By Chuck Woodbury
Never in my semi-long life have I ever wanted anything as badly as I wanted this moped. Never.
It showed up in the Sears Holiday Catalog back in the 1950s.
When I was a really little kid I didn’t pay much attention to it. I was too busy in the toy section, where I could spend hours checking out electric trains. Maybe Santa would bring me one. It happened a couple of times — a Marx passenger train when I was 5, and then an American Flyer Hartford and New Haven passenger train when I was about 10. My mother later sold the Marx train, or maybe she gave it away. I saw it in an antique store 20 years ago for $250.
WHEN I GOT A LITTLE OLDER, maybe 12 or so, I began dreaming of driving, My train fascination was over. Now, it was the moped — the one that occupied the better part of a page in the Sears Catalog. It was beyond wonderful. I lusted for it — really, really bad! I could envision myself cruising down the road, Joe Cool! Alas, my $1 a week allowance wasn’t getting me there after kid expenses like buying root beer and red licorice at Fred’s Market. My parents weren’t enthusiastic about the moped. I’m telling you, it was hard to lust for that each Christmas and come up empty!
Even now, if I close my eyes and think about that moped, I can feel the same warm and fuzzy feeling that gushed through me back then. I can’t explain it. You probably know.
When I was about 40 I bought a small Yamahopper motorcycle. It was basically a moped without pedals. I carried it on the back of my motorhome. One day, driving in the right lane of an Interstate, I noticed a car slowly passing by, barely creeping ahead. A little boy in the back seat stared at me. I knew exactly what he was thinking: He had seen the Yamahopper! I saw the yearning in his eyes … “If only.” I felt his pain.
I never got the moped. But to this day, it remains the most lusted thing I wanted, at least until I turned 18 when major testosterone kicked in and life was all about finding a woman.