Archive for January, 2012


January 13, 2012

1947 Western Flyer

My first bike was a Western Flyer.  What a bike!  I sold two calves and bought 2 bikes…one for my brother and one for me.  I can remember the bumps and bruises from learning to ride my bicycle.  When I was growing up I always went to the movies on Saturday to spend my twenty-five cents in allowance.  The theater always had a double-feature western, a serial much like the modern soap operas, newsreel, and cartoon.  The ticket cost 9 cents and I had a penny for ball gum out of the machine, and a nickel for popcorn.  There were no cokes or candy.  When the movie was over, my friend who always went to the movie with me would share a milkshake with me at the drugstore next to the theater.  The cost for the milkshake was 20 cents and we got the stainless steel for making the shake and two glasses.  It was always great.

After I purchased my bicycle…and learned to ride it…I was allowed to ride the 3 1/2 miles to town for the Saturday movies.  The first time I rode my bike I walked home after the movie because I was unaccustomed to taking my bike to town.  There was a special place in front of the theater for parking bikes.  I left the bike there all week and when I arrived the next Saturday…there was my bike just where I had left it.  I have confidence if that had happened today there would be no bike.  Today it would probably not be there unless I had locked it to a bike rack.  Times have really changed.

I have always heard the saying…”It’s just like riding a bike.  Once you learn, you never forget!”

We may not forget the things we learn, but sometimes it takes us a while to relearn them.

Bicycle for Two at Galveston

Pam and I spent the weekend in Galveston years ago and rented a bicycle like the one above.  It was fun riding along the seawall.  We did have a problem however.  I rode up front to steer.  Sometimes  I would look back at Pam to see if she was actually helping provide the power for the bike or just along for the ride.  Well, we were riding along fine and I looked up and the was a Pepsi can on the seawall.  We were meeting another bike so I couldn’t avoid the can.  I ran over it and it clamped around my front tire and came around to the fork and we stopped immediately.  Real life front-wheel brakes.  We stood up on the front tire and Pam landed on my shoulders.  Luckily we didn’t crash off the seawall.  Maybe my problem was not remembering how to ride a bike like I did when I was young.

I shaved my mustache off a while back.  I had worn my mustache for over 40 years, so Pam had never seen my upper lip.  She didn’t know what it looked like and I had forgotten.  After I had shaved a couple of times, Pam told me I had a gray hair in the middle of my upper lip.  I looked in the mirror and I had been missing that one hair.  I guess I didn’t notice it because it was gray and I just didn’t look close enough.

I soon realized that I had forgotten how to shave my upper lip.  I didn’t remember all the facial contortions necessary to get a close shave.  When I was in the  Army I had learned to shave without a mirror while in the field on maneuvers.  I call it the “Braille” system.  Feel and shave.  I guess I can justify my mistake because it had been over forty years since I had shaved my upper lip.  I have had to relearn what I had done automatically for so long.

Proverbs 22:6:

 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”

I read my Bible each and every morning…not because it is a habit that I do automatically.  I read it because I need the wisdom and encouragement before I start each day.  There was a time when I skipped reading the Bible each day and had to relearn and realize the need for each day in my life.  It is just as important as breathing…I need it every day.  His Word is such a blessing.  I just can’t go through life without reading the Manual for Life.