I buried Barney yesterday. Today I rode a 25 mile memorial ride on his Continental.
I know that sounds rather blunt to most of you, but in my line of work dying, death, funerals, burials, and comforting the grieving, comes with the territory. But Barney was more than just another service for me to conduct. He was a friend, a parishioner, and an inspiration.
Some will remember that he bequeathed his '62 Schwinn Continental to me one day last December. It was shortly after he had been diagnosed with in inoperable tumor. Barney had bought the bike for his son when he was in high school, but after he completed college, Barney became its primary rider for the next 30 years. He stop riding it about 5 years ago, just before he turned 80.
In December he said, "pastor, I have something you might be interested that I won't be needing any longer." He took me out to his barn. The Continental was parked next to a Model A Ford, that was nearly the same color. I cleaned it up and decided to hang as much Campagnolo on it as possible. That was in January and February. The weather finally cleared enough the end of March and I rode it through Barney's town and out to a frozen lake. I posted this picture.
Today I rode it through his town and past his house and out to the same lake. The view is a bit different 6 months later. I like the float plane in the back ground that has been pulled out of the water.
Thank you for letting me share about a dear man and friend who made certain his vintage Schwinn didn't end up on the curb next week.