Five years ago I found myself at the Alaska State Fair on a crisp August day. I was taken by the large cabbages that people had been tending to for week’s on end. I was captivated by the lumberjacks who could hurl axes through the air and hit a target with the precision of a sharp-shooter. I was tempted by the aroma of funnel cakes and cotton candy. However, the largest temptation of my day came from a ride on a Segway, formerly known as “IT,” whenever the inventor was interviewed on television.
I saw that I could ride “It,” I mean, the Segway, for a nominal fee. There was a Segway Course set up on the Fairgrounds so that people could test-drive them on a grassy field. Knowing that there’s no way I would be getting one of these gizmos for use in Manhattan, where I lived at the time, I wanted to hop on one anyway.
After signing a waiver, donning a helmet, and receiving a brief tutorial, I was off and riding around the grassy course. I shifted my body weight from front to back and side to side in order to get the Segway to go where I wanted it to go. It took about five minutes to get the hang of it, but once I did, I found myself whooshing across the grass with the late-summer wind in my face with the snow-capped peaks surrounding me. This was way better than walking!
Alas, my fifteen minutes passed quickly. Soon I would step-off the Segway, turn-in my helmet, and head back to the rides, quilt displays, and concession stands. However, those fifteen minutes in time, on a responsive machine that made me sail on the ground, are embedded in my memory. My short ride’s memories through that grassy field bordered by white-capped mountains, will last a lifetime.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.