Rockin’ and rollin’ marble racer
There’s no better way to bump into a little adventure than a little road trip. A few times each year, my mother and stepfather would get in their car for a week of touring Pennsylvania’s Amish country. They always had a starting point and a few favourite destinations, but freedom of the road means getting off-track and stopping on a whim, as they once did an Amish market in the village of Bird-in-Hand. As an auctioneer, unusual objects are my stepfather’s stock-in-trade, and one such object caught his eye at this market.
It was one of those ingenious mechanical toys that’s simple but mesmerizing. Load a handful of ball bearings in the top through, tip the lever, and watch as one ball after another zips down the ramps and spins the pinwheels. My stepfather picked up one for his own amusement and since then I’ve built several replicas of this clever toy contraption.
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