Mel Brooks on childhood in New York

I'm endlessly charmed by people who appreciate the simple riches of their own lives:

My brother Irving once got an old tricycle. Not the tricycle as you’d know it, but a flat board, pedals on the front wheel of this little thing, very small, and two back wheels. No brakes. You’d put your feet down to stop. A board, lacquered and cut so you could get your thighs to get to the front wheel and push. I loved it. I cried tears of joy.

If someone threw out a pair of skates, Irving would work on it—with oil, with a skate key—and I’d have a pair of skates. I couldn’t believe it! I’m doing an eagle turn. I’m at the corner of Hooper Street. I start arms extended, arms akimbo, all extended, out as much as I can go in a kind of circle—and bang! I’m hit by a limousine, knocked down, and the wheel goes over me. I’m hit by a car. Luckily, it was an old-fashioned Ford.
— Mel Brooks