Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 09:22 AM.

Are pictures really worth a thousand words, or ten thousand words or more?  I do not know, but I know they are worth many memories of my past – good memories of who I was growing up and who my parents wanted me to be.

Recently my aunt came across a photograph of me sitting on a lawnmower with two of my cousins and my baby brother at my knee.  Seeing the picture, I knew it was the summer of 1976.  I was 14, my baby brother was two.

The picture was made at my Papa’s (grandfather’s) home in rural Alabama.  The lawnmower was old and rusted and had the blade removed, but it was good for grandchildren to drive around and be pulled in a little red wagon.

Papa always made sure we had things to ride in, push and pull.  Sometimes they had engines, sometimes they did not.  I wore the wheels out on an old mini-bike that didn’t have an engine.  Time after time I pushed it up a hill to coast back down.

Looking at the picture, I still am proud of how my baby brother stuck to me like we were about fly down a steep hill in a wagon; my parents tasked me with keeping a close eye on him.  I wanted to.  I did. I always will.

Little red wagons were always available at my grandparents.  Between my Papa being a collector of motorized and non-motorized things with wheels and my Grandmama being the owner of a ten-cent store that sold toys, we were in good shape. 

Personally, I get a kick out of watching children with wagons.  As many simple toys do, the wagon leaves much to the imagination and ingenuity of the child.   Whether they are pushing, pulling or riding in them, a picture is created that allows us to peek into the mind and heart of the child. 

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