Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas Story

I like to think of myself as a good guy. If I can, I will go out of my way to help out a friend or even a stranger in need. I was once told, You have to wonder who you are really helping out when you do special things for another person, but when I found out that my friend and cycling buddy didn't have much longer to live, I went to his home and asked Him if there was anything he wanted for Christmas that he never got.
It didn't take him long to answer. His dream gift that he always wanted to see under the tree on Christmas morning was a Red Bicycle. He said he had asked, but always received something different.
We left it at that. Knowing that he probably would never see his dream come true.
I went right to work.

Bikes in my life have seemed to come right when I needed them. It wasn't more then 3 days that I found the perfect Red Bicycle for my friend's dream Christmas gift.
It was a Red 1957 Schwinn Typhoon single speed, coaster brake, in fair condition.
Old Schwinn's clean up beautifully with a little elbow grease. I dismantled the bike, polished every part and put it back together.
The bicycle looked great and with a red bow on the seat, it was now ready for under the tree.
I talked to his Mom and worked things out so we could get it in the house late on Christmas Eve while everyone was sleeping.
My friends Mom was fine with the plan. She never knew he wanted a bike for Christmas but wasn't going to stop us moving forward with her son's Christmas surprise.
The plan was to show up around 11:00 and come through the front door. By that time, she was sure everyone would be sound asleep.She was going to have a place ready for us to put the bike, right in the center.
For me to get the Schwinn over to Sherborn, I would need the help of my younger Brother, John.
John knew my friend and was happy to be part of the plan.
My brother would pick me up at the Homestead and we head over around 10:30 in his El Camino, Bike covered and ready.
We parked down the street and carried the bicycle the last 100 yards so we would not be heard coming into the driveway.
Getting into the house went without problem, John holding the door and with out touching the wet ground , I got the bike in the living room.
The room was dark. Decorated beautifully for the Holidays, the Tree was lit and with the candles in the window, we could see exactly where we were going.
It took a little extra time setting the bike so it looked perfect.

Although the surprise seemed like the thing to do for someone on Christmas, it was really strange to be in someones home, in the middle of the night, in the dark, with everyone in bed asleep.
That's when I broke the news to my brother John. I put my mouth up to his ear and whispered, "I don't think this is the right house!"
My brother turned white as the freshly fallen snow. We ran out the door as quickly and quietly as possible, leaving the Red Schwinn behind under the Christmas Tree.

Fourty years have passed and to this day we have never found out if we had the right house or not. I assume we did and the gift received, but I never heard back and we never bothered to ask.

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