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Little Guy on Wheels

Mamma was a strong believer in heredity, and she believed our family's German heritage predisposed us to two things: hard work and stubbornness. The gene for hard work lay pretty low in us kids while we were growing up, but stubbornness kicked in fast.

So one might say that what happened one summer evening in the late 1940s was all our ancestors' doing.

Daddy was getting ready to go to a church board meeting. Four-year-old Davie wanted to go to the board meeting too. (Right from the start, Davie liked to go places, while Mamma, Daddy, and I liked to stay places.

) We explained that board meetings were for grownups only. He still wanted to go. We explained that board meetings were for board members only.

He still wanted to go. We all stood around the bedroom, while Daddy knotted his tie and combed his hair, and we took turns explaining what a miserable time Davie would have at a board meeting. By that time the conversation was getting heated and tears were beginning to flow, but also by that time Daddy was ready to leave and it was time to leave, so he left.

I watched the cloud of dust as the little black Chevy coupe sped up the hill next to our Montana farmhouse. And then I noticed at the rear of the dust cloud a tiny figure. Davie on his tricycle was bravely pedaling after.

Clearly he intended to tricycle the five miles to the board meeting.

I watched him for several minutes. He got up some pretty good speed on the slope down toward the creek. But then the hill began, and the lower part of the hill was almost vertical.

The tricycle wheels moved slower and slower, but Davie's legs were still pushing. Davie wasn't giving up.

About that time I thought to tell Mamma, and she realized what I had not: if a car should come swooping down that hill, it would mash Davie and his tricycle flat before the driver even saw them.

Mamma was off like a shot, and I was able to observe the result of two objects with the same trajectory traveling at different rates of speed.

Davie was surprisingly docile once Mamma landed on him, and it appeared he had been defeated, but he had not. His views were unchanged.

He still thought going was better than staying and going places on wheels was better than anything else.

. About the Author .Go STEAMIN' DOWN THE TRACKS WITH VIOLA HOCKENBERRY, a storytelling cookbook -- and find Montana country cooking, nostalgic stories, and gift ideas -- at Janette Blackwell's Food and Fiction, http://foodandfiction.

com/Entrance.html -- or visit her Delightful Food Directory, http://delightfulfood.com/main.html

By: Janette Blackwell


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