The Go-Cart by Phyllis Taylor

Around the age of eight or so I had gotten a beautiful English type baby carriage for Christmas. The carriage had two really big wheels and a set of four smaller wheels. It really was a beautiful carriage. Now I don’t know who had the bright idea to use the smaller wheels of the carriage to make a go-cart but that’s just what my cousin Rodney and I did! Down in the basement of the house on Hortter Street, Rodney and I worked feverishly – as feverishly as two kids could – to build our go-cart. I don’t remember if it took us one night or several but my guess is it took one night otherwise we would have been found out!

We took wooden slats to make the base of the cart and added the wheels to the outside and the bottoms of my Chicago flyers (skates for those who don’t know!) to the underside middle. We used a wooden milk crate for the body (you know we had to be kids!). Stealthily opening the basement door to the backyard, Rodney and I pushed the go-cart out into the night. The neighborhood had long since gone to sleep – all the house lights were out up and down Hortter Street.

Rodney and I stole away into the darkness and pushed the cart up the hill to Germantown Avenue. Now our house sat at the bottom of Hortter Street a good 45 degree angle distance down from Germantown Avenue which ran perpendicular to Hortter Street!

I got into the box of the go-cart and Rodney knelt on the back slats holding the “steering rope” and we pushed off heading down the middle of Hortter Street. The go-cart picked up speed, the wheels leaving the black asphalt behind! I turned my head in time to see Rodney flying off the back doing a nose dive into the Williams’s lawn as the go-cart careened through another neighbor’s hedges leaving a wide opening where branches used to grow! I remember seeing the top of the hedges and then hearing a loud crash as what was left of the go-cart “body” bulleted through a yard, off the curb and hurtled up the Schmidt’s driveway! What I thought were stars were lights coming on in houses up and down the street. I remember Rodney’s voice calling my nick-name, “Duck” are you all right?” As I lie in the driveway with the splinters of the milk crate go-cart across my body I couldn’t answer – I hadn’t collected my wits yet – they were as scattered as the remnants of the go-cart!!!

I have NO idea how we got back into the house or even what the adults in our lives had to say about that go-cart adventure fiasco but I do know it was MANY years before I got into a go-cart again – I think my son was 10 by then!


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