Thoughts from a Doodlebugger!
“We will be in Webster City soon, to ride our bugs on the Boone
We are 14 again and what a thrill, to jump on our bugs with time to kill
Faster than a speeding bullet we fly down the street, another Superman from Hamilton County feat
We’re all jolly good fellows who come from far and near, to ride on our Bugs and their rumble to hear
So we Beam with pride as our Bugs we ride
We are the Doodlebug Riders of the USA, riding into the sunset, HEY!”
Doodle Bug Newsletter, Reunion ’89 – from the files of Dave/Matt Smith.
Pat (wife of club member Jim Juon) corresponded with a gentleman who said his cousin remembered “the heavy Doodle Bug traffic on Division Street when all the Beam employees drove their scooters home for lunch.” Wouldn’t it be fun to have a picture of that?
He also added that his uncle, Max Segar, was hired (as a kid) by Beam to road test Doodle Bugs. Max shared this memory for us: “I was hired for the summer of 1949, (editor’s note: may have been 1948) as I recall, to road-test the new motor scooter, the Doodlebug, which was manufactured at Beam Manufacturing, in Webster City, Iowa. My brother, Harold, was an employee there at the time and he was responsible for my being hired, along with three other students, Red Johnson, Rollie Holkan and Mac Macollough. Our job was to ride the Doodlebugs all over town and country roads to test the mileage and stability of the motor scooter. Well…just riding them got to be a bit boring, so, Mac and I were out on the old White Fox Road, northeast of town, and Mac dared me to race him down to the end of the road. Well I wasn’t about to act like I was scared to do it and I said, “Okay…you’re on.” So we took off on this gravel road and I don’t remember how fast we were traveling, but it was too fast, and we were neck and neck, when, somehow the two floors of the scooters got locked together and we hit a rock and we were both thrown off of the scooters on to the gravel road. I don’t recall whether Mac got hurt or not, but, I sustained a bloody wound to my right elbow, which left me with a memorable scar for many years after the accident. I also do not remember whether we retained our jobs, but, I must say, it was the most thrilling summer job I ever had as a student.”