My First Car~Part 1

10 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Small Red Plane

 

I believe I have mentioned before that I started working at an early age (see “I was a 12-Year Old Businessman” blog 01/23/2013) because I had big dreams of things I wanted to do. One of those dreams was to own a car that I could work on and call my own (As I was growing up, my mother always told me she thought I was mechanically inclined). If you can believe it, that didn’t seem so far in the future to me, as the law in New Mexico, at the time, allowed a person to get a driver’s license at age 14. I started my dream adventure at around age 10 by mowing lawns with a push mower (In case some of you younger readers don’t know what that is, the mower doesn’t have a motor on it and the power to cut the grass is provided by you).

1

By the time I was 12, I had saved enough money to buy a Sears self-propelled gas powered mower (Of course you know what those are, right). I spent a lot of time pushing those mowers around the neighborhood to my various jobs. As my lawn mowing business grew, my parents helped by driving me and my mower to jobs outside our neighborhood.

2

My lawn mowing reputation grew and in the winters I had a paper route to help supplement my income. So, by the time I was 14, I hadn’t saved enough money for a car, but I needed better transportation than a bicycle for the paper route and to get around town. Strange thing about this was that my parents didn’t want me to have a car, but they were OK with me having a motorcycle. Go figure! Most parents won’t even talk to their kids about having a motorcycle. So, after I got my driver’s license, I bought a used Harley Davidson 125cc motorcycle. Boy could I carry a lot of newspapers on that machine. And, I could go anywhere in town without breaking a sweat.

3

When I was 16 I got a part-time job as a bag boy with a super market that opened a new store in town. With this job and my paper route, I was making enough money to make payments on a larger motorcycle. My parents helped me buy a new Harley Davidson 165cc motorcycle and now I felt like the “King of the Road” on my bright red cycle. This was the mid-50s and “Fonzie” was a big hit in the “Happy Days” TV show. So of course I had to have the cool “Fad” threads to play the part (leather motorcycle jacket with lots of zippered pockets, Levis jeans with rolled up cuffs, motorcycle boots, and a “Duck Tail” haircut) and complete the scene.

4

Now I know it’s hard for some of you to imagine the Bill Lites you know today as ever having been one of those motorcycle bums all those many years ago. And I’m sure that, those of you who know me don’t believe I ever had enough hair for one of those hairdos. Well, just take a look at my sophomore year book photo.

5

Now I know, with the title of this blog, you were expecting to hear all about my first car, and it’s coming. I promise. It was a growing process, so hang in there, I’ll get to it (maybe in Part 2). At the super market I worked my way up to “Checker” (Cashier) that paid more and wasn’t near as hard work as carrying out armloads of heavy paper bags full of groceries to customer’s cars (in all kinds of weather), unloading truckloads of heavy boxes (at 4:00 am) and mopping/polishing floors. The lawn mowing jobs and the paper route went to others who would work for less.

—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to “My First Car~Part 1”

  1. victoriabenchley February 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    I used an old push mower on our front lawn as a kid. Funny, it seemed pretty easy, but when I tried one as an adult, I could barely push the thing (maybe it needed servicing!).

    Like

  2. Old Things R New February 10, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

    I’m sure your parents realized you were a responsible young man and that is why they didn’t mind the motorcycle. However, after the story you shared about the burning tires, I’m not so sure the bike was a good idea. Haha

    Like

  3. divoran09 February 10, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    I’m still as impressed with Bill’s ingenuity and hard work as I was at seventeen. He is a good catch in every way.

    Like

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