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Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Three Penny Wrench, parts 3284 - 3287

 3284. You might picture to yourself this conversation happening between the owner, who looked like a aging Hell’s Angel member, and some 13 year-old boy like myself. “I want to buy a Bendix brake for this wheel.” “We only have the New Departure, in stock, but it will work just as well.” “That’s all right, I want to wait till the Bendix comes in, how long will it take.”


  3285. A conversation such as that would not automatically be rewarded with the honor of going up the stairs at the back of the store to visit the bicycle graveyard, but several such conversations, and many such discriminating purchases would lead to this event.


 3286. The store owner might say of a particular part, “It’s not available anymore, but go up in the attic and look around, probably you can find something up there that will work.”


3287. This casual suggestion was actually the bestowal of a great honor, and had to be understood as such. The right to access to the second floor would not be given to some other boy who walked in with his parents and purchased the most expensive bike in the shop and then decorated it with the endless add-ons available such as electric horns, raccoon tails, streamers, and saddle bags.

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