sim·ple [sim-puhl] adjective
1.easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools.
2.not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style.
3.not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown.
4.unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.
5.not complicated: a simple design.
I wanted to start a business when I was eleven years old. My neighbor, Johnny, and I would throw the baseball back and forth across the street for hours. Endless summers. I told him I wanted him to be my business partner. We did everything together. We played baseball, football, basketball, and rode our bikes to go fishing. That’s when the idea struck home. Fishing!
When we went fishing we had to ride our bikes for four miles to buy some fishing worms.
Let’s sell Fish Worms!
I checked out the prices of the competition. I knew our house was just a few blocks from the main highway that led to two major lakes, two rivers and a popular fishing creek. It was a gold mine.
I enthusiastically explained my business plan to mom and dad over supper (we ate supper in the mid-west…dinner was at noon…lunch was something you took to work in a sack). My practical dad said, “Son, where are you going to find the worms?”
“Dad, you can scoop them up by the dozens on any golf green all night long.”
“Son, how are you going to get to a golf green late at night?”
“You could take us, Johnny and me.”
As dad inhaled deeply and his chest swelled up in a negative bloat, my mom laid her hand across his and said, “Jimmy, I think that’s a wonderful idea.”
And it was.
Dad would drip a cold washcloth on my face to wake me up around midnight. I would stagger to the phone and call Johnny. He would stumble across the street with his bucket of peat moss and a flashlight and off we’d go. Off to the local country club where we would scoop up night crawlers (big fat worms) as fast as we could grab them. Some nights we would capture over a 1000.
We kept them in our basement in huge wooden boxes filled with peat moss. I put a sign on the telephone pole that said…Night-Crawlers–35 cents a dozen…3 dz. for a dollar. Fishermen started ringing our back doorbell at 5 am every Saturday and Sunday. Since “the boys” had only been in bed a few hours, my mom would get up and sell the worms. We had them pre-packaged in soup cans of a dozen each or large cans with 3 dozen. We had thousands of worms and we would keep the overflow across the street at Johnny’s house. We closed up business when school started in September.
My first year I made $800 (I told you it would be a gold mine). My second summer I made $1200 and rushed out and bought a motor-scooter.
I loved my German Zundap Bella motor scooter. I believe it was one of the only ones in town. Everybody had those ugly green Vespas back then.
If you did the math, you have already figured I was only 13 when I got my motor scooter. Still three years away from “legal.” My parents trusted me to be “smart” and “careful” and I was. I was never pulled over or had any trouble.
When I turned sixteen I had my scooter “souped-up” and drove it at the drag strip.
I drove my “Bella” for the next 15 years. I drove it to work, to play softball, and to the Frozen Custard.
Things would have been worse if I had taken scooter-driving-lessons from this guy below. I do believe he is the world’s worst motor scooter driver.