Goodbye stick pony, hello bicycle

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Remember your first bicycle?

Mine was a J.C. Higgins and it came from Sears & Roebuck in downtown Goldsboro.

I was a fifth-grader at William Street School, and one proud young’un the day

I added my new steed to the herd of bicycles in the school parking lot.

Those early days were also times there was something else in front of the three movie theaters in downtown Goldsboro — bicycle racks.

You don’t even see operable movie theaters in downtown Goldsboro today.

It was an awesome feeling to park the bike in the rack, watch the Saturday morning westerns and then ride home instead of walking.

It opened up an entirely new world to explore and I did my share of it.

I suspect it was also the beginning of growing up and big changes as the teen years were peeking at us from just around the corner.

Prior to the new beginning, the mode of transportation was the stick pony. I had a corral full of them. Each had a different marking I had carved on it to keep them safe from the rustlers that always lurked around the neighborhood.

Still, among the most memorable changes of leaving adolescence into the early teen years was your first bicycle and the opening of a new world.

It was a change akin to leaving the wagon trail for the rail train.

It was the change from closing down the corral, turning out all of the stick ponies and riding shelter for the new steed.

It was a big transition from walking to school and suddenly riding.

It was a big change from walking to the river for a day of fishing. Riding was so much easier.

It also opened up a view of new neighborhoods and new faces.

It also brought responsibility and learning safety.

Today, I see some folks riding right down the middle of the street and I say to myself, “Now, that fool just doesn’t place a lot of value on his rear end.”

William Holloman is a staff writer for the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at wnh9326@gmail.com.

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