Last Saturday, in Childersburg, Alabama, in the far recesses of a booth, on the back side of a picker’s paradise, I spotted an antique Flexoplane. A Flexoplane is a store-bought snow sled.
When I was a kid, each year, I drew a circle around one in the Sear’s catalogue. Now that I am far from being a kid anymore, I’m staring straight at one, and it is for sale. Believe it or not, I walked right out of there without buying it, but for several good reasons.
In my days of youthfulness, I slid down slick-covered hills on just about everything one could imagine, except a real, genuine, snow sled. We had hills, even mountains, and snow up there. I had everything a young’un needed to go sledding, except a sled, especially a Flexoplane.
Now that never stopped us from sledding and sliding. Some of our makeshift sleds worked fairly well, while others were dumb ideas. We tried sledding in cardboard boxes, No. 2 washtubs, truck-tire inner tubes, trashcan lids, or anything else we thought might slide. During my college days at Samford University, we used “borrowed” food trays from the cafeteria.
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One of my best ones was an old Coca-Cola sign that had been in front of my dad’s business. It was one of those large red signs, with two bowl-shaped metal sides mounted back-to-back. It was painted Coke red with white cursive letters that said “Coca-Cola.” Below that, was a white rectangular sign that said “King’s Coal and Building Supply.”
The entire thing had fallen down, or been knocked down, by something or someone. For the record, I am not denying or confessing anything, but just setting up the story.
Since it had been on the ground for quite some time, I figured its days of usefulness as a sign had come to an end.
I also figured its days as a sled were about to begin. My buddies and I disassembled that thing, attached a piece of inner-tube rubber to each side for a handle, and had ourselves a pair of Coca-Cola sleds. It was all downhill from there!
We slid down the big slope on the backside of Patton’s Pond until we almost wore off the logo, as well as the red paint. I’m not sure whatever became of our make-do sled, but when I see the price of those things in antique stores now, I wish I still had mine!
Now, I didn’t buy that Flexoplane for several reasons. I don’t live in northern Alabama anymore, and even up there it doesn’t snow like it once did. I now live in the plains of Alabama and plains have no mountains and few hills. I am not a boy anymore, and I could do bodily damage by acting like I still am. Besides all that, the price on that thing was $125.
If I could find my old Coca-Cola sign, I could sell it and buy that Flexoplane…but nowadays I’d rather just have my old sign back! Isn’t life funny?
Bill King is a minister, author, singer/songwriter, and performs humor as Bro. Billy Bob Bohannon (www.brobillybob.com). Contact him at email@example.com