Recently I was watching some boys doing their stuff with skate boards and was astounded when I found out how much these cost. Wow, a king's ransom.
Back in my days we used to have skooters which were home-made and, indeed, a joy to behold.
In those days we used to drop in and see Mr. & Mrs. Sam Polito who operated a fruit and vegetable store on the corner of Kent St. E. and Lindsay St. N. and asked if they happened to have an orange crate around the premises that we might have. Both Sam and Mrs. Polito were very congenial people and if they didn't have one in stock they would promise to save one for us. Sure enough, if we called back when they told us to, we would find Phil, Sal, Dom or Roy (in their parent's absence) and tell them what we were there for. Sure enough the boys would have been told who was coming in for an orange crate and away we would go with our prize. Step one in making our skooter!
Once at home we would take a roller skate, take it apart and get a 2x4 about four feet in length and nail the front roller to the board and the rear rollers to the rear end of the board. Next we turned the board over and nailed it to the orange crate dead center. We then nailed a stick, which usually measured about two feet long and about one inch square, and there we had our handle and were ready to take off down the street with pretty good speed.
One thing the guys used to do was to try to dress their skooter up a little by tacking tin can lids to the front of the crate to make it appear as if it had headlights on it and we would be delighted if father happened to have kept last year's car license plates around so we could attach one to the front, usually above the "lights". Some guys were lucky enough to hit Ab Bissette up for an old read reflector. "Ab", who had a local bicycle shop, usually had the odd one kicking around, and was always happy to help us out. These skooters were a great blessing, especially if we were sent to pick up a few groceries because we just placed them in our crate and off we'd not have to lug them in our arms.
Back then you used to see more of these "skooters" at school than you did bicycles.
Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Polito made a lot of kids owners of a great means of transportation. Any wonder they were held, as is their family, in great esteem in Lindsay and area.