tears streaming down my face, I asked mom, why we couldn’t have a scooter and why those boys’ parents loved them more than ours loved us. She mumbled something or other about “getting killed and never being able to forgive herself,” “what would dad think,” “too expensive and we had bicycles, and yes, the ever popular and always useful, “I love you too much.”

I never looked at my bicycle the same after that. Now I’m thinking I may have to get it out and ride it again. Come to think about it, that might be fun if they keep the golf carts and motor scooters off the streets. It would sure be safer.

Sonny Harmon is an educator at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at

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