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Segway

by
Niles Reddick

My wife said she thought Segway meant moving from one topic to the next, and I told her that word was spelled “segue” but sounded the same and was similar in that a Segway took people from one place to the next. We’d never tried the two-wheeled scooters before, and to rent one was seventy-five dollars an hour per person for the four of us to follow a guide around downtown Greenville, South Carolina, a town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The experience was a natural one for my wife and teens, but I lagged; my legs stiffened and cramped almost immediately. Steering, too, was problematic, and I lurched forward almost hitting an elderly couple on the sidewalk.

                The tour went through the West End of the city along Falls Park, but the best part to me was learning about the Greenville Spinners baseball history. From 1907 to 1962, the Greenville Spinners had been affiliated with major league teams including the Chicago White Sox, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, but what impressed me most was that Shoeless Joe Jackson (who became known to non-baseball fans in the movie Field of Dreams) started with the Spinners in 1908 and was a native to the area. Tommy Lasorda had also played with them in 1949, but the list of known baseball alumni was long.

                On the way back, we stopped on the Liberty Bridge that spanned the Reedy River in Falls Park downtown. The bridge was a curved, cantilevered, and cable work designed by Miguel Rosales, had won numerous design awards, and was unique to the United States. We gazed over the rails and listened to the water rushing over the boulders, and I wondered if the sounds were like what the Iroquois people must have experienced when they lived here by the river.

When the guide took off, my wife and teens followed closely behind, and I turned toward the bridge and slammed into the railing; the top half of my body lunged forward over the railing. My feet got caught up in the railing, or I would have splattered on the boulders in the river below.

              My screams were enough to make the picnickers below on the banks of the Reedy wince while a couple of joggers came to my rescue, backed up the Segway, and helped me down to the bridge’s deck. I looked ahead, and my wife and teens guffawed at my near-death experience while I muttered words not fit for anyone to hear.

                  I looked at the Segway, and a voice I recognized as my dad’s from my distant past came barreling across time and directed me to “Get back on and try again” just like he had when he removed the training wheels from my bicycle, and I’d fallen off and into the ditch, scraped my arm, turned red in the face, and got frustrated. I nodded, took his fifty-year-old advice, and passed my family and the guide.

Niles Reddick is author of a novel, three collections, and a novella. His work has been featured in over 500 publications including The Saturday Evening Post, New Reader Magazine, Forth Magazine, Citron Review, Nunum, Right Hand Pointing, and Vestal Review. He is a four-time Pushcart, three-time Best Micro, and three-time Best of the Net nominee. His newest flash collection 'If Not for You' was recently released by Big Table Publishing.

Website: http://nilesreddick.com/

Twitter: @niles_reddick

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