Doug- Great story, but I am pretty durn sure there were celeste colored bianchi before WWII. cheers Dave Anderson Cut Bank MT
In a message dated 4/1/2004 11:52:13 AM PST, email@example.com writes: I was rummaging through the parts bin last night when out dropped a celeste-colored Velox bar end plug. Wow...I hadn't seen that in a while...and I remembered where I had gotten it... While getting my social work degree back in the 60's, I did a practicum at the local VA hospital. I was late one morning, and ran into the ward to meet my latest client, an 80-something vet with what he would later call"Luckies cancer". After I introduced myself, he looked me over and asked if I rode a bike. I realized that I hadn't removed my trouser clips...I commuted by bike then. He kind of smiled, and asked if I rode a "Banky" one of them Eyetalian bikes. Those funny-colored green ones? I told him I had a cheap old French bike...he laughed and asked if I knew how those Banky bikes got to be that funny color green..... It happened that "Sarge" was stationed in Italy during and after the war. "Them Eyetalians had it rough, back in '46 and 47. Cities all bombed to heck, not much to eat. It was great for us GI's though...lots of chocolate, nylon stockings and C-rations to trade. I had me a great little gal back then, I called her Edie. Well, it was almost Christmas, back in '47 I reckon. Edie comes in, all teary-eyed, talking about how her uncle would be ruined, her family would be disgraced..the're real big on family over there. Anyway, she tells me that her uncle Edwardo somebody had a bike factory, and he'd put all the rest of the family money into a big run of bikes for the holidays, but they had run out of money before they could paint them. What could they do? Well, I was mighty sweet on her, he said,and being as how I was a supply sargeant, I figured I could trade for some paint somewhere...so I called one of my buddies, at the Navy base over in Venice. I said I had a coupla cases of Johnny Walker and needed about 10 drums of that navy paint... So Edie and me took a deuce-and-a half and drove over to the navy base from Milan. We met up with the chief, and he shows us 10 drums of paint...it was that greenish stuff that they used to paint the inside of all the heads and shower rooms in all the ol navy ships. He didn't figure they'd miss 10 drums a that stuff." "So me and him loaded them into the truck, and we high tailed it back to her uncle's loading dock." (Fire me up another Lucky, will ya son...) "So we gets back to Milan, rolls up to the dock, and her ol'uncle's paint shop foreman comes out, open up the drums, and talks to Edie ......Well sure it's good paint....I told her to tell him..if it can hold up to all the p**s in the US Navy, it can take anything you bicycle guys can dish out! Then this other ol feller comes out, hugs Edie and calls her "Celeste Aida", and says she's saved the family name. And that, young feller, is why them Banky bikes are painted navy head green!" And he laughed, and coughed, and I really thought he was pulling my leg, Then he reached into his locker, and gave me those Celeste green bar plugs, and just smiled real big. Who knows? Like they used to say "Was you there, Charlie?"