I got to thinking the other day, when big boy "Justin" at Ballwin Cycles mentioned that I hadn't updated my blog in a while and that he missed reading it. I said, "hell, I am busy, and I didn't realize that you read then damn thing". I get this a lot.
I have gotten a couple other hate mails as of late. Fact is, I need somebody interesting, sombody complicated to figure out, explore and expose in a light where people take interest. At the end, and when all is said and done, ideally folks will ultimately admire the subject. I suppose Being Lewis Greenberg captured that. People are so interesting. There is a golden nugget buried in everyone, no matter how complicated or unappealing their lives appear to be. There are people who brighten others days without even knowing it, by simply being them.
These humble vignettes of life need to be captured, bottled and drank into an understanding of personal spirit making.
Case in point...
Justin, the tie died Ballwin Cycles teenager. In most ways very smart and mature for his age, different from other kids. He has moxie in his ability to communicate with adults and has a confidence that allows for the give-and-take of shit throwing. The kind that comes a long with jobs like being a bike mechanic in a shop, the hierarchy of bike mechanic-ing. Justin has a memory recall that startles the hell out of you when it comes to autos of yesteryear, parts and components of...stuff of all kinds. A very smart guy right? Hmmm, what about the case of oranges that he bought for 35 dollars out of the trunk of door to door sales scam?
I role in to the shop after a ride one Saturday to buy a tube or two and I noticed, sitting on the floor, was a box of aging "juicing" oranges. Juicing oranges don't look so good on the outside so they typically make their way into he supply chain of juice makers rather than grocery store ambient food merchandisers. They are used for orange juice.
I was told that Justin had just purchased the oranges from a salesman who "happened by" with oranges tasting better than "mothers goodness..." or something like that. After the dude cut a piece and made him taste how good it was, Justin scampered out the door to get to the ATM, before somebody else bought his box of juicing oranges! Two weeks later the oranges sit molding in a box next to the cash register. A reminder and lesson on supply chain economics tatooed inner cranium for Justin. I came in while Justin was out getting 35 bucks to pay the sales guy. The box of oranges was worth 9 dollars.
He'll be off to Colorado soon to fulfill his educational goals in Greely, close to the front range, outside of Boulder somewhere. I say it is a good idea for him to get out of town, he was getting a moving violation per week by the Ballwin cops after turning 16. But they had it out for him, according to Justin. Justin has "old (Ballwin) money" we think.
The dude just put together one of the blingest Waterfords I have ever seen. It looked like a scaffold, not a bike, the wheels dwarfed by the frame, custom made for his body type. He is 6'8". I think it is a perfect thing for him to do, ride this bike and attend college in Colorado.
I plan on taking a ride with him to send him off with a message: old guys are good resources when you return from school--that at 17 you have a lot to learn from others--that street smarts combined with logic are key. I suspect he knows the value of a dollar now. Justins a good kid with a big heart. And a rotting box of oranges.