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Little Rickies First Ride

Little Rickies First Ride
Some things do not seem extraordinary, except in hindsight. This is when an event might seem real to you, or you might find some new meaning in it; such a thing happened to me the other day. I was digging in some old photographs, when I came across these photos of us at the New York Expo in 1997. We took my son, who is very much a tractor lover; he has his own collection of John Deere toys, which he never removes from the box. He has just turned four in these photos.

Little Ricky often rides the tractor with my husband, whenever he hears the tractor start up he is right there, ready to take a ride. When not working, Richard is happy to oblige him - and take him for a run around the yard a couple of times. At the show, this just was not good enough! We came upon Ellsworth Cowley, who we had met at another show with Richard Schaeffer, we consider them both friends now. Ellsworth had a Railroad Hand Car Engine, a Hit & Miss, which Ricky instantly fell for. To our delight, he offered to let Ricky Drive it!

My son was besides himself! His feet too short to reach the peddles, it went along at an idle speed with him steering. You never saw such a proud boy, he went round and round a couple of times. We got some nice photos, one of which is framed in his room.

It has been a tough year Ricky, he has had a couple of surgeries, and is ready to go in for another. He is never unhappy, or sad, he has great strength of character. I wonder about it at times, but saw him looking at those photos; suddenly his little chest puffs out, and he looks at me and says 'I did it Mom. . . . I rode it myself!' I can see now, looking back, at a single moment - sharing a hobby - taking an interest - what a single moment in time can do for another. It does not take dollars, or tremendous exertion, we each can give one moment in time; in looking back it is amazing what it can mean!

This was my little fellow's first ride, independent - and free - he did it, and nobody can ever take that away from him! It's a great hobby, and we enjoy it for all it has given us - perhaps some day we can give back just a fraction! I know one thing, Ricky is anxiously looking forward to that next ride!

Epilogue; I can see now, looking back, at a single moment - sharing a hobby - taking an interest - what a single moment in time can do for another. It does not take dollars, or tremendous exertion, we each can give one moment in time; in looking back it is amazing what it can mean!

Kate Smalley, from CT, entered 2000-02-16

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