I hope that some of the people in this forum will appreciate this story...and I have this childish sense of excitement tingling in my pores!
25 years ago my father and I trash picked a Schwinn Triplet. It needed a lot of parts, love and work...but this was before the internet era, and there really wasn't a vintage cycling hobby...at least that we knew about. We visited and called every shop we could think of trying to hunt down parts for this bike...my father put me to work cleaning the bars and rims with navel jelly. We even ended up talking to Frank Schwinn, who lived in NJ at the time. Finally we went to Via Bicycles in Philadelphia...which I've of course become intimately familiar with as an adult living in Philly. Curtis hooked us up with a mystery guy who had purchased a triplet from him and who had modernized it with Dura Ace drive train, phil hubs...etc.
That man had a profound effect on me, remember...I was an impressionable 12. He was smart...funny...cool, very generous...and he LOVED bikes. He imparted a lot of my love for bikes and for racing. Even at 12...I knew I wanted to be like him. I remember advice he gave me on sizing, training, cadence...he told my dad, when asked about why bikes today don't have kick stands, "that's what trees are for". He gave us his old parts for free...so that we could restore our triplet.
Fast forward twenty five years...
I'm probably around the age he was when I met him...maybe a little older. I recognize that bike, and that gentleman, to have been the defining moment in my love for bicycles. I'm talking about my triplet on the CR list...and I get an email back from a gentleman telling me about his old triplet...which he got from Via and which he'd modernized. It's very obvious it's him...I remember the Schwinnn decal and the extra welded on top tube. He has no memory of me, or of giving us these parts...but I remember him! Reflective kindness on his part had a profound effect on me and all of these years later I get to tell him that.