in Just spring is puddle-wonderful at Gihon Springs. When I was growing up in rural south Alabama, we lived behind our store and in front of Papa and Gramma Lindsey’s pasture. We had to drive down what everyone called “the field road” to get to our 160 acres of field and forest.
The dirt field road was about a quarter of a mile long. It started at Papa Lindsey’s driveway, wove past blackberry and wild rose bushes, crossed the railroad tracks, and ended at our pasture. It was a terrific place to ride bikes, safely away from the busy main highway that ran from Florence to Mobile. When we were teens, we graduated to cruising the field road with a little yellow Suzuki FA50 moped and an orange dirt bike. When those wore out, we finally got a 3-wheeler.
To use our 80’s vernacular, it was totally trippendicular!
We had seen the commercials. Those bad boys could take on anything from a creek to the side of a mountain.
When we got the 3-wheeler, Dad told Ben (my very accident-prone brother) that he was not to go riding through mud on the field road. Ben acquiesced. Furthermore, Ben was to keep the 3-wheeler clean. Dad didn’t tell me this because he didn’t think I would dream to do something so reckless.
Dad was wrong.
Don’t tell Dad this, but baby, I had the best time mud-bogging on the field road with that ATV. I did just what I’d seen them do on the commercial, and more. I sped down that field road, spinning up mud until it fell over my head like rain. I would find the deepest, reddest puddles and swerve the front wheel until the vehicle spun. Then I’d go back home (or ride up to Gramma’s to use her water hose) and clean it up.
Here are some pictures of our 3-wheeler. It’s when I was a freshman in college. Ben was taking our pictures while Eriko (my college roommate from Tokyo) and I were goofing off with the 3-wheeler. Check out this YouTube link for an 80’s 3-wheeler commercial.
One of my favorite poems in the world is “in Just”, written by e. e. cummings. Mrs. Byrne, my high school English teacher, posted it on a bulletin board every year at spring. It reminds me of my spring days in Jachin. I tried 3 times to post it, but for some reason, I can’t format it right. Maybe you can Google it and see why I think it’s so special. 🙂