Sunday, January 11

My paternal uncle was pretty much illiterate. He had worked on the farm most of his life and when the farm was sold after Grandma and Grandpa died, he had a hard time finding a job. Now keep in mind that this was the 50s and though there were plenty of jobs to be had, uncle couldn't read much and so he was pretty much unemployable.

We called him Uncle Hump because he was shaped similar to an egg and we kids thought he looked like Humpty Dumpty. LOL The name stuck and forever after he was "Uncle Hump."

Uncle Hump picked the dump. In those days there was plenty of good stuff to be found and he sold things that he found there after he'd cleaned them up and repaired them. Then he began picking bicycle parts out of the dump and putting them all together to make bikes for kids. He then charged for the bikes and he became the proprieter of a very lucrative business.

When I was about ten, I dreamed of having my own bike. My brother had one and so did my maternal uncle who lived next door. If I wanted to ride a bike, I had to convince either my uncle or brother to let me ride theirs. That wasn't an easy task, so I really wanted a bike of my own.

The morning of my birthday arrived and Dad told me to go and have a look in the shed. There, to my delight was a red and white bike. It was one that Uncle Hump had put together, but to me it was like receiving a million dollars. It had been put together with me in mind and the paint was bright and shiny. What fun I had riding that bike. It was a 24 inch and the only bike I ever had as a child. I took care of it, being sure to put it in the shed at night so it wouldn't rust.

My friend who lived about a half mile up the rural gravel road had a bike and on Sunday afternoon we would ride for miles. If Gail couldn't go, my maternal aunt would go with me. Some Sundays we rode as far as 15 miles. Up and down steep hills, the wind blowing our hair. Around curves in the road to see sights during spring, summer and autumn. We saw deer grazing in the fields, farm animals, squirrels, rabbits and a wide variety of bird species. As we passed neighbors houses, they would wave at us and we would wave back. What a wonderful time we had those Sunday afternoons.

These memories are a big part of who I came to be. I still love riding a bike and sometimes in spring, summer and autumn, I go biking with Brandon and Jordan. We don't ride as far. I think 15 miles of riding bike would kill me at this point in my life, but I still love to feel the wind in my face and blowing my hair as we coast down hills and through scenic valleys.

Do you have a birthday memory. If you would like to join the Remember When meme, please visit Speaking from the Heart. It's a lot of fun stepping back in time through our memories.

Have a wonderful week and remember to do an random act of kindness. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. Mary,

    Thank you for faithfully joining Remember When... Meme. It's never too late.

    Although your uncle was illiterate, he was a genius in my eyes.

    I am going to let my kids read your story. Maybe they will appreciate the bicycles they already have, instead of wanting a new one.

    Have a great week.


  2. I still love riding my bike too! My first bike was blue and my current bike is blue too!

    Thanks for reminding me!

  3. Those are lovely memories Mary, things like bicycles in my day were expensive and I remember my first one came from my cousin that my sister and i had to share, but we treasured it.

  4. Awwwwwwwww, Mary this was such a sweet, sweet story. A red bike!!! How awesome. And one you could call YOURS!!!

    Love it.

    Happy Monday.

  5. What a great memory! Your uncle was way ahead of his time - he was recycling before it became popular!

  6. You sure can stir up some pleasant memories. From birth my brother, sister and I knew that we would have one large birthday party. Our tenth birthday was the one we could invited unlimited number of friends and have a real bash. My 10th birthday party was at the skating rink with 34 of my friends and my heart throb 'Stevie' gave me a beautiful floral decorative plate with gold trim. I still have that plate. I never had another party like that special one.

  7. What a wonderful memory! I never had my own bike growing up. I always rode my cousins or my friends. For some reason mother didn't want me having a bike. I have several now and love biking with the grandkids or my husband.

  8. That was about the age that I got my first bike, and I used mine a lot too. A few years ago, Cuppa and I did quite a bit of cycling, but we have fallen away from that lately.

  9. What a great story. And what great memories you have of your childhood.

    My first bike was one I shared with both my brother and sister - I don't recall well how that worked out. But I do remember it being second or third hand and it was a boy's bike. Dad cut the bar and welded it down lower so that it was easier for my sister and me to get on - the boys' bike became a girls' bike - I'm not sure how my brother felt about that - I think I'll ask him today. But we learned to ride it on the country road across from Grandma and Grandpa's farm. What a good memory.

  10. Because I had a poor sense of balance, I was never allowed to have a bike. The comment from my mother was that I would kill myself.

    I wanted a bike more that anything and never had one; even as an adult. I did ride my cousin, Gene's, bike and loved it. A dream unfulfilled.

  11. Granny Annie sent me your way. What lovely memories that you shared.

  12. Mary
    What a wonderful memory and to still get the wind in your hair and face with grandsons is a blessing. Peace

  13. I loved riding my bike. The first one I had was an "English" bike with the skinny tires. My first new bike was in the 50's with the fat tires and it had a horn and lights. I still ride when I have time. Thank You for sharing, brought back good memories.

  14. I so love reading about your memories and this one was no exception:-) I can just picture you as a little girl and finding this bike made for you on your birthday! I never did get a new bike...having 4 brothers, I would get a hand me down bike from one of them once they had outgrown it. lol I do remember this one time dad sawed off the top bar so that it would look more like a girl's bike and I could ride it better. Also remember he had painted it red:-) xoxo

  15. Loved reading about Uncle Hump and your biking days. I still like to ride bikes too!