When I was a little kid, I had an amazing family of friends who were all super hunters and outdoor lovers. The first person I remember seeing on the streets of the big city was this little guy who was a little man with red hair and eyes. He had a red horse trailer with two long, square-topped horses and he was Wheeling it through the streets with his horse and carriage and a bunch of friends riding in the carriage behind him.
The ride was fun for them and they called him “Little Johnny” because he had a fabulous wagon trailer. It wasn’t long before Little Johnny came to the next city and decided to live in the house across the street from us. It turned out that Little Johnny was as crazy about cars as he was about horses. He said he wanted to show his “racer” at the race track and take it for a ride around the block.
It turned out that if you went to the races and you rode a car that looked like the one Little Johnny rode, you would get up on the horn. We always laughed when we saw how funny he was and we would put up a lot of money so that he could ride around on his unicorn. His friend was a real old-fashioned horse and he wouldn’t let anyone ride on his horse until he showed his new pony. It turns out that a real racer and an old-fashioned horse really do look alike and when you’re in the saddle, you think you’re in some kind of crazy dream.
So Grandpa took us along with him to the track one day and he pointed to a number that was painted on the side of the big trailer. It said “Racing Strip”. We always figured that this was another reference to his racy travels with his red hair and the red mustache that he had. Little Johnny was so excited to be in the racing crowd that he couldn’t wait to get out of the race track and hit the trails. He was really racy trailslinging around the big city and the streets. We thought it was very funny and we used to laugh and talk about it all the time. When we got back home Grandpa and I would put up the red wagon trailer on the porch and drive it back and forth to the trailer park. We’d lock the doors and then go over to the big screen TV and watch the races. He had many race horses and all of them raced in the same race and he had so much fun.
One day Little Johnny went off on his own and headed for the hills. I thought he was a little mad and I didn’t know why. He said that he wanted to ride the wild ponies all over the country. I was scared and I didn’t want him to go far away. It was a good thing that Grandpa knew how to get him home so that he could have a big ole party for himself and Grandma.
That little ride in the red wagon up to the race track and the few trips around the block are long gone. I love watching all of the vintage travel trailers all over the place. You can get just about any kind of vintage travel trailer on eBay and I’m sure that if I wanted to, I could find myself a trip around the race track trailer.
With so many wonderful memories coming back to me every time I see the red wagon, I feel like I have been so happy every time that I see it that I couldn’t resist looking up the locations of the race tracks and the trailer parks. I still have the place right next to my front door and it is where I put together my first games and things for my kids and grandkids.