Friday, October 10


Oh, man, do I wish I was Eric.

What a lucky guy!

He’s got divorced parents.

His real dad just sent him a bike -

a brand new Schwinn Orange Krate,

it sure is nice ~

it’s like he has every birthday twice.

Then there’s the kid across the street.

He’s an only child.

He’s sure got it sweet!

No little brother’s stuff piled up

all over the place.

I swear, he’s really livin’ in style -

he gets whatever he wants with just a smile.

And did you hear what happened to Lloyd?

His two mice got out,

and his mom went freakazoid!

The whole family flew screaming about

(and their dad in his underwear)-

just tryin’ to catch a stupid mouse.

Yeah, Dan saw it all - he was at their house!

And even a sissy like that Julian Truss -

it just ain’t fair

he’d be luckier than us!

He saw a dead squirrel all swollen in the sun,

and got to poke it with a stick ~

some guys just have all the fun.

I wish for once I could be the lucky one.

Luck is a relative perception. Cognizant that divorce was a terrible thing in an era that described the aftermath as a “broken home” instead of “single parenting“, we nevertheless focused on the more attractive issue (to 3rd party kids like us, anyway) of the impressive gift-giving sometimes offered by absent fathers. We never saw Eric’s real dad, and it didn’t seem like Eric saw much of him, either. But he sure sent him some cool stuff.

Oh, and it was really Eric who witnessed the crazy mouse chase. Only it was at our house, not the fictional Lloyd's. He was standing at our front door looking in the window wondering what the heck was going on.

Bicycle giant Schwinn saw the writing on the wall in 1963 with West Coast fascination for customizing bikes, and began offering the classic banana seat and variations of stylish handle bars. A few years later, the Sting Ray with a killer mag wheel front sprocket was born, igniting a bicycle love-affair with kids on every suburban block. However, the defining moment of peddling prestige was 1968; the year of "factory custom" Sting-Rays ~ the bold, the beautiful, the screaming orange "Krates." By 1970, you needed $94.95 to roll one out the door. A brand new Sting Ray could be had for only $56.95. Hence our buddy Eric's instant status boost when his glorious Krate arrived and had us standing breathless in a reverent semi-circle.

*Excerpt from "Station Wagon Wars" ~ growing up in the '60's by cTanner


Cynthia said...

aww -- I loved my sting ray. Our house had a whole collection of them in a multitude of colors. My dad spent many a saturday mornings fixing flat tires on bikes. Why didn't he make us learn to fix them ourselves, I'll never know.
It's funny how kids' perspective is off somtimes. I grew up in a step-family (one parent was a widow, one parent from a divorce) and overnight there were 9 kids in the family. It's funny what we each considered "lucky" from our perspective related to the other siblings.

Yaj said...

Santa brought all my bikes, including my first 10 speed when I was 12. I still have it! Got it tuned up a couple of years ago and it works like a charm...

I poked a fish once!