Early Days

My father was born in Chile, South America.  That in itself explains my lifelong lack of interest in baseball, football, basketball.  But he taught me chess around the age of five, and soon thereafter, I got a red, 20″ Schwinn.  The bike is long gone but I still have one of the chess sets that he brought from Chile.

My parents still live in Florida; they are landed Snow Birds.  My dad gave me some of the pictures he had from growing up in Chile.  I found one of his sister, my Aunt Julia, and her husband, my Uncle Job.  I met Aunt Julia fifty years ago when she came to the United States.  That summer Aunt Julia went with us to see my dad’s only surviving brother, George, in California.  My aunt came around March as I recall and went home in August or September.  If you know your world geography, then you will realize that she did not experience any winter during 1962, something my brothers and I thought was real neat.  Anyway, back to the picture.

By clicking on the photo, you can see a larger image.

As a cyclist, this picture, taken around 1940, caught my attention.  A few items that I notice are the American and Chilean flags on the handlebars [drops at that!], a bell on the left side of the handlebar, toe-clips, the headlight and possibly the generator on the right front fork.  I can only see a single front ring and I imagine the rig has coaster brakes.  There is only one fender on the back wheel along with a reflector on the fender.  The tires look pretty big and Uncle Job has cuff protectors on his pants.  I cannot figure out what the wire (?) is that goes from the right handlebar back to the frame.

[Later addition:  What am I talking about with the ‘coaster brakes’???  Look at the handlebars, Hoover!  Are you blind?  And, the ‘wire’ mentioned in the last sentence of the previous paragraph appears to be the brake cable to the rear wheel.  [It is now obvious to many of my Dear Readers that I do not do much of my own bike maintenance.]]

The only background to this scene that I can deduce is that my father, along with family and friends, used to go out on church mission trips around the area of central Chile (Dad was raised in the seaport of Valparaiso and they were part of the Methodist-Pentecostal Church).  I know that sometimes they walked on their trips and sometimes biked.

The final two pics are from 1960, I think.  My two brothers worked together and put all our home movies on a set of DVDs.  Priceless.  There we are in all our glory, growing up with friends and family from across the country.  I love every scene, but I show two of my older brother and I riding our bikes.  Me first (of course).

On a Sunday after church. That is the only time we wore white shirts.

My brother Rick on his 24″ Schwinn

That is my younger bro, Randy in the stroller in the picture above.

After watching these scenes I realized I was filmed twice as much as my older brother Rick.  Good choice, Dad!

Stay happy,


About rlhoover

A perspective on life and cycling in the Ozarks. I started serious cycling in 2008, after seeing my wife be on the bike for a few years. We have biked many places and hope to continue. I am no where near being a real good cyclist, but I have fun trying to improve. Who am I kidding? Me? Improve??
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4 Responses to Early Days

  1. The old bike picture is really cool! My wife lived in Chile for three years (age 8-almost 12). She lived near Valparaiso. She was there in the mid-60’s. In fact, her American History knowledge is pretty slim as a result, but her Spanish is better than most.

  2. tootlepedal says:

    It’s an honour to know a film star.

    • rlhoover says:

      How did you know that? Rick, the older brother, took the family 8mm movie camera and started to make films. Most of his own creation, staring his brothers and some other friends. Adventure, Sci-Fi, adaptation of famous works like “The Most Dangerous Game” (left unfinished).

      The camera fascinated him and that left its mark on me, i.e., I love the old silent films.

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