How did we ever get here from there? Have I truly gone too far this time? And perhaps most perplexing, how have I(we) kept this a secret for almost two weeks now??? Gentlefolk, submitted for your approval: the depths of my collecting madness, or one helluva sweet ride.
This is an emotional tale. On one hand, I feel a swell of pride in my chest for having “taken one for the team”. It sounds strange–I know. But ultimately, this was something that had to enter the fold. One of the massholes had to take possession of this thing…for the sake of the community. And honestly, “possession” isn’t even the right word. This isn’t a thing one can possess. One can only strive to be a worthy custodian of this item. Someone who cares for, preserves, and even restores a treasure–for the good of us all and for the good of future generations.
And on the other hand, the drunken frat boy in me is straight out his damn mind over this score! Guys, I bought a fucking Grendizer coin-operated kiddie ride.
It all started a couple Mondays ago. On the morning of the 9th, still bleary-eyed from the rude interruption of my weekend, I was greeted by an e-mail from JoshB with the images above, urging someone to adopt this unlikely piece of ephemera. All the usual suspects were copied. The idea was for one of us local Beantowners to buy this thing and haul it down from Salisbury on the north shore of Massachusetts, where it once thrilled (and likely baffled) kids from within a now-closed arcade.
Who would step up to the plate and throw down?
Was there ever any doubt?
The decision was made before I even started my computer. But the tone of the conversation was quite clear: this WAS going to become part of the family. There was no doubt. At any point.
Josh helped put me in touch with Nick, the seller from Salisbury, and he turned out to be a solid dude. The “Goldrake” on the side of the unit threw him off, but with a little research, he quickly found CDX, headquartered north of Boston. Seemed only natural for Nick to contact Josh and ask about ride and see if there would be any interest in buying it. Oh yes.
On Tuesday, I finally talked to Nick on the phone. He was eager to move the ride…and, honestly, I was eager to get it off his front lawn and somewhere safe (my mother’s garage!). The following evening, there was a bit of a false start when Dave, stalwart as ever, drove back from the Brimfield Antique Show to pick my ass up from work and go haul the machine in his minivan. We met with Nick and shot the shit for a while…but ultimately we discovered that the fucking thing was too tall to fit in the van! The length and width were fine, but that damn fin! Grumbling, we drove back south, empty-handed.
[Y’know, we were also planning to meet our friend and fellow collector, Marco, after the trek (some of y’all might remember him from the Morphy’s auction a couple years back). He was visiting from Italy specifically for the Brimfield show, and it woulda been hot to show him the ride, which we’re fairly certain was made there in the 70’s!]
But as we all know, failure is not an option. Fortunately, there was no rain for the rest of the week, so the ride would be safe from the elements. I coordinated with Nick and we ultimately decided that I was gonna suck it up and rent a damn U-Haul and do this shit proper on Saturday. Once again, Dave proves his might by volunteering to help haul the ride. And better still, Alen had some time in the afternoon to chill–and since he was on the way back down south, Dave and I dropped by for some homemade eggrolls and hang-out time with Miya.
Alen thanked me: if I hadn’t thrown down for this thing, he would have had to. It didn’t need to be said. We all knew what was at stake here.
Y’know, a fresh set of eyes often emphasizes the utter absurdity of what’s right in front of you.
Yen almost immediately tries to mount the ride, reverse-cowgirl.
Up until that point, Dave and I had been running a mile a minute since around lunchtime. Nick clearly had plans for his Saturday, as we had only exchanged a small bit of conversation before heaving the ride into our other ride and pushing off. So for the first time, I got to see this thing in broad daylight…and finally, the gravity of the purchase started to sink in.
It’s always good to get in some face time with the Godfather, but eventually we had to split. The ride back to Braintree was filled with talk of the Bruins‘ playoff outlook. Incidentally, the grippy bed-liner in the pickup insured there would be no shifting of the ride while I drove gingerly down the highway. But make no mistake about it: I constantly had half an eye on the rear-view, watching Grendy bob gently up and down on the boom arm.
When we got back to Mama Jeev’s garage, we unloaded and returned the pickup in time for the opening face-off…
So the plan for now is to house this monstrosity in the car hold. I’ve since rolled him onto a tarp and wrapped him up like a Hershey’s kiss hopefully to keep bugs, rodents, or whatever from making a home outta him.
Ideally, I intend to ply repairtechjon with drugs and women to get him to help me make it do right by the time the Summit rolls around. Godspeed, lil Goldrake…and a big shout-out to all the massholes. Remember: if it weren’t for peer pressure, just imagine the untold glories that would otherwise just pass us by! ;)