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Monday, April 13, 2015

Ms. Genealogy…

Gladys is Gladyson the injured reserve list  these days. Meanwhile The Ripple has been searching high and low for a new front end to lift her spirits-- expeditiously of late after hearing her grumble (not knowing I was within earshot), “I should have been born a unicycle.”  To date, a new front tire has been purchased and hopefully a replacement tube will soon follow.

Meanwhile, Gladys, the Ol’ Gal, has not been twiddling her spokes, but like so many others has been caught up in the resurgent craze to seek out one’s ancestry. She’s been preoccupied with discovering her roots, researching her ancestry, looking for “kissin’ kin,” delving into her velocipedic past.

This preoccupation with one’s family tree, however, is not without peril: instead of a Joan of Arc or Mother Theresa perched on the  lower limbs of the ancestral tree, one might instead find a “Bloody Mary,” or an Elizabeth Borden glowering away…no humanitarian Ghandi or Mandela but a Jack the Ripper. I’m reminded of the Norman Rockwell painting, “The Family Tree” ,where a ruddy-faced, carrot-topped, well-scrubbed little darling perches tippy-top the family tree while a scrofulous looking blackguard of a pirate crouches below on the first branch.

Although the details of her birth are sketchy, Gladys does know this about her past: the nuts and bolts of her came together at the Columbia Bicycle Factory in Westfield, Massachusetts, sometime in 1976 (yes, my gal Gladys is a bicentennial baby). The lady belongs to the Tourist 3 line of models, a fact that’s tattooed in bold on her chain guard and like her other Tourist 3 siblings, Gladys has the luxury of rolling along, as she chooses, in one of three speeds.

Gladys had hoped to trace her ancestry all the way back to the invention of the wheel, so finding her lineage halted abruptly in the modern era understandably came as a disappointment, a disappointment, however, somewhat tempered by her discovery in the Westfield factory archives of this photograph of a distant cousin.a big boy trike

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