Three generations of McKeevers experience the joy of carving.
’Twas right before Christmas and Santa Claus carved out a very special treat for one very special family.
Our merry tale begins with Pam and John, who met in kindergarten, then followed separate paths around the world until coming together again as adults.
Their love blossomed; they became one: John and Pam McKeever. They were blessed with two sons, who blessed them with two daughters-in-law, who blessed them with two children each.
Now grandparents, John and Pam were still young at heart, so much so, they became Trikke riders, then Trikke lovers, then familiar faces on the So Cal carving circuit in the summer of 2011.
As summer carved into fall, and fall carved into winter, Pam dreamed a very special holiday dream. She wanted to introduce the joy of carving to the rest of the family: her two sons, their wives and especially, her four grand-kids.
Pam made her dream known to Santa Claus, who made it know to her local Trikke dealer — whom she loved — setting the stage for a magical morning shortly before Christmas:
A small parking lot in front of an elementary school in the South Bay of Los Angeles …
Four Trikke Jogos, the carver for kids, sit quietly in a row, each dolled up with a big red bow. Andy Pliska of SouthBay Trikke is putting the final touches on them, like someone arranging presents under a tree.
Before long, the formation of Jogos is broken. Two of the grand-kids — brothers Trevor and Vincent — have arrived early and make a beeline for their new toys. No demo or lesson necessary. Feet on the platform and they’re ready to give it a try. They see seven-year-old Drew Pliska, Andy’s son, rocking and rolling on his Jogo a few feet away. That’s all they need to know.
“Look, they just get on it and go,” says Pam. “It’s fabulous, it feels wonderful.”
However, a lesson is needed for the boys’ parents, Jim and Aileen McKeever, so Pliska teaches them how to ride (on adult carvers, of course). Jim, the more athletic of the two, thinks learning is easy.
“I love it,” he says after a few tours around the parking lot. “I’m still a total amateur but I think after a couple of days, I can really get into it and get some good exercise.”
Jim’s wife, Aileen, is not so convinced carving will be easy. To say she has a case of nerves is perhaps an understatement. Still she is brave. She conquers her fear, mounts a T8 and makes her first journey on a Trikke with the help of Pliska.
“I was very nervous,” she admits later, “but I felt very free after I was finally able to get the flow going. It felt good, thanks to good trainers.”
Meanwhile, as Trevor and Vincent carve continuously around a makeshift oval track in the parking lot, their young cousins, Nicole and Carson, arrive. Nicole, who just turned seven, is the oldest of the four grandchildren. She immediately takes command of her pink Jogo and spends the rest of the morning carving around the oval track at surprisingly fast speeds.
After taking to his blue Jogo just as easily, her brother Carson experiments with riding off the curb, apparently getting the idea from dad Mike McKeever, who — after getting a lesson — begins carving around the track (and riding off the curve on Grandpa John’s T12).
“Makes you feel young,” says Mike midway through the morning. “It’s similar to skiing, biking and skateboards. It’s good family time.”
Mike’s wife Stephanie is also a newbie to the world of Trikke, but after a lesson from Pliska, she, too, is up and moving.
“I like riding the Trikke because I’m not that stable on a bike,” she says after dismounting. “It was fun to learn and I feel like I had a really good workout. I love that it’s something new I can do with the kids.”
By morning’s end, four grand-kids have new Jogos for Christmas and all ten members of the McKeever family have experienced the joy of carving.
“I’m must give a lot of credit to my wife Pam for being the creative one,” says John McKeever patriarch of the family. “She really fomented this idea. It’s just great.”
For South Bay Trikke’s Andy Pliska, it’s a day he’ll never forget.
“The parents — their eyes lit up when they saw what their kids were experiencing; and the kids — they just took to it like, get outta my way I’m going riding.”
And John and Pam and the McKeever family carved happily ever after.