Sunday, May 23, 2010

"I Reminisce..."

It was a GT Pro Performer. The nicest BMX bike in Oxford. We were back in the "Bajas," which were carved out of mud and clay dredged out of Town Creek.

It was one of Farmar's first times on the GT in the Bajas and four of us were hitting one launch-worthy clay and wood mogul over and over. He came off a nice jump, decent height, chrome shining almost poster-worthy, then, as he landed his feet came off the pedals as he came down on the seat...

Rack 'em... I still see everyone coming off the jump in replay slow motion and still hear the empathetic moan from the three of us watching as Farmar broke in his bike and himself ;)

Funny how the place you grow up can change so much, but still be the same. Two of the four Baja bikers that day--Dave Hensinger and Kam Coyner--died way too early. The Bajas as a place, which were a crown jewel for Oxford youth, have long since been leveled and turned into a neighborhood.

But when we take our girls swimming at the Strand or have dinner at my aunt's or eat ice cream and swing in the park, I am connected directly back to that time and that place and those people.

I see the black and yellow hornet colors of Dave's bike; see him coming around third base on a triple-turned-inside the park home run on an errant throw to third with his red batting helmet charging home; I hear him singing along to Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me with Science," or Grandmaster Flash's "The Message," which was the first rap song I caught wind of.

I see Kam's digs at the Academy House; I see him as a large-sized 11-year-old left-handed pitcher mowing down hitters or trying to choose between the "Big Barrel" or the "White Lightning" bats in the on-deck circle. I see all of us sitting in my living room watching "Escape from New York" for the 22nd time and Kam busting up as he yelled, "You're the Duke!!" with a scene towards the end. I still smile anytime I say or hear the name "Snake Pliscon."

It's funny the memories that walk or run or ride their bikes through the streets of Oxford when I am there now. Memories of a time that kids there now (what few there are) can't really recreate today, when you are no longer allowed to swim off the Oxford Ferry dock.


Anonymous said...

Love this Mike. You are a great writer... I'm inspired by your dedication to write your thoughts down.

Michael Valliant said...

Thanks, John!

Anonymous said...

You can't step twice in the same river, true. And you can never go home again. You have to call it something else.