A old friend of mine recently sent me this …
I love it. Not just because I relate to it but because it reminds me of a story about my Dad.
When I was growing up, I used to have a lot of friends come to my house and – like it shows in the photo – they would dump their bikes outside the house or on our lawn.
Sometimes the bikes would be out there for a few minutes and sometimes for the whole day.
We didn’t have to worry about them getting stolen – not just because crime was very low – but because the community I lived in meant everyone knew each other so if someone saw someone on a bike they knew wasn’t there’s, they’d get a smack round the earhole and be told to return it.
Social interaction was different back then.
We would turn up at each others houses unannounced just to see if you wanted to come out and play.
We could have used our home telephones to see if our mates were in – and we occasionally did – but the whole attitude to life was much more spontaneous.
Nowadays, if a mate turned up at my house unannounced, my initial reaction would either be mild irritation or concern for their mental state.
Anyway, I digress.
While my parents loved the house being full of noise, my Dad hated it when we left our bikes on the drive because it meant he couldn’t easily get the car in or out of the garage.
One day – during the big school holidays of the 1980’s – Paul was at my house and we’d left our bikes on my drive.
We’d been playing happily for a few hours when my Dad came home and wanted to see how we were.
After chatting with him for a while, Paul and I decided to go out so we left the house only to discover OUR BIKES WEREN’T ON THE DRIVE.
We looked on the grass.
We looked down the side of the house.
We looked on the pavement.
We started to panic and ran back into the house to ask my Dad if he’d moved them.
“No”, he said.
We started getting upset, not just because Paul had an expensive posers BMX Mongoose, but because our bikes were our independence … so my Dad told us the only thing to do is walk to the local police station and either report the crime or see if someone had handed them in.
Upset, we set off to report the loss of our beloved bikes.
We had only gone a few minutes when we heard my Dad shouting at us to come back.
We ran home and he led us to the garage.
He pulled open the door but instead of seeing his car in there, we saw our bikes.
As we were trying to work out what the hell was going on, my Dad turned to us and said,
“Don’t leave your bikes in the driveway again”.
We never did.
I miss his lessons.
And I hope Otis gets to enjoy the same sort of childhood I had.
33 Comments so far
Leave a comment