The year was 1970. Starved for the real deal, having owned the Sears Roebuck version of a Schwinn Stingray and grade B versions of baseball gloves, basketballs, and footballs, I gathered my paper route monies ( I was paid $.03 for each issue's weekly Derry News delivery) and got a ride to Salem, NH. The mission was to buy the suddenly accessible dream bike. The promise of owning a popular brand was also the promise of legitimacy and to be spared from the "reasonable facsimiles" later institutionalized by Walmart.
It was orange and black, had shiny bits and real Huret (European) shifters. She was mine.
I can remember rides through Windham, Chester and especially all over Derry. Cleanup was a Noxon fan's delight- yielding a beauty meticulously attended to and lovingly embraced.
Around 1980, when attending UNH, it was stolen. I leaped down the stairs of 25 Main Street in Durham ready to ride it, and it was G...O...N...E. I wonder if it still rolls, if someone knew it was a good rig, or if a drunk simply took it and it became discarded in a rusty pile and is under a landfill's heap now. I prefer the image of a proud aficionado whose collection includes it.
At the time, I had to have a shop change a flat. I knew little of the mechanics. I just appreciated riding, being on a machine, and the freedom it offered. Here she is:
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