Red-haired kids “light” a fire, follow Gage family tradition by going to the Gas-Up

Saturday, I was at the Gas-Up in Gallupville, and took this picture of a family that has been regulars at this event. The father, Jim Gage, has been going for 47 years, and has not missed one event.

I have been going for quite some time but certainly not like that. One thing I remember, though, is that Jim’s son, Jim Jr., worked there with his dad as a little red-haired kid no more than 6 years old. (That is a guess.)

The kid was running a small one-lung, hit-and-miss engine, shucking corn. Through the years, I watched him grow. Today, that same kid is about 6 feet, 4 inches, with a family of his own, and they are there messing with the same type of equipment.

Although Jim Sr. is now partially blind, seeing only shapes, and is on dialysis three days a week, he still makes it to the Gas-Up.

Jim Jr. is continuing in his father’s footsteps, only now there are a few more engines, different and larger, and who knows in about 20 more years what Tyler, Jim Jr.’s son, will be doing.

It was freezing, like a fall day, on Saturday, and the wind was blowing constantly. The Gage kids were “making” a fire by pulling green, wet grass and placing it in a small pile, then taking two sticks, rubbing them together to attempt to get their fire going.

Of course, nothing was happening and never would, but that did not deter the kids; they just kept rubbing those sticks. Using kid imagination, they were building a fire and, in their minds, it came true.

The girl Cassidy, came to me as I watched and said, “Be careful where you step because you might burn your foot on our fire.”

To them, they got that fire going. It is a shame we loose this type of imagination as we get older.

Oh, and all three kids have flaming red hair like their father.

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