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Michael Campbell

English 101 / Section # 3002

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Dr. Carabas

Essay #1: Narrative

Childhood Memories Coming Full Circle

From the age of six I have always had a love of auto racing. From Can-Am series, Formula 1, or even Sprint cars I just could not get enough. The old plastic model cars lined the shelves of my room and I became quite good at assembling and painting them. On Saturdays I would wake up early in the morning, do my chores, get my allowance and grab my best friend Horace moody and head to Buzz-A- Rama slot car Raceway. Buzz-A-Rama was and still is located at Church Avenue and Dahill Road in Brooklyn, New York.

Slot cars are miniature cars that are driven by an electric motor and powered by electricity flowing through braids in the track. The car has a guide at the front of the car that keeps the car on the track and in its lane. The guide at the front of the car also contains two copper braided wire conductors on each side of the guide and they are connected to the motor inside the car.

A 1970 Plymouth Barracuda or ???cuda??? as they were nicknamed was one of my first slot cars. When I began slot car racing I purchased fully assembled cars that were ready to race.
The ready to race slot cars were bulky and slow but built strong enough to withstand crashes with other cars and running off the track from going too fast around a curve.

I remember my Aunt Loretta giving me an old brown briefcase that I proudly adorned with racing stickers advertising Fram filters and Hurst Shifters. My family could not afford to buy one of the fancy car cases that the bigger kids and adults had but I was proud of my case. I created cardboard dividers that kept my cars and controller protected and organised. I even had an area that I kept parts and other necessary items.

My Grandparents raised me and were quite protective of both myself and my younger brother Craig. From the very beginning they expressed concern for me taking two buses to get to the track especially if I went alone. While the bus service was good there were many areas that Black people could not go without being attacked by white residents. Over time they became comfortable with my travelling there and every Saturday I walked to the bus with my little brown briefcase. If I stayed past dark my Grandparents would come and pick me up because the risk of being hurt was far greater. Unfortunately these dangerous areas still exist within the five Boroughs of New York City.

I eventually began building my own cars and competing in races. I never won but it was exciting and I couldn??™t wait for Saturday so I could race again.
I am not really sure what made my interest in Slot car racing fade but I would suspect that girls had a lot to do with it.

As years passed I went back to Buzz-A-Rama but this time as a parent. I believe it was in June or July of 1996 and I was married. I took my wife Anita and my three children Krystle, Cory and Kelly while on vacation from Virginia.

When we arrived I was quite amazed to see the owner still behind the counter and children still racing their cars. When I came to the counter the owner still remembered me. His nickname was Buzz and I am not really sure if I ever knew his real name. We had a great time reminiscing and my kids all got to race on the very track I raced on as a kid. Seeing them having so much fun doing something that I enjoyed as a child was an incredible experience and one that will always touch my heart.

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