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Date: Mon, 02 Feb 2004 16:26:15 -0500
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
From: Larry Osborn <losborn2@wvu.edu>
Subject: [CR]Westminster

Greeting campers and snow goons We interrupt our regularly scheduled snow removal and power outage festivities to bring you the following special report:

So in the dream Friday night I arrived at Westminster to discover that the swap had devolved into just your basic roadside flea market. Lots of costume jewelry, ticky-tacky glass figurines, dead household / kitchen appliances and 8-track tape players, ugly furniture, stolen tools, etc. And they were MY tools. Look right there chummmmmmmmmm-P, those are my initials stamped on 'em. So I stole them right back. And threatened the alleged "owner" with my 20-inch adjustable wrench when he protested. (I love that wrench. A million and one uses. Headsets, freewheel removal when there isn't a bench vice around, BB fixed cups that require a little more leverage when there isn't a bench vice around,.... and he had my bench vice too !). No Elvis stuff at that swap, but I don't know what that means about my state of cultural consciousness. However, obviously the empty time span between swaps has had been waaaaay too long. The reality on Sunday was much better than the nightmare. I needed a fun day with the bike kooks. Glad I got to see most of you. Hope to see you at T-town, Copake, and the Cirque.

Highlight of course was picking up my "new" Carlton Flyer frame from Tom Hayes in person (see other post, coming soon to an email box near you). No drive too long, too cold, too dark, too icy to save a fragile thing of beauty from the tender mercies of UPS/FedEx. Thanks Tom. Whoulda thunk the halfway point between Cleveland OH and middle of nowhere WV would be Westminster MD? No doubt about it, I gotta find a better map.

Also special thanks to Tom Witkop, who in the absence of my usual deep bottom feeding companion Harvey Sachs, occaisionally filled in as seeing eye scavenger when I succumbed to the effects of 3 days of snow shovelling, and was no longer able to get down close enough to the floor to meet the bargain bins, or bring them up to meet me. Thanks Pal. I won't make any nasty comments today about your usual haul of $20 frames that are always the wrong size, but ooozing immeasurable amounts of patina.

In the "guilt by association / no good deed goes unpunished" department, I would just like to clarify something again to those who were pointing astonished fingers and asking astonished questions of potential ownership. I do not, nor will I ever own a Schwinn whatever that was, Roll-a-ma-gig special. It belonged to Tom Witkop. Honest!! I was just returning a favor by helping him carry his pile of patina out to the car. I bought a Carlton Flyer. That's "C-A-R-L-T-O-N". I know you didn't see it, but it went straight from Tom Hayes' car into mine, just in case somebody confused this venue for ebay.

Good to see the smiling brothers Spracher again (73 Raleigh RRA sub culters), but they beat me all the good bargain wheels.

Enjoyed hearing about Jill's adventures in bike shop ownership. And though I had a different bike shop offered to me, again (scary when one can correctly identify a vendor's booth by recognizing some items from his recent ebay auctions), no thanks, it sounds like more fun than I can stand. I still have the good sense to just say no.

More that I could babble about, names to name, fingers to point, but did most of my babbling at the swap. And my fingers are tired and slightly frozen. Today it was either back to shovelling snow at home, or back to my unheated office. Oh joy. There's a Hobson's choice. At least it's not 12-below zero today, and the power finally came back on at home after only 18 hours. Or maybe THAT was all a dream. Hard to tell these days. Both possibilities were quite vivid, and in living color. Hopefully I'll find out for certain when I get back home. There just better not be a pile of 8-track tapes and a dead Veg-a-matic sitting in the living room where I currently believe I placed a Carlton frame.

I gotta go. I've just been informed of another impending winter storm tonight. More snow and ice. I can hardly wait. At least it didn't happen on Sunday. If you never hear from me again, I fell off the roof. I'm at the bottom of the snow pile. Somebody will find me me when the snow melts. Wishing you all sweet dreams of sunny spring days, smooth pavement, on the heavily patina-ed bike of your choice.

Larry "down to my last spare snow shovel, stores are sold out, and you'll have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers" Osborn Brrrrruceton Chills, WV