Olive Through the Ages

Olive residents: Memories

Citizens and their homes | Biographies | Memories

Grove-ing adventures, about 1964
- by Gordon T. McClelland

When I was 13 going on 14 years old, and my friend Robert Moyes was 15 years old, his dad bought him a used Lambretta motor scooter. This was a major event in our lives at a time when a motorized anything was beyond cool. Robert was a somewhat crazy sort of character who liked pushing things to the limit which made hanging out with him very adventurous.

The scooter he was given had a running board to rest our feet, and two seats: one in front for the driver, and the other behind for a passenger. His dad only allowed Robert to drive, and we respected his wishes. The seating arrangement was actually quite comfortable since the seats had a fair amount of padding. For what we did, it was a good thing they were reasonably comfortable.

Robert’s dad didn't want him riding the scooter on the street since he did not have a license to do so. This meant we had to go off-road most of the time. The best off-road riding was found across the street on the Porter citrus ranch and in other nearby orange groves. This is why we called it grove-ing.

I’m not sure how fast that thing went, but it felt like 100 miles per hour when we were flying over the bumpy, dirt roads normally used for tractors or grove vehicles to tend the orange trees. Robert would crank up the engine and just pull the throttle back to wide open. We had dust, rocks, dirt and leaves flying all around us.

It’s hard to believe, but we were in bare feet, shorts, T-shirts, and no helmets. Just out in the wind, laughing, yelling, and flying through the orange groves at full speed. At one time or another, we probably went groving through every orange grove left in the Olive area. Robert also liked buzzing the egg ranch and watching the chickens go crazy with the noise and commotion.

Occasionally, the citrus- and egg-ranchers would yell at us, and on at least one occasion they shot at us with salt pellets that were available back then for air rifles. Thank God nothing bad happened to us, and all that remains are fond memories.

These wild adventures went on with some regularity for about a year. After that, the motor scooter broke down, and a short time later, Robert’s family moved away from the Olive area.


NOTE 1: See Robert ("Bob") Moyes' 4th grade and 5th grade class photos, and Gordon's 6th grade class photo.

NOTE 2: Click the 1964 USGS aerial photo of the Fletcher area where Gordon and Robert went "grove-ing" to view the image larger in a separate tab/browser.

USGS map of Fletcher area, 1964



Olive memories


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