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Old 09-25-07, 06:01 PM   #1
pastorbobnlnh 
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My Memorial Ride for Barney

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.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:13 PM   #2
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God Bless, and may Barney Rest In Peace.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:26 PM   #3
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Very cool memorial to Barney. He will live on in that bike every time you ride it and he's probably glad you got out and rode it today. I really think that personal items a person owns and then gives to someone else gives some of that person to those on the recieving end. On a similiar note my wife and I own a house built in 1905. We bought it from one of the sons of the second family that owned it, them having move into the house in 1935. We asked him if he had any pictures of the house in its early years and he provided us with two 8X10 shots one of the exterior and one of the family itself posed in front of the fireplace that we had framed and hung them in the foyer of the house. Sometimes we can feel the presence of this family (not in a creepy or like ghosts or anything) but just a feeling when we do something to the house that we feel they would approve since we have tried to keep it period correct as much as possible. Sorry to ramble but I think its good to have an appreciation of the items those that have passed on. Even though we are not in any way related to this family we have a bit of kinship with them through this old house.
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Old 09-25-07, 08:32 PM   #4
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PB,

thank you for sharing that. I can only hope that we all are treated as tenderly and our
rides with as much dignity. . .

marty
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Old 09-25-07, 09:02 PM   #5
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Thank goodness you weren't paying tribute to the Barney that first came to my mind when I saw the thread title.

I have no doubt that his act of thoughtful kindness has already inspired other such acts. Caring for, and riding the bike is one way to pay tribute to the man, but following his example of generosity is an even greater one.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-25-07, 09:39 PM   #6
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Amen.
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Old 09-25-07, 10:53 PM   #7
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Pastor Bob, you are normally the person we would turn to in times of trouble. Yet, even you have your sorrows. I know I appreciate you sharing this with us, as it must be difficult for even you.

Many years ago, when my father passed away, my mother allowed me to go through the books which remained of his library. Most of my siblings had already chosen their favourites, and there were not many left.

There was one book, a Dickens novel. I'd never bothered to read it, yet it was a book which my father had brought with him from England when we emigrated. I never questioned why my father would have brought this particular book.

My mother was going to send the remaining books off to Goodwill or Salvation Army. I really wasn't interested in the Dickens novel, but nevertheless, I decided that it must have meant something to my father for him to bring all the way from England (we had left with virtually nothing--not even my mother's childhood photos were brought).

When I finally got the book home and opened it, I gasped.

The book has the only known signature of my grandfather.

Who knows, years from now someone may be happy to read your tribute, and know that their Barney was admired and loved--not just in the usual obituary way, but as a living, breathing person with interests they never knew about, and something that may make Barney come alive in a way that they could not have otherwise known.

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Old 09-26-07, 03:14 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your kind thoughts and additional heartfelt stories. You provide me with ears to hear my words in a different way than the people in the pews. Yes, the moral of Barney's life is, be generous to others. I know I'll try to be even more so because of his example.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:26 AM   #9
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Pastor Bob, I saw that you mentioned Barney in your signature line, and wondered who he was. Thank you for refreshing your memory with this topic. I am sure he was pleased that you took his Continental and that it will not just become more metal in a scrap pile.

Rest in Peace, Barney.
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Old 09-26-07, 09:18 AM   #10
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Pastor Bob, I'm not a religious person myself, but a memorial ride for someone who loved bikes sounds like a very beautiful AND meaningful thing to me (small gestures often mean more than most people think).
May Schwinns continue to follow you home ...
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Old 11-07-07, 05:37 PM   #11
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Wow It was very recent that Barney passed.It has been over a year and it's tough that my Buddy Tom passed,we were in Boy scouts together.He led me on many rides.He was generous too.He didn't give me much but he gave things just to give.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:54 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing, PB!
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Old 11-07-07, 06:50 PM   #13
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Thanks for the post Rev. Shwinn. I've always enjoyed your posts. You are a decent soul and a caring person. Thanks to you Barney will live on through that Continental.

~ god bless you, my friend!
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Old 11-08-07, 04:11 AM   #14
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Once again, thank you for your kind comments. Barney is missed by our entire church.
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Old 11-12-07, 09:01 PM   #15
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Hey Bob Rev. Schwinn.Today I almost sold the Varsity that has my dearly departed Tom"s bike shop sticker on it.I am glad I didn't sell it.The guy was looking at it in the dark ,spinning the rims,spinning the rims.I said let me get you a light.I took him to the garage,got out a trouble light.then he wanted to see another varsity.he takes it down the block and spins the rims.I'm looking down the block,thinking "did he wreck it? I walk down there,1/2 a block,so he was spinning the rims and I said here's your ID,can I have the bike? I walk back to my house,ask him if he thinks it was worth the asking price of 60. He said he didn't know how to straighten rims,so it wasn't worth it and he was sorry for taking up my time.I could have straightend it with all the time he spent spinning the rim.It just bothered me that he was 1/2 a block away to do this.I feel my buddy Tom would have done the same thing I did in being tough on the guy..I gave him a chance at it for 60 and he turned it down oh well.here are a few pics of the old girl.
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Old 11-13-07, 04:48 AM   #16
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Generally, because I give the bikes away, I don't get that sort of reaction to a wheel out of true. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Is it a late '60s?
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Old 11-13-07, 09:04 PM   #17
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Not a late sixties,A seventy two .I still have it.I spent an hour driving a vista three-speed to a guy tonight and felt better.Thanks for the reply
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