Pick-A-Day

September 2021
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Kids, Alike

This morning I was reading Metropolitan Diary, one of my favorite weekly columns in The New York Times.

It’s a collection of little vignettes about life in the Big Apple. People submit their stories about every day encounters and the best are published; like Overheard in NY, but more severely edited, so it’s better.

Today included this little gem:

When my son, who lives in New Orleans, brought his wife and 3 ½-year-old son to New York recently, the boy was thrilled to see snow for the first time.

But that thrill was superseded by the sight of a huge snowplow making its way up Madison Avenue.

Since trucks and huge vehicles are his present fascination, he vigorously waved to the plow operator, his enthusiasm quite clear. He had seen snowplows only in books.

He and his family, talking about this event as they slowly walked up the avenue, were most surprised when the snowplow appeared again and came to a stop right near them.

He and his family, talking about this event as they slowly walked up the avenue, were most surprised when the snowplow appeared again and came to a stop right near them.

It was charming and cute—and it was the first thing that popped into my mind this afternoon when I was walking home. Down the street from where I live there is a construction project that’s created a large hole in the street, and as I walked past, several large trucks were moving things about, and just on the other side of the nearby fence were several kids and their parents, sitting and watching the construction.

It reminded me that whilst I was in Denver, the day that I walked down to Perk Hill in the midst of a snow storm, I happened to walk past a mother who’d opened up her garage door and was standing there with her son, watching the approaching garbage truck.

Strange, I don’t have the same fascination with garbage trucks today that I had when I was a kid, but I remember going to the alley and watching the garbage men pick up our trash, and then watching the back of the truck swallow it all up.

I guess little kids (boys?) of all generations and all places on the planet share a common love of garbage trucks, snow plows, and large trucks.

4 comments to Kids, Alike

  • I don’t remember being so fascinated with trucks and that sort of thing, but I was always fascinated by things that spin. Wheels, fans, saws, jet engines, windmills, etc.

    I think I have some sort of affliction. *ugh* I’m still fascinated by ceiling fans and jet engines starting up, and I’ve never been able to explain it. I can just sit there and watch them.

  • I guess little kids (boys?) of all generations and all places on the planet share a common love of garbage trucks, snow plows, and large trucks.

    I’m 31. I can’t turn away from those “Incredible Machines” or whatever shows on the Discovery Channel or ntv or anywhere showing cranes taller than mountains, dumptrucks built AROUND Andorra, or the Building-Chomper things that eat through rebar like ligament-ridden chicken.

  • Missing final paragraph: “More waving, and then the plow operator stepped down from his perch, picked up the little boy and sat him on the plow for a brief moment, providing an experience in friendly New York City that he will never forget.”

    For me it was those huge Saturn rockets. All I wanted to be was an astronaut. And after they told me I wasn’t physically able: an aerospace engineer.

    Of course, I ended up as a writer.

  • @cq: I don’t need to watch things start to spin, but I do like listening to electrical powered trains start to build up speed. I can hear the subtle differences in sound and for some reason it is interesting to me.

    @Cliff: I’ve been addicted to Discovery channel in the past. I avoid turning on these channels, although I have to confess I was once mesmerized by BahnTV, watching a camera aimed out the front of a train from Leipzig to… perhaps Chemnitz. I watched a good 45 minutes of the trip.

    @domoni: doh! Thanks for posting the last paragraph. I failed to notice that I’d omitted it. Bad Me. The space thing only caught my fancy in terms of Challenger and of Star Trek… Not quite the same things.