Off to Work We Go

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: This card had an immediate appeal, but there are some mysteries about it that came to mind as soon as it arrived and I studied it a bit. For one thing, the generally very amateur nature of it – overexposure on the edges, and the line of odd exposure or printing at the top – is very much at odds with the professional title printed at the bottom. The man in the suit is charmingly incongruous with this wonderful fluffy tuxedo kitty on the back of great and zooty bicycle. (A quick Google image search reveals a 1940 Schwinn in red and white that is remarkably similar if not spot on.)

Biking to work – I briefly considered New York’s bike program when I took my new job, thinking the ride between York Avenue and Columbus Circle (I envisioned doing it mostly through Central Park) would be a nice bit of extra exercise. The complications of arriving at work sweaty and riding in office attire perplexed me some, although there were brief moments of seeing myself riding with a certain éclat sporting a tight black skirt, like something out of an Italian film circa 1960. However, both my husband and my trainer voted it down swiftly and soundly as unsafe, even with the hair mussing helmet I vowed to wear. (Subsequently I have taken to walking on nice days – it takes about 50 minutes at a good clip.)

If this photo was more expertly executed I think we would get a better look at this great kitty, riding on the back. Out of curiosity I looked to see if there was a term for giving someone a ride on the back of your bike, in some places it is called a backy, straightforward enough. The same search revealed no popular term for giving someone a ride on your handlebars – incidentally something I personally have never done and I guess it is unlikely I ever will at this point – there doesn’t seem to be a widely known consistent one. In Australia they call it a dink however and evidently at one time in MN (only it would seem?) it was known as giving someone a buck. I gather the term is no longer in use. The term, give someone a pump, was also in use for this, but has taken on, um, a quite different contemporary meaning.

All references to it come with dire warnings about the danger and how it is against the law in many places. The cat seems unconcerned however. He or she is a solid citizen, calmly perched here, nicely hefty and fluffy with white paws and bib and, best of all, a nice white mustache. I am a sucker for a good mustache on a tuxedo. Cookie’s mustache is crooked – like the remnants of a sloppy drink of milk. My cat Otto was the feline incarnation of Chaplin – or Hitler – with a perfect little black mustache. Meanwhile, you can bet that kitty was just posing and wasn’t really going for a ride. No fool kitty!


Cookie in a recent photo


Girls with Bikes

Scan(4)Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: I recently snatched up this undated photo, with its snazzy Elko logo boarder. It came up in my search because of the cat – who I love as he or she is caught in motion here, about to trot behind these two little girls. It was however, more the little girls and the early winter day that attracted me. Someone who knows their bikes can probably date this photo from that, the clothes make me think 1940’s, but it can be hard to tell with kids clothing.

The bikes look slightly oversized – probably purchased for these kids to grow into with an eye toward saving money. It might be Christmas but somehow it doesn’t quite feel like it. These two are bike proud, the one in the plaid jacket looks like she is ready to take on the world, and we can see the nice badge on the front of her bike. The one I fancy is the older sister, dressed more like an adult of the day, sports not only a basket but, upon careful examination, a bell. There is something about the light and the scene though that brings me back to my childhood and many such chilly days playing outside. We didn’t have that nice barn, but I can remember doing my best to extend outdoor play into the early cold weather, bundled up like they are, with my sister or friends from down the street. They’ve got the world on a string and they know it.