Olive Through the Ages
and their homes | Biographies
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.