Nov 18, 2008


I grew up in a house on a large corner lot, the corner of Union Street and Gillespie Street in Schenectady, New York.  My older brother Bill and I had two major duties -- cutting the grass in the summer and shoveling snow in the winter.  We tried various ways of dividing up the work and no matter how we split things up each of us was convinced that the other one got the best deal.

Thus it was that I rejoiced when in 1948 my father bought a 20" Eclipse Rocket gasoline-powered lawn mower.  Suddenly, I wanted to cut the grass!  For the next several years I was the grass cutter.  I loved that machine.  I tinkered with it, putting a larger carburetor on it.  I filed down the detents on the governor to make it run faster.  I rigged it up with a harness to my old red wagon, and having mounted a seat, I drove it up and down the street.  Mike Leding and I argued endlessly whether reel mowers or rotaries did a better job of cutting grass.  That lawn mower was tough and lasted for many, many years.  Only God knows whatever happened to it.  Part of its legacy is that I still love engines and machinery.  I have, however, outgrown my love for mowing grass.

Recently, I ran across this old ad for that great old lawn mower.

No comments: