There’s Just Something About the Value of Old, Beaten-up Bike’s That Teaches Us More About Love Than Looks
Don’t Get Me Wrong
about my lecture about Vintage Bicycles. I am far from being a narrow-minded, narrow-sighted person who (is learning) to appreciate the New as well as the Vintage, (most people say Old Fashioned) things in life and I tell you, I prefer the Vintage. Guess it has something to do with my age: 65. Proud to be a senior adult. So the Vintage Bicycle that you will check (at the bottom) will take you, I promise, back to a time when we were younger and lived in a much-simple life and we loved a new bicycle about the same as we did a new Dodge convertible. Think about that for a moment.
I remember when I was big enough to ride a bicycle, my dad did not argue. Which was rare. He loved a good argument because he won most of them. But the day that he took me to our local Western Auto, in Hamilton, Ala., I was ready with eyes widened, looking for that bicycle that I could ride and have a great time. Funny how that plan ended-up an entirely different design.
As my dad and I entered the Western Auto, the only man that we saw was a Mr. Buster Mixon, a chubby guy with a huge cigar in the left side of his mouth and looked ready to sell something. (You can just sense when that is going to happen). And my dad and Mixon being friends, greeted one another, shook hands, and my dad told him that “I” needed a bicycle to ride and all I could see was this sleek, red-colored Western Flyer with chrome all around and those red and white plastic tassels sticking out of the handle bars. Yep. This one’s for me. Just a matter of dad paying the bill and off we would go. Funny how ignorant are the plans are of the young who have not taken the time to think about things before we try them.
Mixon Puffed on His Cigar
and asked, his first one, Austin? (Austin was my dad’s name). Dad agreed. Then this Mixon guy did something completely out-of-candor. Absolutely mind-boggling to be truthful. Instead of pointing us to that super-looking Western Flyer perched so strategically in the storefront, he steered dad and me to this old, beaten-up bicycle (I suppose) that I thought would only be a case of my dad just giving Mixon the price then both of them would take turns laughing at this sad-looking excuse for a two-wheeler. Actually, I was feeling sad inside.
Then without any sales pitch, Mixon said, this one’s the bike for your son, Austin. Why’s that, dad asked. Then it hit me just how wise Mr. Mixon was and how his wisdom had served him for years in his job of selling.
What Mr. Mixon, “Buster,” said to my dad, “It is much better for him to learn how to ride on a used bike like this one, then you can buy him a new one like the one in the window.” Even at my young age, I understood what he meant. That, my friend, IS salesmanship if I ever heard it. My dad understood it so well that he gave Mixon the $15.00 for the used bicycle that (with lots of trial and error, mostly error) I did learn how to handle the old, beaten-up bike, but the most-amazing thing about this entire situation was I began to love the old bicycle and couldn’t wait until one day to start so I could get on the seat and take off.
But as Deeply as I Loved
that old, beaten-up bicycle, in a few years, dad and mom told me that I could go shop for a new bicycle because they were sorry that I had to ride the one that I had and they wanted me to ride something new, so within a few days, my dad and I piled into our ‘55 Chevy truck and headed to Hamilton, Ala., to Western Auto where we hoped that Mr. “Buster” Mixon would be working when we go there.
As soon as we entered the store, I knew that he was there because I smelled his cigar smoke. We were within two steps of Mixon and his cigar and he had “that” smile on his face and said, got your new bike waiting for you over here, to my dad. Talk about salesmanship. Now understand that the store where Mixon worked, had bicycles from $15.00 like the old, beaten-up bike that I loved to the most-expensive to around $75.00. (These prices are not exact, but you can see the comparison by checking the links at the bottom.)
I was happy about my new bike that had a red frame, chrome fenders, and rode like riding on a cloud. I grew to love my new bike, and we did have a wreck or two, but I can tell you without any doubt in my heart, sometimes something old and beaten-up will treat you better than something new.
I’m sure glad that this bit of wisdom does not apply to women.
(If You Are Into Old Style Bikes—Go To This Site):
August 10, 2019___________________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery