Howard "Porky" Cutter recalls his sons' antics - and mechanical abilities - from the time they were children.

King Midget cars were all the rage.
Our sons, Chris and Randy, my wife Bess and myself always were building something from old wagons – cycles, go-carts or dune buggies and the like. When our son Randy was about 10 years old, he could take apart and fix almost any small motor or piece of small equipment. Today, I would say he could fix and repair almost anything. Chris, on the other hand, was the boss. He didn’t want to fix anything; he just wanted to use it or drive it. When something broke down, he’d get Randy to fix it.

Once we were at a lawnmower repair shop and ran across a real small dozier (track-type mower) in the shop’s junk pile. It had the motor and mower missing. We purchased it and took it to our shop where we mounted an engine on it and some cleats on the tracks. Then we built a dozier blade on the front. It all worked great. It would turn around within its own radius and instant reverse.

I would come home and find the boys had the dozier and lawn tractor tied back to back, trying to see which was the most powerful. Mom caught the boys digging up the yard with the dozier and we had to take it back to the shop for safekeeping.

A friend told us about a King Midget car for sale. I remembered seeing them advertised in the Popular Mechanics magazine for years. Once the boys and I saw it, we wanted it and we bought it. We loaded it in the back of our pickup and brought it back to our shop and hid it from Mom for a month. We knew we would be in trouble if we bought another motorized vehicle. We kept it hidden until we had it running – it had been sitting for several years. Once we had it running, the boys drove it everywhere. It was too small for me to drive. They eventually built a hitch and trailer for it to haul their lawn mowers around.

This thing just needs a little attention from the Cutter boys.
Randy went almost everywhere with me when he was small. Once while we were cleaning a customer’s well with air, Randy started wandering around the customer’s farm yard. He came upon a small riding mower under a shed.

He asked the customer if it was any good. The customer advised Randy that it ran great but that he couldn’t keep belts on the mower part. Randy asked the customer if he would sell the mower. The customer told Randy that if we could fix his well he would just trade the mower for our services. I advised Randy, “Let’s see if we can fix the well first.” Needless to say, we repaired the well, made the trade and everyone was happy.

As soon as we returned to our shop, Randy started working on the mower. In a very short time he had it running. We purchased a new belt and Randy installed it on the mower. He found that the idler pulley was misaligned, causing the belt to wear out prematurely. Once he got that aligned, everything worked fine.

The two brothers started traveling the neighborhood contracting to mow lawns. One afternoon they came to me to advise that a neighbor had a riding mower (smaller than the other one) with one wheel in front that he couldn’t make run. The boys asked if they could buy it. I advised them to make the neighbor a deal to mow his lawn several times for the mower they wanted and the neighbor agreed. A couple hours later, here they came pulling the traded mower back behind their mower.

They commenced working on the mower engine. In a short time, they had it running and returned to the same neighbor’s home and mowed his lawn with it. I put it to the boys, “That’s kind of rubbing it in, isn’t it?” They kept and used both of these mowers, earning their spending money.

Today, give either Randy or Chris something that’s broken and, more than likely, they’ll fix it.