[CR]Follow up to Branford Bike Shop fire

From: "cnighbor" <cnighbor@pacbell.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 13:13:21 -0700
Subject: [CR]Follow up to Branford Bike Shop fire

''Thank-you your e-mail and condolences regarding the fire. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to reply but it has been quite a transition for me since the Big Creek fire incinerated Branford Bike, the warehouse and my home. It is almost impossible to believe that a forest fire could be so devastating. The only piece of saleable merchandise I have left from the shop is a $10.00 NiteRider head lamp that I pulled from a retail display the night before the fire. I tucked it in my coat pocket and there it stayed when I fled from the 100 foot flames on Sunday afternoon. Over the past 2 1/2 months I have begun to accept that I lost everything and as such, cannot rebuild my old life. There is almost nothing left to rebuild it with. So I have accepted my losses and started to work on building a new life. It is a daunting task but many people have offered support. For that and all the kind emails, yours included, that I received after the fire, I am very grateful. Kind words shared in times of need can and do make a huge difference.

I started creating a new life by burying the ashes from the old one. I bid Branford Bike, my business of 30 years adieu when we demolished my home in late August. Then we carted away the scrap metal and buried the ashes near where the new garage will be built. Over the next month we dug a basement, poured a foundation, a concrete floor and a slab for the new garage. I am building a new home on the same site up in the mountains of Montana where the old one was devoured by the ravenous flames. I wrote a story and took photos from the day before the fire up to last week when we poured the basement floor. I will continue the story throughout the winter until I move in next summer. Visit the below link to read it and see lots of pictures:


I lost many treasures in the fire and most cannot be replaced. My possessions were important to me not because they were valuable like gold but because each item was connected to a pleasant memory from my past. Books provided me with immense pleasure. Ever since I was very young, 5 or so, I spent a lot of time reading books. I remembered most of what I read but over the years my memories faded. It was always a wonderful experience to pull a previously read book off the shelf, sit in a comfortable chair and experience a flood of memories as I reread words that I first set my eyes upon many years ago. Most of us can remember a favorite book from our childhood and the warm memories that book created within us. That is how I felt about most of the books I read and owned. Every single book I cherished was destroyed in the fire. Only fine white ash was left; I could not find even a partially charred volume. Many people asked what they could do to help so I suggested that they donate a used book or two. A few have and those volumes have brought much happiness back into my life. Here is a page that has more information:


Branford Bike, as we knew it, is gone. I must build a new life and a new home which fortunately will consume most of my time over the next 6 to 12 months. Keeping busy will not allow me time to think about the fire. It is a memory that I hope fades quickly. However a newer Branford Bike may emerge from the ashes like a Phoenix of mythological lore. I put a page on the site about the sale of Branford Bike. Here is the link:


Please pass the link on via e-mail, newsgroups, etc. I would like to see someone purchase it by the end of the year. Whomever purchases it, I will work closely with, to see that they know the business as well as I did. It was a fun job, I earned a good income and was able to do something I enjoyed. Now I have other work to do so someone else can experience the pleasure and satisfaction of Branford Bike.

Thanks again for your e-mail, your words of support and your business over the years. All are greatly appreciated.

Best Wishes, Tim Brockett Branford Bike''

A book or two could be sent to above. Was a great KOF Store for years
>From charles nighbor walnut creek, CA