Of Deals and Wheels

School would start in three weeks and twin brothers Leroy and Bubba Hicks had not bothered to get summer jobs. They would be sixteen years old in the fall and desperately wanted a car. Their father had told them to get jobs during the summer and save their money to buy one. Instead, they had played all summer and had no money.


With time running out and their father adamant about "no job - no money - no car," they decided they would have a car before school started.


Henry, a neighbor who had been working all summer for a car by getting up before daylight and delivering newspapers asked Leroy and Bubba to deliver the papers the next day while he was visiting his grandmother. They agreed the payment would be a "Wham-O" slingshot. Leroy and Bubba realized this was their big opportunity!


They started early and were finished at 7:00 AM. They went by Henry's and his mother gave them the slingshot. They were off and running. After playing with it a little while, they went to Ralph's house and talked him into trading his "Jimmy Walker U Control" model airplane with an "OK CUB 49" gas engine he had crashed the day before. All they had to do to it was glue the tail back on.


Leroy and Bubba knew that their friend Willie had just gotten in trouble about his Daisey Red Ryder BB gun and some firecrackers and was hiding them from his father. They traded him the airplane for his BB gun and a dozen cherry bombs he had hidden under his bed.


Buddy, who lived down the street had also just gotten in trouble with Willie and his dad had taken his BB gun away. Leroy and Bubba knew he desperately wanted his gun back. They also knew that he had a Raleigh English bicycle that only needed the chain fixed. They traded him the BB gun and 2 cherry bombs for the bike and traded 3 cherry bombs to the son of the hardware store owner for repair links for the chain.


After repairing the bicycle, the brothers went to Johnny who lived on the other side of town and traded the bicycle for a Cushman Motorscooter which Johnny could not crank. Leroy and Bubba took turns pushing the scooter to a filling station near their house. The mechanic, a friend of theirs, said it only needed new spark plugs and gas. Since they still had no money they talked him into trading them a spark plug and some gas for 3 cherry bombs.


It was only 2:00 in the afternoon and they were riding! But there was one small problem. The scooter was not big enough for both brothers to ride at the same time. They needed something bigger. The mechanic knew about a Sears Allstate Motorcycle that would not run in Sam's shed.


Quickly, with Leroy riding and Bubba trotting along behind, they found the motorcycle. It was in the shed, dirty, and had two flat tires. The brothers talked Sam, who was two years older but still in the same grade at school, into trading so he could ride now.


On the long walk back to the filling station in the hot sun pushing the motorcycle, Leroy and Bubba began to wonder if they had made a mistake. When they got back their friend the mechanic helped them check out the motorcycle. Again they were lucky; it only needed the two tires fixed and gas. Quickly, a deal was struck trading the remaining 4 cherry bombs for the tire repair and gas. Now both could ride at the same time.


Only there was on small problem. They knew their mother would not allow them to ride a motorcycle. Something had to be done and quickly before she found out!


The car they wanted was a 1949 Ford Coupe on blocks behind an old house down the street. They rode over and began talking with its owner. Soon, they had traded the motorcycle for the car.


The final deal was done. Leroy and Bubba were pushing the old Ford up the driveway as the sun was setting, when their dad drove in. Of course he was impressed with his sons' business acumen when they explained the day's dealings. In fact, he was so impressed that he joined them in restoring the project. Leroy and Bubba had the coolest car in school when they turned sixteen.


By the way .......poor Henry is still delivering papers and saving his money.