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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just goofy


The whole extended family often visited when the children were young. Several generations of brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, grandparents, aunts and uncles in the summer, in someone’s back yard, watching all the children at play.  Children were required to get dirty so they could get a bath and go home to bed.  My niece and a nephew:



Sometimes the grown-ups might have made themselves just as dirty.  My dad on a tiny tricycle. Early ‘70’s.



My Uncle Hank back from a spin up the road.  I believe that’s my brother’s motor scooter.



When I got my motorcycle I drove it home from the dealer to my parents’, but needed practice trips through the neighborhood before I rode to Mentor.  I practiced corners, downshifting, stopping and starting.  Feeling pretty confident after a couple of hours, I started back up Gardendale hill and saw my two brothers across a vacant field, on Moraine.  There was a footpath between the streets that went down a hill, across a flat plain of ground that Grandpa Schook gardened, back up a hill and onto Moraine.

The grades down and up were fairly steep, and as I started up the grade to Moraine my bike gave a little choke signaling imminent stall.  Walt and Mel were yards away, above my head on the road.  Mel yelled “Downshift and give it some gas!,” both of which I promptly executed.  The front wheel immediately came up off the ground.  I looked up at two brothers laughing so hard as to be no help as the front wheel rose higher and higher.  No question I would be over backwards in a minute.  What to do?

I stood up on the pegs and leaned over the handle bars to get the front tire back on the ground.  And my brothers kept on laughing.  Leaning on each other, tears rolling down.  I crested the hill on the back tire and got the front tire down only when I reached the level of the road.  My brothers were behind me, shaking with laughter.  I was furious.  I did a one footed U turn and aimed straight for them.  At the last moment they moved aside, revealing the big oak tree they were in front of.  I missed it, too, and turned to face them.

“That,” said Mel, “is called a wheelie.  You’re damn good.”

15 comments:

  1. Is there no end to your talents? Wonderful, scary stuff. I have only once been on a motorbike, as a passenger. He never asked me again, come to that, I don't think we ever dated again...

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  2. You must've been a real tomboy when you were younger :-).

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  3. I am enjoying your lovely memories. You showed them didn't you?

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  4. Reading this I was so scared for you when the front wheel rose up! I'm still scared when I remember the first wet weather skid I had on my bike! I never did any wheelies though. Thankfully we both came out okay.

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  5. And there in the background in the Uncle Hank on the mini-bike, is Melvin working on the Polaris with Dad looking under the hood. The also famous tall grape arbor that I nearly killed myself on is also quite full of lovely grape leaves. Thanks for the lovely memories.

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  6. You could have been damn hurt, you were what's called lucky.

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  7. I had two brothers too. They aren't always a blessing, are they!

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  8. Brothers! Good thing you had a cool head.

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  9. Come on Joanne-need a picture of you on that Motorcycle...Know that Beth has one...

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  10. I was really rooting for you to run them over....

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  11. I enjoyed this story. You are damn good. I could pull a pretty good wheelie on a non-motorized bike but I never rode a motorcycle much. I rode around on mini bikes some and a friends motocross bike once.

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  12. Oh, what would you give for a picture of that right now?!!

    Brothers are devious...

    Pearl

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