Friday, August 3, 2012
Pursuing a possible shot of something with bicycles, I did remember having this one fifties black and white. I am six and my brother Dwight would have been 9 years old. We are standing in front of our old farm house in southern Iowa and it must be early spring. It is a repost photo from my blog a year or so back.
My brother Dwight was into bicycles. I don't know how he obtained them but he seemed to always have two wheels around to ride. I think maybe that this bike was one of my older brothers' bikes. I wasn't riding anything that required balancing on thin rubber tires at that age.
Later on Dwight put some money together and bought himself an English Bike. That is what we called it in southern Iowa. It was actually what we buy today as a modern bike with it's lighter frame and with gears and hand brakes. The gear thing was a real fascinating invention to me. He did look like he had a foreign bike compared to our clunkier thick metal bikes.
We had dirt roads that were used by my dad to get access to his farm fields. They were dusty two wheeled paths with weeds and grasses growing down the middle of them. One could go behind our farm buildings and coast down the hill to build up momentum to then head west up the farm road. I remember the wild yellow flowers that were short and they grew all along the path. The Queen Anne's Lace would be swaying in the breezes as you traveld down the road. In early summer the Meadowlarks would be singing and the bumblebees were always busy seeking necture.
My begging for a new bike yielded for me three used bikes from a farm sale. I was a lot disturbed about that but the two smaller well used bikes and the one larger one became a great summer thing for me. I learned to ride a bike by getting at the top of the hill and coasting down it for a few times. After the falls and the trial and error of being on this strange thrilling machine, I learned to turn towards the fall and I was riding. I rode all the time every summer.
My brother passed away in 2008 and the photo of us two seemed to be so long ago. Me in my baggy, homemade long sleeve shirt and he in his T shirt. We were closer friends back then. He became self destructive and difficult to be around by his late 20's. The difficulty proved to make all family members withdraw and he succeeded in that early finishing of his life. I think the early years of school were his only real happy times in his life. He did love his bikes.
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