Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

-Albert Einstein


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Early Go Carts

When I was a kid we spent as little time indoors as possible and only came home when my dad whistled. This is a short story about one of the things we did for fun and how my training of my younger brother helped him develop the skills needed as a commercial pilot.

Back in the days shortly after the invention of the wheel and many years prior to machines that run on fossil fuel, we would build wooden carts. These were the ancestors of the modern go-cart. After a number of random genetic mutations cars eventually appeared, but they had to start somewhere.

Our carts were designed with wheels, a plank to sit on and a wooden box, if you wanted a deluxe model. A sturdy two-by-four with ropes was the front axle and steering device. Best of all – there were no seat belt or safety devices of any kind. We had a stripped-down model and we always crashed, but that was the fun of it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My daughters like to read stories of my childhood, so here's a quick one.

I was talking to an old friend recently who says he woke up in the middle of the night laughing about a trick Dick Whitaker and I played on someone back when we were kids. He thought it was funny, but it could have had severe consequences. He dreamt about this 60 years after the event, but as you age things from long, long ago pop into your mind despite the fact that you can’t find your wallet and can’t remember what you did yesterday.

When I was a kid I had an old army M1 training rifle. It wasn’t real, but during WWII they used these for training soldiers, saving the real ones for the war effort. Years later I carried a real one. This mock M1 looked real and on this particular occasion Dick and I had the brilliant idea of putting a firecracker in the barrel of the gun and…Well, here’s what happened.