Celebrating the Big Little Things: Huffy Mainliner
Acrylic and latex on panel
When I was five years old my grandfather bought two identical metallic red 20-inch Huffy Mainliners. He gave one to my cousin who was 8 months older than me and the other he gifted to me. My cousin and I rode those bicycles together every day, all summer. There was not a street or alley that we did not visit in Dodge, Nebraska; population 600 except on Saturday night. On Saturday night the town would fill with families from the surrounding farms. There was an early band concert in the center of Main Street between the Farmer’s Bank and Wimmer’s Meat Packing. There was a Legion Baseball game at Holstein Park followed by a dance at the Auditorium. The Doctor’s Office, shops and bars were open until at least midnight when my grandfather would buy everyone in his movie theater sandwiches, pop and beer brought in from his tavern. Our bicycles had a rocket shaped battery- operated headlight mounted on the front fender. On those nights, my cousin and I would cruise back and forth between the events until we ran into Dad or my Uncle and they shooed us down to Grandpa’s house. The bicycle clocked countless miles, when I outgrew the machine, my brother inherited it. Then my youngest brother. By that time, it had lost all its mid-century grace. It spent its last days sporting a banana seat and butterfly handlebars. It was red, but with embarrassment.
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