‘Tis the season of sharing and receiving gifts with friends and family. Some will spend considerable amounts of cash buying gifts this season. Others will spend much less and stay within their budget. Sometimes you may receive a gift that outwardly appears insignificant, inexpensive but possess tremendous personal value. Well this is exactly what has happened to me.
While walking into East Coast Super Subs the other day for a club meeting, I noticed a Honda motorcycle parked near the entrance. What caught my attention was the license plate frame mounted on the rear fender of the bike. Inside the outer edge of the frame were the words Otto Brothers Honda. I thought, “That shop is familiar to me, I wonder if it is the one I used to visit when I was a kid.” So I went into East Coast Super Subs and saw some other TRS members sitting at a table. I asked who owned the Honda outside with the Otto Brothers Honda license plate frame? Well John Bingham responded it was his. He went onto confirm this shop is the one I remember from the days of my youth.
So I sat down and proceeded to relate to John my story. As a pre-teen, my neighborhood friend Paul and I would ride our bicycles or sometimes walk, if our bikes were broke, to the Otto Brothers Cycle shop on Ogden Road in Lyons Illinois. We would spend time in the shop dreaming of which Honda 50 or 70 we would get if we had the money. Next, Paul and I would debate which color was best, the dark cherry red or the bright blue. After awhile when it was obvious to the guys in the shop that we were not there to buy anything, we were politely asked to leave. Once outside the shop, we’d buy a Dr. Pepper from the vending machine for something like 25 cents, and head for home. John appreciated the story and shared some history about the shop and its owners.
After the meeting, John hands me a small, outwardly insignificant and inexpensive key ring fob. It is from Otto Brother Honda. The key fob looks old, probably issued around the time Paul and I made our annoyance visits to Otto Brothers. Well John leaves and I still have the key fob. So later I ask him if he meant to leave the key fob with me and he said yes. Enjoy the fob he says.
Well to me this key fob holds tremendous personal value. Why? Because this is a reminder of where it all began for me, that is the love of motorcycles, especially the dirt bike kind.
But my story continues on from those days of Otto Brothers. Even though I saved up my paper route money, I was never allowed to buy a Honda 50 or 70. I had to wait until I was in my early 30’s to get my first bike. But during all the time in between, I would recall those Otto Brothers days fondly and with inspiration. Now look at me, Chief Instigator of TRS, more dirt bike t-shirts and riding gear than I know what to do with, 2 bikes and artificial body parts. Thanks Otto Brothers!
To you John, I say thank you for the gift, at least that is what I will call it from now on.
Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or Festivus or whatever you honor this time of year and a Happy New Year to all of you and your families.