About a year and a half into our Mt.Calm existence something wonderful happened. DJ and I won a moped. It’s one of my favorite memories from the Mt. Calm days, but in order to really understand why you have to remember that this was rural Texas, land of the three wheelers. If you weren’t riding a 3 wheeler to school then you were riding a moped.
Most days my siblings and I walked, but that didn’t stop us from hoping for a moped. It’s all we could think about. If we had a moped we’d zip around town all cool and everything. We’d have so much freedom. We’d be a part of the in-crowd. It was a pipe dream, but that didn’t keep us from envisioning the joy a moped would bring.
Then one beautiful fall day, on a weekly grocery shopping trip to HEB -Mt. Calm didn’t have grocery stores so weekly the family would travel forty-five minutes to Waco-Debbie and I discovered that they were having a drawing and the winner would receive a beautiful new moped.
We were in heaven. We started making plans. We were going to split it 50/50, I even talked Debbie into just writing my name on the entry cards. That way we’d be more likely to win. We took hundreds of entry tickets every time we were at HEB and spent hours filling them out. When the drawing happened guess whose name they pulled out? Yep, mine, was this real? Had I (we) actually won one?
The day the moped arrived was amazing. All our young dreams had come true!
In reality it didn’t really win us any friends because our place in Mt. Calm’s hierarchy was pretty much set. It was still fun though, zipping around that little town. We’d go up to O.C.’s store for a candy bar or a soda water, something rural Texans liked to call soft drinks. Better yet, we could hit a convenience store on the State Highway that ran by our little town. We’d made the big time now!
It wasn’t all wine and roses though. My brothers must have felt left out. We weren’t including them in the fun. They weren’t allowed to ride the moped so they began plotting their revenge. Jim and Jack took to laying in wait and trying to rope us whenever we’d zoom by on our cool new ride. Most the time they were just roping the wind, but one time they actually caught us. Somehow they managed to snag the handle bar with their rope. When they yanked, Debbie and I went flying one way and the bike went flying the other. Smack onto the gravel road. We were bruised and cut up for a week and the moped was never the same. It pulled to the right after that.
Thus ended our moped dreams, but those wonderful memories remain. It’s one of the happiest points in our Mt. Calm lives. To this day I smile fondly when I see a Vespa. It always reminds me of that old blue moped.