Every year, around the beginning of October, my library hosts an event called "Touch-a-Truck". As the name implies it's a children's program set-up to let the young ones explore trucks and other interesting vehicles up close. Being that motorscooters are something of a "kid friendly" mode of transportation, I usually offer to have my scooter available for the program. It's also common for me to enlist some of my scooter owning friends to put in an appearance too (the more the merrier!). While their first reaction is usually alarm (at the prospect of toddlers climbing on their bikes) they typically come around and agree to risk a little exposure to the 3-8 old set.
This year was no different, and I was lucky to have my friends Mike (proud owner of a Vespa ET150) and Mark (Vespa GranTurismo) take part in representing scooterists everywhere at the 2009 edition of "Touch-a-Truck". Joining us in the two-wheeled corral were a couple other bike owners who pitched in with an early '80s Honda Passport and an Aprilia Cento50. The other notable "non-truck" entry on hand was a 1966 Jaguar sedan (MK 2 if I'm not mistaken) that was a show stopper. While not mint by any stretch, it had that certain integrity that comes from being all original, well-maintained, and unrestored.
In the truck category there was a wide variety of types on hand; from dump trucks to bucket trucks to fire engines to moving vans. As Mark pointed out though, our scooters "held their own" against many of the larger vehicles. I expect there's something about scooters - perhaps the round lines and small wheels, or maybe the ease of access - that's particularly appealing to kids. In any event, Mark was right, there were times when every scooter was occupied and kids were waiting for a turn.
I think the kids are just adorable and seeing them at this event charms me to no end. I love having them at the Library (we always have a special storytime first), and I love the enthusiasm they show when given the chance to explore and use their imaginations. "Touch-A-Truck" has really become a family event and something I expect parents and their children look forward to. I know I do. I give "Touch-A-Truck" at Northwest Library a big thumbs up! (...and Lightning Bug Louie says "Check it out", too!).