Christmas, 1943. There’s a war going on. Steel and rubber are rationed; manufacturing plants are working twenty-four-hour days pumping out war materials, and Santa has brought me, a fourteen-year-old Iowa farm boy, an honest-to-goodness bicycle.
Upon close inspection, I realize I’ve seen this bike before: behind the hay bin in Jacob Gerstner’s barn. However, it’s been all spiffed up. The frame’s been sanded and freshly painted; the spokes and chain, steel-wooled to a fare-thee-well; the seat, covered with scrap black wool. Makes no never-mind to me, that relic represents freedom and adventure. And I can’t hardly wait to get started.
(Written for Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. July 19, 2013.)