Thursday, May 15, 2008

Aftermarket add-ons for your wheelchair - The Horn

During the final six months of Bill’s life, his brother Howard, his wife Flo, Bill and I spent a good deal of time commuting between Port Orford, OR and Concord, CA. On one trip to Langlois Mountain to visit the Sr. Lichtigs, Bill complained that drivers couldn’t see him and he often felt unsafe when he was out and about on city streets in his wheelchair. He felt that he needed a horn that could be heard - the "piece of crap that came with the chair" just wasn't cutting it! I will share with you that Howard and Bill shared a distinct glint in the eyes whenever either of them had a "great idea". Some have called in mischevious...I preferred to think of it as trouble - with a capital T! On this particular day it was Howard's turn to have "the glint". Four of us piled into the van and headed to the Radio Shack in Bandon. The result (I’m sure you know where this is going!):

  • 12 volt battery operated siren horn - $25 on debit MasterCard
  • Assorted wires, wire ties, cabling, duct tape and a pile of AA batteries - $ 34 on debit MasterCard
  • The ability to scare the living daylights out of your wife, your dogs and any drivers who dare to ignore you – priceless!

A few months later, Bill decided that the horn still wasn’t quite enough, so he and Howard, in a tequila/scotch inspired brainstorming session, determined that "launchable" rockets were in order. You Top Gun. Howard headed back to Port Orford, enlisted the assistance of the local cub scout troop (he was a pack master) and returned to California a few weeks later with some very lifelike looking rockets – minus the gun powder - which were promptly mounted to the underside of the laptop tray on the wheelchair. Success!

The "boys" spent the remainder of Bill’s life trying to figure out how to actually launch the rockets without blowing up Bill, the chair or the surrounding neighborhood! Given enough time, I fear they may have succeeded. Thank goodness...the world will never know!

1 comment:

Steve said...

Love it! I need to find myself an electrician...