Interest atrophy

Over the years I’ve found that certain of my interests have atrophied. As I was growing up I was always making or doing something in our home basement workshop. I would spend hours lost in the construction of some mechanical thingamabob. Sawing, drilling, sanding, and painting stuff. The time would just disappear until my mother called down saying it was supper.

At one point the tweens around the block were into anything with wheels on it. We made wooden cars that we’d push each other around in. They started with 2x4s frames, and bolts through cheap wheels into the end of the 2×4. Next we learned about axles held in by u-bolts, and rope steering. Then one of us got an old engine, a few pullys, and a belt mounted on an old wooded door. In time we graduated to mini-bikes with 4 cycle Briggs and Stratton engines, and go-karts with 2-cycle West Bend engines, centrifigal clutches, and chain-drive. Yet we never graduated to cars, instead the group grew older and went their own ways.

After university graduation and getting my first job (that is, I was no longer poor) I bought and raced a Margay go-kart with 125cc McCulloch engine at Cuddebackville, New York. I ran gas, but I’ll never forget the sweet exhaust smell of an engine running alcohol and caster oil. Yet slowly my interest changed, and I finally sold everything a few years later.

That was about 30 years ago. Now I don’t putter in the workshop. My kids never really showed any interest in karting. Recently I went to a local go-kart track and was surpised how much has changed and how little has changed. But somehow this interest has atrophied – or has it?

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