When I was young, my grandfather gave me a hand-held CB radio. The thing was huge but really cool since I was able to use it while playing cops and robbers with my buddy across the street growing up. He had a stationary radio in his back room and I had the hand-held. I would go out on bicycle “field missions” and report back to him as to the whereabouts of the neighborhood robbers. Good stuff.
One day a few years later, I was was at a garage sale down the street and saw a newer, nicer, digital CB radio for sale and they only wanted 5 bucks for it. I snatched that thing right up and put it to good use.
A few years later I was riding my bike down a nearby alleyway and saw a seemingly trashed go-cart sitting in a driveway and obviously not taken care of. I had always wanted a go-cart. We had a huge open field behind my house which was pretty much perfect for a go-cart. I saw potential in this abandoned go-cart and wanted it. After asking around I figured out who the boy was that lived in the house and approached him a few days later. I had a plan in mind. I would offer to trade my digital CB radio I bought a few years earlier (for 5 bucks!) for his trashed, non-running go-cart. He jumped on that offer and it was mine!
So the go-cart turned out to be a really fun project for my dad and me to fix up and get running. My dad knew how to work on small engines and we worked together on it for a few months. I learned a lot mechanically and it was good bonding time for me and my dad. One day after a lot of hard work and persistence we cranked it it 15-20 times and it finally fired up! After a few more tweaks I was riding that bad boy in the field behind the house and having a blast. It was funny how all the boys in the neighborhood would flock to the field every afternoon when I got home from school and would bring it out for a spin.
The Dirt Bike
After years of fun with the go-cart I had greater ambitions. My cousins had gotten into dirt bikes and I decided I wanted one for myself. I ended up selling the cart in a garage sale and using the $200 to buy my cousin John’s dirt bike. The dirt bike turned out to be a worthless piece of #$&*#. I worked and worked on that thing to get it running but many more times than not, it wouldn’t even start up. I had the thing for a little less than a year and I think I only successfully rode it twice. I had to get rid of it.
I sold the dirt bike in another garage sale for $150. The guy that bought it knew it needed some work but he was confident it just needed some work on the carburetor. He was brave to buy that thing, let me tell you, because I felt like the thing was a worthless piece of junk. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” I suppose.
Okay, let’s recap a bit. So I bought a $5 CB radio at a garage sale and traded it for a junker go-cart. My dad and I fixed up the go-cart and I eventually sold it for $200 to buy a dirt-bike that ended up being trash. After selling the dirt bike, I had $150 in my pocket.
So, how does any of this have to do with how I became geeky? You’ll have to read Part 2 to find out.