Saturday, November 07, 2020

Riding Into Yesterday

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford7/9/2000 3:38:50 PM
9/23/2020 1:11:48 PM

Riding Into Yesterday

It was one of those mornings when the whole world becomes a place of magic.
It was one of those mornings where the chance just might be to undo a tragic,
Loss of childhood joys. Remembering in a growing flood of childhood dreams,
Getting up and going through want ads hoping with a hope that gleams.

Could I really find one?

Newspaper, coffee, pencil, phone, impatience roaring,
I was thinking of a time of restoring.
Healing old losses, reliving times gone by,
Bringing about mistiness without a cloud in the sky.

I remember the freedom and the sense of accomplishment.

A small, obscure little ad in the "for sale" column.
"Stingrays and restored bicycles" it did run.
A phone call, "Do you have my dream in your shop?"
"I thing I might have one in my basement, but I'm really busy."

I couldn't let it drop.

"Could you please check for me sir?"
"Very well, in ten minutes call, and we'll give it a peek."
Hurried phone call, holding hope in check, old memories stir.
Can the child inside hold their breath that long? I seek!

"We have a beat up one down there you can have for $45.00."

An old, rusty Schwinn, bad spray paint and in poor trim.
It needs a new tire and there's a slightly bent rim.
A July 1975 Continental, it used to be blue if you're sentimental.
We'll air up the tire and let you catch fire, give up on rental.

"Wake my son and get your shoes on, we're gone!"

A long old ride down a two lane road,
Through towns that were like throwbacks to the days of old.
Two men in a bike shop filled with gleaming chrome,
Retired and re-crafting dreams that let our younger selves roam.

"Wow, Dad!"

Father and son with saucers for eyes,
Thousands of questions, the what's and the why's.
They had Stingrays and the Orange Crate and a Silver Ghost,
And tricycles and tandems and fifties and nifties I'd toast.

Grease, tools, and gleaming chrome. Slick tires.

And there on the stand my new old friend. Getting saved from scrap.
As I told my son, and the bike men too, the glory days rap,
And we filled him with knowledge of faded and renewed dreams,
And taught him of wannabe's and Schwinn machines.

The story of two friends told.

A fortieth birthday in store, old friends from the days of yore,
They had a matched set in days gone by, one lost hers and started to cry.
Now as they're grown her dear old friend, is searching for a present she can ride again.
So they can have a matched pair, and will be like their younger selves floating on air.

After all these years.

These men restore dreams, bickering friendly banter in their restoration shop.
The old Schwinn? It rides like a childhood dream, until I stop.
My fiancé' took a picture before, next summer after, the bike I'll restore.
Who says Glory Days always pass you by? There's always more.

Stop at the root beer stand and drink a Black Cow.

And give the carhops a tip!

The Madison Cruiser is being reborn!


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 07/09/2000

Author's Comments

Author's Comments:

Yesterday, I both recaptured a memory that was stolen many years ago, and got a chance to share it with my son. Perhaps next year, I can get him off the "wannabe" and onto a dream of his own. That old bike I remember? I bought it with money I earned from a paper route at 13 and maintained it all on my own. It was in a sea of wannabe's when I was a freshman in high school. Then it wasn't. If you stole a green Schwinn 10-speed in Madison in 1977, I have not forgotten you. My best friend had a brown one just like mine. Maybe for our fortieth? (That was so cool when I heard it. I really miss the old days with my friend.)

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford7/9/2000 3:38:50 PM
9/23/2020 1:11:48 PM
Daniel A.

Total Comments: 1


Janine Danielspinnys@hotmail.comwww.spinnys.com7/14/2000 1:15:21 PM
You've captured this poem with a unique mixture of the present and past Dan. It only seems like yesterday when you were telling me about this day with your son.... *S*