Monday, July 2, 2007

Our Bicycles- A kid's best friend!

Back in the 50's and 60's we didnt have computers, nintendos, playstations or other high tech gear. The most treasured posession was our bikes ( and our well-oiled Rawlings baseball glove)! Every Saturday morning we performed the ritual of flipping it over and oiling the chain with trusy old 3-1 oil and giving it a good cleaning. Our bikes transported us to the sand lot for a game of baseball or football with our neighborhood friends, over to the public library for a cool afternoon read through the stacks and down to Biscayne Bay or one of the many nearby canals to snag mullet and fish all day. We loved our bikes and it was our ally to establish our freedom in an age when our parents didn't worry if we were gone all day as long as we were back home before the street lamps came on. Here you see my first grown up bike, a 1959 Schwinn Panther with the faux "gas tank" that housed an electric horn and twin headlights! Heady stuff in the low tech days of the late 50's. I got this bike for Christmas that year and it was the greatest day of my young life. I fawned over it for many years thereafter. I see now it cost a eye popping $39.95 in 1959 dollars! Wow! My allowance was 25 cents a week and I had to raise any additional money I needed by returning empty soda bottles to the local Food Fair for 1 cent a piece or mow the neigbors' lawns for 50 cents! That was a King's ransom in those days. Other kids had Huffys, Montgomery Wards and Sears models, but Schwinns were the Rolls Royces of their day. I am sure a kid today wouldn't trade their playstations for a bike, but my generation wouldn't have traded our bikes for all the high tech gizmos in the world!

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