Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Go Carts, South Philly Style

Kevin Karns reminded me in response to my post on bottle traps about the "go-carts" we used to build as kids. I haven't seen one in ages. Now kids either have motorized plastic vehicles, good quality bicycles, or real motor bikes. They don't have to build something themselves. Would they? I don't know, but it'd be a fun thing for them to do.

If you're in your forties or older, you probably built one or more yourself. We used to scour the trash outside of peoples homes on Wednesday, looking for material to build our go-carts and scooters. Or, we would go down the basement to see what we could find to put one together. Sometimes one guy would provide the wheels, another the 2x4s, and so on and so forth. But we all worked together and got one built, then ran it into the ground until it fell apart. The wheels were usually an old pair of our own roller skates. You remember the kind that went on top your sneakers? Yep, those types of skates. The ones you needed a skate key to tighten. We were fortunate to find bigger wheels sometimes from discarded shopping carts and such, but usually, it was the skates that got us rolling.

I did a Google search on "go carts", hoping to find some photos of the types of wrecks we built. I didn't find one I know that it wasn't a South Philly only thing, but no one gives mention to these things on the web. Pretty sad, huh?

The bodies were again sometimes found in the trash, but sometimes they were pilfered from a nearby grocery store. The bodies of our go-carts were sometimes produce crates or metal milk crates, the later good for scratching the paint on a car here or there. Much better than the produce crates that would fall apart after one or two collisions.
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