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Art & Inspiration The Red Racer-A Christmas Story

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Spooky, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,800

    Spooky
    Member

    Hello to all!
    It's been nearly 20 years since I wrote this story! I post it here every year for everone to enjoy. If you are a parent or grandparent and have little ones in the house, pull up a chair and read this to them. That was my goal all along. This is the final draft of the story and I hope everyone finds it as good as the first time I posted it.
    I hope everyone has an amazing fulfilling Merry Christmas!



    The Red Racer
    This is the story of a toy.
    Not just any toy, mind you, but a Cox Thimbledrome named Andrew. Andrew was made the
    day after Thanksgiving 1946.
    Now days every toy is manufactured the same way it seems. A design is agreed upon, it is
    then passed on to a committee, it is voted on, the idea is then designated a name. The name is
    appointed to a group. The group‟s design is then voted upon and then the board of directors
    votes and either approves the idea, decides to study the idea further, pass it on to another
    group, or kill the idea all together. If approved, the idea is passed onto the manufacturing
    process where the computer program is set forth. Finally, the toy is assembled by somebody
    pushing buttons.
    Back in 1946, toys were assembled mostly by hand by workers hoping to pass a good product
    into the hands of another person. Andrew rolled off of the assembly line surrounded by others
    who had just been built. Mostly, the other toys were powered by real engines. Real racers
    headed for the hands of older kids and young adults who would race the cars at parks or other
    such venues. Andrew was a push car.
    He had no engine but looked the part. Bright red paint, a cast side pipe, and hand brake were
    attached to his flanks. Up front he sported a cast aluminum grille and, on his blazing red paint
    job, a gold #2. He rolled on aluminum wheels with real rubber ribbed front tires and knobby
    style dirt track rear tires. Andrew was assembled to look like a real Kurtis Kraft Midget racer.
    The toys were all very excited. It was the season they had been told. Soon they would be in
    the hands of real humans who would play with them and love them. The toys were gathered
    up and packed up into boxes and shipped from Santa Ana, California, to the far corners of
    America. Andrew ended up in a place called Denver, Colorado. His shipping box was jostled
    about and then suddenly filled with light as the shipping box was broken open.
    He and four other racers were pulled out of boxes, quickly polished, and set out in the store‟s
    front window. Andrew was beside the other Thimbledromes which all had motors. They were
    on a shelf that overlooked an American Flyer train set that would chug its way through a tunnel
    and then come out of a far wall as a whistle sounded. There were other objects which surrounded
    him that he did not have names for. Outside the big area in front of him, he could see
    things happening that he had no idea what they were. The outside, which had a steady flow of
    things going back and forth, slowed down and finally stopped as it became dark and something
    was falling from the sky.
    A big voice was heard behind him.
    “Hello new toys and welcome. I am Grandfather Time and you are in the front window of
    Daniels and Fishers Department store. The other objects around you are other toys. The fellow
    below us is Hermy. He is an American Flyer train. The best on the market!” With that the
    train blew two short blasts from his whistle. “We have Shirley Temple dolls and Charlie
    McCarthey dolls here as well,” said the old clock. “Above us are a pair of airplane toys and a
    spaceship toy.”
    The grand old clock paused, all of the toys were hanging on his every word. “You are to be
    adopted by a child or larger human. This is a toy‟s purpose. To make those who own you
    happy. The things you see walk past the front window, that is the big thing separating us from
    the world outside, are humans. You will never fully live until you find a home.”
    Andrew let the words of the old clock sink in and let it imprint itself on his memory.
    “Home,” he thought. “That is what I want to find.” He watched outside the window and
    waited for the darkness to subside and light to return.
    So the night gave way to day, and the people began to stroll past the window once again.
    Some were in a hurry, and the smaller ones would stop and fog the glass staring and pointing
    at different toys. Each had a wish and would focus on the toy that caught their fancy.
    And it all began to happen as the clock said it would. The toys were picked up by humans and
    either returned or disappeared altogether. As toys were being sold off and others were placed
    in their spots in the front window. Andrew did his best to earn the respect of the little humans
    hoping to get a home. He made sure he was in the best lighting (only when he could, after
    hours when no one was around) to show off his bright red paint. But still, he sat as his siblings
    were purchased, leaving him alone.
    The pace of humans out front grew to a maddening pace and then slowed. There was a sound
    in the air the day no humans came to the store. Great bells were sounding outside, and a distant
    sound of singing.
    The grandfather clock told him that maybe it was not his season, maybe next year. Andrew
    did not understand and still tried to look his best for the humans that may happen to walk by.
    Then it happened. He was picked up and he was grateful. Could a home be in his future? Was
    this his day to revel in? But it was just a store employee moving him from the front window
    to make room for a winter apparel display.
    Andrew was placed in a box with decorations, moved to the back of the department store, and
    put into storage. It must have been the wrong box for the darkness the little red racer endured
    seemed to last a very long time. What he didn‟t know was that the box he had been placed in
    had been accidentally placed on a cart for store records and had been rolled into long term
    storage.
    Daniels and Fisher eventually merged with the May company, and the big building in which
    Andrew had first discovered the outside world was closed and set for demolition. Workers
    were assigned to go through the store and salvage any merchandise that could turn a profit.
    Some remaining toys were to be donated to a local hospital. A last minute opening of an old
    box discovered Andrew.
    He looked like new and the worker who found him smiled. His first thought was to pack the
    racer into his backpack and take the old relic home, but he decided to send it off to the hospital.
    The racer was put into a box and was jostled about while he rolled across town to Mercy
    Hospital. This was to be his new home.
    The box was opened, and Andrew was placed upon the floor and given a push. What a feeling!!
    He felt like screaming with joy as his wheels created a unique whirring noise on the
    hard waxed linoleum floor. Andrew felt the still air turn to wind as his speed picked up. Then,
    as quickly as it had been there, it was gone. He wanted to feel that again! Free and fast he
    felt! But the worker picked him up and placed him into a box in which other toys had been
    placed.
    Once again Andrew waited patiently in the dark. Finally, a blazing light pierced the darkness
    as the lid of the box was opened. He was lifted out and placed on the floor. The hand gripping
    him felt different this time. It was smaller and seemed filled with care. A Child held the racer
    up and made some inaudible noises-bbbbbbbbbbbbb-and raced him across the floor.
    Again that feeling of bliss. Andrew felt like this was his home now. He was going to be
    loved, and things would be good from now on. Many different children played with him. He
    lost his side pipe with an incident involving a chair leg, but no matter. He loved his new life.
    His paint was chipped in places and he thought nothing of it.
    One day a new boy arrived. He could barely make the noises the other kids made but really
    attached himself to the car. In fact, this child was able to take the car to his room when it was
    deemed rest time for him. One day a larger pair of humans came to visit the boy. Andrew
    heard the larger say to the little boy,
    “Son what do you have there? WOW!!”
    Andrew was lifted out of the child‟s hands, and the adult looked at the little red racer carefully.
    “Now that is a really neat toy! Man, I have not seen one of these since I was a kid!!” The
    adult smiled as he held the racer and then returned it to his son‟s hands.
    Andrew felt special. Was this what it felt like to be loved? The boy was gentle with the racer
    and seldom let it fly across the room. He and his Dad would play with Andrew rolling him
    back and fourth, always careful not to bounce him off the furniture. Then, just as Andrew was
    settling in to his new life, the boy went away. He was better and it was his time to go home.
    The boy cried for the red racer.
    “I want to take it home!” he cried, but the boy‟s mother gently explained how other kids
    needed special toys to play with; that the little racer was a great toy and would be best left
    here in the hospital where other kids could enjoy it.
    The little boy subdued his crying, but claimed he would never forget the race car. Never.
    Andrew remained in the hospital play room, again experiencing the hands of new children
    and adults alike. He would love it when a new kid would pick him up and cart him off to
    their room. A temporary home away from the other toys.
    As time slipped by, the other toys came and went more frequently. Most were more pliable
    than he. “Plastic” is what one toy Mustang claimed he was made of. Andrew wondered where
    the other toys like him were. It had been a long time since he had seen another racer like himself.
    Were they happy in their homes? He wondered this one day as a concerned mother lifted
    Andrew and took him to a nurse.
    “Excuse me, just how is it that this dangerous toy is amongst our poor sick children?”
    The nurse gave the concerned mother a blank look.
    “Let me explain, this toy is made of metal!” Another blank stare. “Our children could be hurt
    by this toy! Does the term LAWSUIT mean anything to you?!?”
    This, the nurse understood and took the racer from the concerned mother. That night a couple
    of workers rounded up any toys that could be considered dangerous and placed them into a
    box. Once again Andrew‟s world was plunged into darkness. And it was long lasting this
    time.
    Andrew did not know if he were actually still together or had been disposed of. What if this
    was his end? He had heard about The End one night while in the department store window.
    Grandfather Clock had been answering questions from the toys when a Raggedy Ann doll
    asked, ”Grandfather, is there an End?”
    A strange quiet fell around the room. The wind howled outside, and a swirling of snow
    flashed by the window. Grandfather sighed. This question he had answered so many times
    and each time it was never easier. He spoke.
    ”Yes. Yes there is. Some toys will be loved so much they have but no chance of survival. Be
    it a doll losing her stuffing or a train‟s motor failing to pull a load, the End for toys is sometimes
    inevitable. Many here will meet an end. Cast off to the side and forgotten. This is not
    the time for you to know of The End. Revel in life and enjoy what is ahead of you.”
    Andrew had taken these word to heart and feared The End. He wished for so much more but
    began to think about his existence. The department store window, the smiles of children looking
    at him through the glass, the hospital years, and especially the little boy who wanted to
    take him home.
    Home. A word that was larger than life itself. Andrew wished for a Home. That was what he
    had always wanted. So, he rested in the dark. He and a collection of other toys deemed dangerous
    for sick or recovering children in a hospital play room. And as before, the box was
    jostled one day and was suddenly being transferred across town. A Tonka Dune Buggy next
    to him screamed in the dark-“IT‟S THE END! I KNOW IT!!!”
    Andrew was startled to hear this. The other toys remained silent. Each awaiting there own
    fate quietly. Remembering happy days outside of the lonely box.
    Then as before, the box was opened. Andrew was removed from the box and ,though it was
    an adult who carried him, he was handled with the greatest of ease. The adult paused at a big
    workbench and proceeded to clean the old racer. He used a tooth brush and wax to bring the
    shine back to the red paint. Carefully, he polished the aluminum parts and used some cleaner
    on the red racer‟s tires. The adult gave Andrew a final polish and gently set him on a very old
    wooden floor and gave the racer a push. Andrew‟s old wheels carried him a short distance,
    and he stopped. Frowning, the adult lifted the racer and sprayed something on the axles.
    Again, he set the racer down and gave a push. Andrew felt the still air turn to wind as he
    sailed across the floor. The adult gave a great whoop and chased after the little red racer. Andrew
    felt like he may have a second chance. A chance to find a Home after all.
    The adult picked up the racer and placed Andrew in a small wooden case. He was next to an
    old baseball card (Joe Dimagio 1953), a set of Aviator glasses with the case, and a Buddy L
    Corvair pickup truck. Across from him on the other side of the room was a big old grandfather
    clock. Andrew wondered if it was the same one from the department store but knew better
    because this one was still and the pendulum was not swinging.
    After dark, conversations were exchanged, and everyone spoke of their value and where they
    were from. Andrew only knew the plant where he was made, the department store, and the
    hospital. The term “value” meant nothing for him.
    A doll stood up and exclaimed how she was a first edition Barbie and had all of her accessories.
    She told the room she was very valuable and that she was most likely to go for a huge
    amount. A stuffed bear told the room he was a very rare Beanie and that being handed out at
    the All Stars game made him worth THOUSANDS.
    The whole night went like this. Andrew finally asked if anyone was just interested in finding
    a home. The room erupted in laughter. The red racer thought about this „til dawn. He did not
    want to know his value. Just to find a home.
    The next day, the store opened with a flurry of business. There was a flood of people coming
    in and out. The faces were of older people, and a few children wafted in and out. But none
    stopped to stare longingly at the toys. A woman stopped in front of the racer„s display case
    and soon was holding Andrew. She carried him to the front and Andrew sighed as he was put
    into a box again. But he had his hopes up this time. The woman had spoken excitedly about
    how her husband had played with a car like this as a child and had been searching for one
    since. Maybe, thought Andrew, just maybe he would find a home this year.
    He sat in the darkness and waited. And waited. Until that fateful day when he was passed
    around and placed next to me some other boxes. He heard the muffled voices of people tearing
    paper and opening boxes. He hoped he would be opened and not set to the side like the
    other times in his past. As his box was opened, the eyes looking at him were much older but,
    this time, familiar. The face was the same save for the years that had ticked by.
    The man smiled the same smile as the boy who had played with him so many years earlier.
    It was Christmas 1996. 50 years of waiting but, finally, Andrew the red racer had found a
    home.
    Mark “Spooky” Karol-Chik
     

    Attached Files:

    coupe man, 35desoto, Budget36 and 4 others like this.
  2. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,800

    Spooky
    Member

    The VERY best to you and yours. Thanks for reading my stories everyone. Hopefully, this next year finds me with a really cool early 1960's Galaxie or '53-'55 F-100 or '60 Edsel!
    Cheers!
     
    35desoto and Deuces like this.
  3. 35desoto
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 764

    35desoto
    Member

    Please dont stop posting this
    I read it every year and never get tired of it

    Sent from my SM-J600G using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Deuces and Spooky like this.
  4. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,800

    Spooky
    Member

    I really appreciate that! I will post it every year.
    Thanks!
     
    Deuces likes this.

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