Sunday, May 11, 2008

Born Too Late

Darn it all to heck, but I never had the chance to ride on a trolley car. Mom told me of the times she rode from Stratford to Bridgeport and her mother said to wear clean underwear in case the trolley derailed. I doubt it went fast enough to do much damage to car or passengers, much less require anyone to end up in Bridgeport Hospital, but I guess you couldn’t be too careful in those Victorian days. Even if Queen Victoria, she supposedly of “we are not amused,” was long gone.

They had only one headlight. Right in the middle, low. Except for a driver too cheap to replace a burned-out bulb, you didn’t have to worry which side of the car the headlight was on. Also, if you weren’t actually in the middle of the tracks, the trolley wouldn’t hurt you.

Another thing I missed was biplanes. I’ve seen them in WW1 war movies, but never (I think) have seen one over my head.

I missed barnstormers who came to airfields to put on shows and take people up for rides. Mom didn’t; her girlfriend bet her that she wouldn’t do one of those penny-a-pound spins around the airport. Mom hit the scale, counted out the coins and up she went. No wonder she wasn’t scared when we flew through parts of Alaska in various bush planes. Been there, done that in something that probably was held together with bailing wire.

Didn’t get a chance to ride in a car’s rumble seat. I’ve seen one, I think, but I came around too late for a ride. Probably much too dangerous, as well.


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