Me and Roger Clayton went out riding bikes the other day. Felt exactly like when we were kids, except there were stops for beer.
I remember so well what “riding bikes” meant when I was a kid in the still-relatively-innocent small-town Alabama 1960s. It was as close as a kid ever got to absolute freedom. No agenda. Just riding, stopping, investigating, riding, stopping, investigating, riding, etc. Until somebody’s parent was hollering and it seemed time to get home.
Creeks, woods, neighborhoods. Crawdads, rocks, tadpoles, giant storm-drain pipes, the wind in your face, doing tricks on your bike with its banana seat.
Also reminded me of a pretty horrible crime that was committed in my small Alabama town when I was in the second grade. Nobody ever told us too much. Something bad happened. There’s a lunatic on the loose. No bike riding for a while. They caught him in Florida after a week, and he’s still in jail somewhere, in his seventies now, I guess.
The whole story HERE. (Somebody’s web discussion group, I didn’t dig too deep—third topic down)
Eddie Seibold was his name. It invoked a unreasoning Manson kind of fear in kids of the time. Total Bogeyman. There was a path behind our house that cut through to our favorite playing creek, and to my buddy David’s neighborhood. On the other side of the path was a small wood, with a house just the other side of it. Just across from my elementary school. Turns out that Seibold f***ing LIVED in the house at some point! Aaaaaaaaaahhh! The whole story is fuzzy. I need to ask my mom.
Mommmmmm! We’re going out to ride bikes!