Sometimes I think it's a good thing my dad kept me as busy as he did on the family farm. Even with my physical problems and all the time spent working, I still managed to have a few boyhood adventures. When David came to spend the summers at his grandparent's house my summers really livened up! They lived directly across the road from our home. David's family lived in the big city, and he got into so much trouble there that his parents had him spend the summers at his grandparents. He was average height, dark haired, muscular framed, and sort of talked through his nose. And the wheels in his head never stopped turning!
One year his dad brought him out a new, three speed, English bicycle, much like mine. David wasn't much for riding bikes, so he completely dismantled it and sold it for parts to the neighbor kids. I bought a spare tire and wheel, myself. The next summer his dad bought him a big, red, classy looking, 26 inch bicycle. One day David said, "Lets make it look like a motorcycle!"
We searched around his grandpa's garage and basement and found a length of three inch vent pipe and some wire. We wired it up the right side of the bike and then went into his grandpa's garage again. His grandpa owned a bulk station and gas truck that he delivered fuel oil to homes and gasoline to farmers with. In the garage we found a can of gas, a five gallon can of oil, a bunch of rags, and a broom. David quietly went into the backdoor of his grandma's house and got some matches from the kitchen.
We began dipping the rags in gas and oil, and stuffing them into the vent pipe. The broom handle worked great for jamming them down in. Soon the vent pipe was full of gas and oil soaked rags. His grandparent's driveway and our drive across the road were perfectly aligned. David got on the bike and said to me, "Ok, light her up!"
I struck a match and touched it to the end of the vent pipe. At first it was great. Big, black puffs of smoke came out, one then another and so on. David began vibrating his lips to mimic a motorcycle's sound, and then started pedaling down the drive. He made it to the end of the driveway, across the road, and into our drive when suddenly the side of the bicycle burst into flames. He slid it down and jumped clear. My Mom and my Aunt Wilene were having a peaceful, summer visit on the front porch when they suddenly screamed in horror and ran toward the burning bike. David was ok, but his new bike was destroyed.