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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cruisin'

Let's begin with a picture of me and Frankie around 1957:
I was pretty sure my big brother was really just me closer up and I was an optical illusion, but Norma recently found this snapshot of him and me dressed alike and standing together in front of the fig tree. It is typical of '50s photos. The cameras were excellent but the world was black and white under sepia back then and blurry. I was there. I remember.

Also, things went slower, like our brains. We were generally outdoors all day wondering, very slowly, what was to become of us. If the atomic bomb didn't fall on us, we knew we'd grow up and be in color some day --color was part of puberty-- and have to do work. We didn't exactly know what we were suited for. If we wanted to become politicians in the '50s, we'd have to develop powerful handshakes, learn to smoke cigars and talk real loud. If we wanted to be service station attendants, we'd each have to run at cars from all directions and check dipsticks and tire pressure before they rolled to a stop. If we wanted to be doctors we'd have to find out where they got those special black bags and blue bicycles that they rode out on when we got sick. They were Schwinns. Our doctor rode a Schwinn.

It's been three weeks since an episode sent me to my doctor and began a series of probes and tests to see if my innards were ok and if I had any brains left, but he didn't ride over here on a Schwinn. I had to go see him. When we were kids, the only thing everybody was certain of, in a time of great uncertainty, was we all wanted Schwinn Cruisers. Didn't matter if we became doctors or not, we wanted Schwinns. I am not a doctor. Frankie is not a doctor. He is in color now and still bigger than I am, but I now have something he has not. I went shopping this morning. Bought a Schwinn Cruiser.



21 comments:

  1. How nice to (finally) fulfil a childhood dream. And you look very happy with it too.

    You could have asked any of us about your brain. It is definitely there. And operating. Sometimes in twisted ways - but operating faster and more effectively than mine.

    Hope the other issues are now sorted.

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    1. Most kind! Issues are made to be resolved.

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  2. Geo - you resurrected a lot of memories and evoked some wonderfully broad smiles. My life is now in gaudy Technicolor, but I admittedly liked it much better when it was in sepia.

    I love your new Schwinn! I didn't know they still make them.

    By the way, my first bike was a Schwinn. I got it for Christmas when I was seven yrs. old. I won't reveal the year. It would be too painful.

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  3. I loved those black and white blurry times . My brain still runs slow and wanders back in time. Congrats on accomplishing that long held goal of a Schwinn.

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  4. Ha, I like that: " We didn't exactly know what we were suited for." Young students come to me (I'm vocational advisor) and I see: it is not that much that has changed. Though to give children time to develop is something absolutely necessary, seldom granted now. But surely a requirement to "be in color some day".

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  5. How cool to fulfill this dream! Y'all look super skinny in that picture - and you still are!

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  6. I always wanted a Schwinn, but I was a middle child and had to wait for when my older sister or younger brother would let me have a ride on theirs. Most of the time though, I had to run behind them on my one ball bearing skate. Oh, the trials of being born second!

    I am sure, Geo, that your mind has always been in technicolor and in CinamaScope. I hope you are feeling better after you saw your doctor.

    Physicians are now driving Mercedes, but not having as much fun.

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  7. I'm pretty sure I've seen evidence of your brain on a regular basis.

    That will be one Schwinn, please.

    GAH but I wanted a Schwinn! Was that not the Cadillac of bicycles or what?! Never got one, to this day, I am Schwinn-less...

    Pearl

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  8. I wanted a bright yellow Schwinn! Are you going to take a playing card and clothes pin it to your spokes to make that cool sound all the cool bikes make? You know, developing a strong handshake, talking loud, and smoking cigars also would have served you well as a used car salesman.

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  9. G., I think this is my favorite of your posts, so far. And that's saying a lot.

    My dad was born in 1947 and he is always telling stories of 'The fifties, what a great time to be alive.' You two are very different in style but similar in heart (where it counts.)

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  10. I hope your health issues turn out to be minor. In the end, such issues make all other issues, mostly moot.

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  11. And this was such an enjoyable post except for the part of you having that episode.
    I shall keep you in my prayers, Geo

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  12. The memories of the 50s...I hope your innards decide to obey and your brain returns to its normal brilliant state.
    I recently bought a 3 wheeler bike, with a basket over the back two wheels. Even so, I am still nervous about hitting the open road.

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  13. Never did house calls, but I did have a schwinn about the same time as your first picture. Woulda been touch to fit a cath lab into the basket on front. Hope your issues are minor.

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  14. Nice bike! It's nice that we can all still make a few childhood dreams come true. Now you're ready for med school.

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  15. Sweet and uplifting story. I'm STILL waiting on my Viewfinder....!

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  16. Such a nice story, and I love old photos.

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  17. Joy! A boy and his bike. And Summer is almost here. Don't forget the playing cards on the spokes! <3

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  18. It's so wonderful you got to fulfill that dream now :) Great pic of you and the Schwinn! And what an amazing memory - things were so different back then!

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  19. And thank you for your wonderful comment on my blog! So glad to meet you. Can't wait to read more on your blog!

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