B Bradley the Inventor

Francis Allgood

B Bradley the Inventor

Last year, we got a new kid in our class. His name is "B Bradley." We really didn't notice him much until last summer.

I am on the same swim team as B. Every morning, we have swimming practice at 7:30. That is just too early. Our coach is very firm--no goofing around! B and I are in the same swimming lesson and live in the same neighborhood. We've both been complaining about lack of sleep.

My mom made me go home from practice with B last week. I really wanted to go to my best friend's house, but we car pool with the Bradley's and mom had to take care of some business. I'll never forget that day.

B has a nice home--nothing too fancy. But his room is a real surprise. We walked into an immaculate room. He didn't have any carpet or rugs--just linoleum--black and white. All of his walls are painted black. His bunk beds are built into the wall, up high, like a loft. B has one wall that resembles a chemistry lab. His father built him these chrome shelves that go all the way up to the ceiling. And there is a ladder that rolls along the top shelf. He has hundreds of bottles in rich greens, deep blues, and vibrant reds--each neatly labeled. He has a lap top which contains all of his experiments.

I said, "Wow, B! What a room." He looked sort of embarrassed and told me that he and his dad planned it just so. He said, "You're in luck! Today we are going to work out the details of the rocket launcher." Of course, I have no idea what he's talking about. "I'm going to build some rockets for the Fourth of July fire works," he continued. "I've got some light weight metal sheets and I need your help in building a base for the rocket." I was sort of relieved that I wasn't going to have to mix up combustible ingredients over a hot Bunsen burner!

We got some supplies and looked up the rocket launcher on the internet. B had lots of contacts and web sites to check out for reference. After reading the instructions, I could think of nothing but molding the rocket launcher into position. When I heard my mom's horn honk outside I jumped up in amazement! How could four hours have slipped away that fast? Especially considering that I was learning something new! I told B goodbye, and he promised not to continue until I came back tomorrow.

I have been to B's house every day this week. We are now finishing the rocket launcher and it is time to paint. We took it to the back yard and spent the afternoon painting several rockets and their launchers in red, white, and blue. By the time I had to go home, we had five rockets lined up on the fence to dry. All of them ready for the 4th of July.

Every year, our neighborhood has a party on July 4th. This year it is in my cul-de-sac. I'm thrilled that I got to help B create the patriotic rockets. I feel like I've really contributed to the festivities. When it finally got dark, we all began to shoot bottle rockets and fire crackers! Then, B put on a real show with a rocket. It must have shot up a mile. Then, a little army man floated down in a parachute. Everyone gave B a standing ovation.

It took us fifteen minutes to find the parachute. Mom made us clean up all the debris and B and I just sat outside talking until midnight. Now I just can't wait until the science fair.
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By Francis Allgood


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