Scootin#039; up and down Commerce

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas has come early this year to the Grayson household. That's right. I finally got it. I finally got my scooter from the ABC-TV show &#8220My Kind of Town.” And some of you probably saw me putt-puttin' up and down Commerce Street this past Sunday.

I must admit my initial experience on the scooter was not a good one. It involved me, my brother, Lamar, a case of the giggles, and a flowerbed. After I extricated my scooter and me from my mother's flowerbed, I, greatly embarrassed, watched as my brother Lamar picked himself up off the ground from where he was laughing so hard.

&#8220Where's your helmet?” he asked. &#8220You don't have any business on that thing without your helmet.”

Yes, sir.

It's true, though.

Well, this past Sunday I got back on it, determined to conquer this newfangled contraption, while all the time wondering what happened to being able to ride a bicycle.

Actually, it was a lot easier than I thought. After I rode it up and down Primitive Baptist Street a few times, I got a little braver. Here I go gunning it past the church right over the small hill my brother Britt and I used to jump our bikes over as kids.

After scaring myself a couple of times, as well as several squirrels and a cat, I took to the streets.

Sunday was the perfect day to try out my new scooter around town and around the neighborhood because there were so few cars. I thought to myself that if I didn't cause an accident by having a wreck, I might cause one with all of the people pointing and waving to me.

I'm gliding down Hickory Street with Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in mind, but somehow I don't think I gave the same impression as they did in &#8220Easy Rider.” Oh, well. I can dream.

Riding past Mr. Jim McBride's old store, the Butler County Tractor Company, I thought about the strong, clean smell of leather you always got whenever you went in there. I was always so spellbound by the beautiful saddles Mr. McBride had in that store.

There is that long curve that runs next to his store building on South Conecuh and behind the old Butler County Health Department building, which is now the courthouse annex. As I came gliding around that curve, I vividly remembered the wipeout I had on a wet day about thirty years ago in which the skin on my knees and elbows have yet to recover.

When I was in the fifth grade, I got a brand new, beautiful royal blue bike for Christmas. (By the way, my scooter is blue, too.) I was so excited. I remember having questions, however, seeing how Santa's elves forgot to remove all the Western Auto/Jones'Firestone tags. Anyway, that Christmas was special because of my new bike, and so is this one.

What's the matter with you, Sam?

Oh, yeah, I forgot.

Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, still wants me to get a sidecar for my scooter so he can ride along with me.

Now, where do you suppose I'm going to find a helmet to fit him?

Regina Grayson is a reporter with the Greenville Advocate.

She can be reached at 334-383-9302, ext. 126 or via e-mail at