so i'm spending a few days in a continuing ed seminar this week. i'm seeing folks from an earlier life, and it's good. people that i first met and worked with way back in the day of early cambus in iowa city in the early 70s, when tom diehl and i [along with many others] drove a bunch of 1953 or so gmc transit buses in and around iowa city. these buses--in true hippie fashion--had faces painted on their front ends. they had virtually NO safety features, you know, like brakes and stuff. you could catch passengers in the back door if you were feeling sinister. no seatbelts for the driver, which made it a real challenge staying seated as you cruised around the downhill by the dental school. WHEEE!!!
tom tells me he finally quit smoking about a year and a half ago. then there's frank rivera, who surprised the hell out of me when he told me--years ago--that he was a big harley fan, and had a hog that although he really didn't ride it that much, he spent a lot of time and money on it. his bike was more of a show thing; loudness and cool were a couple of important factors, as i remember it. frank always seemed like areally quiet guy to me [i've known him for, christ, maybe 20 years now?], and this must be his way of speaking up. quite a contrast to me. i really don't seem to keep too much to myself [although you might be surprised].
and then a woman came up to me and said "you probably don't remember me, but..."
i couldn't immediately recall her name and circumstance, but i recognized her face, and knew that i knew her. it turns out we were neighbors in iowa city in the early 80s, when i was a new single parent, in school full-time, and working two or three jobs. addie and i lived in a cool old apartment building at the end of summit street, a long, low brick building with two up and two down, with a common open screened-in stairway at the rear. when i had to go to the school in the evenings to study [yes, i did], i could just leave the back door open, with addie in bed, and let the neighbors know i would be back later. addie knew that if she woke up and was frightened, she could just go upstairs and hang out a while. it was that kind of a place. before i even had a chance to say anything, vicki asked how addie was. said she was such a cool kid. man, i loved living there, and i loved having such great neighbors. it was great seeing vicki, and having all those old memories unleashed.
i saw dick, my old lawyer and george's buffet buddy from iowa city. he retired a couple years ago, and my friend peter [whom i have yet to see here] runs the office now. peter and i were so crazy in mason city in the 80s. i saw susan, also from mason. and so many more: faces i recognize but whose names have either fled or taken shelter somewhere in that old addled grey matter upstairs.
i made it easy for others yesterday by wearing a new green "kim west radio cycling show" t-shirt. today, it's a multi-hued green tye-die grateful dead t-shirt. green, in support of the unrest in iran. i've always been in favor of a certain level of unrest.
more thoughts will follow.
i AM trying to pay attention, after all.
but i have a bunch of racing coming up: tonight in altoona, tomorrow in state center, saturday, the brat criterium in johnston, and nationals in louisville the end of the month, and another set of nationals the first week of august. i'm trying to get serious about it, and have been thrilled to get lots of little go-fast goodies to enable this. i'll tell you about it later.
by the way, you, too, can have one of those cool green kim west radio cycling show t-shirts. $15 plus s/h. contact me.