V-rroom Engines – School Year 1963-1964

The Summer of 1963 seemed to end rather quickly as they always do for a child.  The beginning of school year 1963-1964 was coming soon.  Still school did not start for a few weeks yet.  Plenty of time for adventure.  And Greg Carlos and I had gotten new toys!  V-rroom Engines.  The engines were battery powered and made the sounds of powerful racing vehicles! And Greg got a V-rroom Race car!   This was a Line Controlled Race car with great racing sounds!  Fun Fun Fun!  There was also still time left in the summer to go to the park and fish and for adventure.

Varoom Engine

V-rroom engine for bikes

vroom race car

V-rroom line controlled race car

My dad one day brought home a clean 55 gallon drum from Kellogg’s cereals where he worked.  He was going to use it to replace the old burning barrel we had that was quite rusted our and in need of replacement.  However, before he did I asked him if we could use it for a few things Greg Habenicht, Carlos Washington, David Zaborski and I wanted to try out.  First off,  we wanted to see if we could make a diving bell out of it and a clean garbage can.  We filled the 55 gallon drum with water.  Then one of us got in and a garbage can was lowered over his head.  then the two remaining outside would sit on top of the garbage can until it went below the surface of the water.  If we heard a knock we would immediately get up to let the aquanaut out.  It was great fun and we were never in great danger.

roll down hill

Rolling Down a Hill In a Barrel

There was somthing else we wanted to try with the 55 gallon drum. We wanted to take it to the big hill we used for sleding in the winter. So we rolled it across the Beaumont Retention pond and across Wattles Road over to the big hills.  One of us would get into the drum on his hands and knees with back pressed up against the interior of the drum.  The with a little push off it would go down the hill.  What a sensation.  The world seemed to turn on end and you lost all sense of which way was up or down.  Then at the bottom you would pour yourself out and have to wait a few minutes for you dizziness to subside before standing.  This activity would keep us busy all afternoon!

1960-Red-Barn1 lunch box

Circa 1960 Barn Lunch Box made by Thermos

Alas summer did not last forever.  Mom took me into town to buy new school clothes and to get school supplies.  She also got me a new lunch box.  A barn with a thermos inside.  Almost like Dad’s.

The day came for school to start and I waited for Greg and Carlos to come so we could walk together to school.  We always walked together to the school.  The doorbell rang and Mom kissed me and gave me the  new lunchbox and school supplies and off we went down Beaumont drive towards Wattles road.  We crossed the retention ditch and headed north up Wattles road the 1/4 mile walk to school.  Both Greg and Carlos were a year ahead of me in school so we said our goodbyes and off we went to our respective classes.  My teachers name was Mrs. Williams.  She was a older lady with curly short white hair.  She was gentle but demanded respect from her students.  She taught us what all children learn in third grade.  Reading writing and arithmetic.  We got a recess in the morning and one in the afternoon.  And a 1 hour lunch.  The lunch room was centrally located at the 1 story school.  All the tables folded up into the walls for storage and for assemblies.  I remember one assembly in particular.


It was from the people against tuberculosis and lung disease.  The man giving the lecture was a cowboy and he made us laugh.  I learned from this man that a yawn is a catchy thing.  and he demonstrated it!  He yawned and soon had us all yawning!

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Beaumont Drive Retention Pond

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My Home at 114 Beaumont Drive

The School day would end and it would be time to go back home.  I found Greg and Carlos waiting for me outside by the bus lineup.  Off we went walking first down Wattles Road to Beaumont Drive and across the retention pond and to my house.  We said our goodbyes and I went in my house while Greg and Carlos continued around Beaumont and cut through the back to Greg’s Yard. Then playtime at home and dinner with my parents. I was back in school. Not a bad thing considering that it was my old school. I felt completely at home.