Happy Birthday Mom! And in your honor, I unearthed this photo of you.
This is my mom, Florence, back in the early 1940’s. She would be approximately 12 years old. That gorgeous bike was a gift from her parents….maybe for her birthday??? She had wanted it for ages, and was so happy to have it. In fact, mom tells me that she was the only one of her girlfriends that had a bike, and I imagine she was quite popular. Mom grew up in Ossineke, Michigan. This is a little “up north” town 12 miles south of Alpena. She hung out with a group of sisters and cousins, the LaBelle’s. One of her best friends from back then is still her best friend, Josephine…they live within a mile of each other down in Florida.
Mom has had a love for bicycles all her life. But she has also had her share of near disasters with them too. Once she was riding on the handlebars of the above bike with a LaBelle sister peddling and steering, but they both were talking away. Mom says they found the skinniest tree you could possibly find, and crashed into it. Mom went flying, rolled down Nicholson Hill Road and banged herself up quite a bit. She mentioned another incident involving US23 and screeching brakes, but I shiver when I think of that. And more recently, she had started riding a bike again about 15 years ago. Going down their driveway, which has a downward slope, she applied the hand brakes a little too quickly…they are touchy, remember? Well, again she went flying over the handlebars. Knocked herself out, and was found by a neighbor…who just had a “feeling” that she needed to go see my mother. After a short hospital stay, and headaches for a year, mom is fine but not riding bikes anymore.
But yes, this photo is quintessentially my mom. Cute and charming to this day. Fashionably dressed and with a cheerful countenance.