Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The River Rat Bad Boy Making His First Dollar At An Early Age

Here is one of the Antique Cars my Dad had. I can not find any
photos of me and my go-cart.

I guess since I grew up on the Delaware River I will always be called the river rat, but as far as being called the river rat bad boyz, that didn't always hold true.

There was a time in my life I was a sweet innocent boy and destine to make money at an early age.  The river rat bad boy making his first dollar at an early age was done with a homemade go-cart.

At the age of three (3) my Dad designed and built a go-cart in the basement of our home.  I was always interested in cars and since my Dad collected antique cars, restored them, and entered all car shows, I was around them since I was a baby.

Even when I was two and three years old my Dad would take me to all the antique car shows, coming home each time with a trophy, mostly 1st place and a few 2nd place ones. As he saw how interested I was in cars he decided to make my first car for me.

This go-cart was awesome.  It sat 2 people side by side with a 3HP gas engine.  He installed a suicide clutch.  The clutch had to be pushed down in order for the go-cart to move, and in the event I fell out of the go-cart my foot would come of the suicide clutch and the go-cart would stop.

After the go-cart was completed in the basement of our home my Dad wanted me to take it for a spin.

So he fired up the engine and I got in the seat happy as a lark. My dad said, "just step down on the suicide pedal and you will move.  Well, I moved all right , right into the hot water heated.  Water everywhere and I was scared to death for what I did. That was my first experience behind the wheel of a motorized car, and my first accident!

My dad wasn't mad at all about the crack up I had in the basement. All was good, after all it was my first time behind the wheel so he had to give me a break on that one.

It came time to bring the go-cart up the steps from the basement. It sure was a heavy go-cart made of all metal.  My dad got our neighbor to help with bring it up the steps, as I watched of course, after all I was only three years old, and to strong at all. lol

The minute the go-cart got outside and was placed in the driveway, every boy and girl in my neighborhood came to see this new addition to the neighborhood.

My dad started up the go-cart for all to hear and drove it to the ball field across the street from our home. The boys and girls followed us to the ball field hoping that they could get a ride in my car. I took a few spins around the bases of the ball field to see how she ran, and as I was driving solo it dawned on me, "how am I going to buy all the gas for this new machine I have?"

I saw DOLLAR SIGNS in my eyes and thought, "I know, I will charge my friends one penny $.01 per lap.  Home plate to home plate. I told them as they were just staring and wishing they could get a ride. I announced to them, "if you want a ride I have to charge .01 cent per lap to pay for my gas.

They bought it and everyone scrambled home to get hands full of pennies.  They were lined up and waiting their turn for this ride from home plate to home plate.  The distance today is not far, BUT when we were young kids, home plate to home plate felt like a mile long.

I was thrilled, I had an income coming in to pay for my gas, and would have change left over. They were the good old days for sure. I always wondered why I was so cleaver at that age of 3 in making money, but today as I am 58 years old it is tough as hell to save a penny.  Many of you and those that rode on my go-cart can surely relate i'm sure.

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