Remembering Mr. Boggs’ bicycles, ‘fighting fires’

Published 9:43 am Friday, July 24, 2009

One of the many places we lived as kids was at the end of North Street in Coal Grove.

We lived in a big house that looked like a fire house, living quarters upstairs, and all garage on the bottom. Our neighbor was Mr. Boggs.

I met Mr Boggs when I was about 9 years old, he and his wife spent many summer evenings sitting under their shade tree in their front lawn.

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I would stop by and talk while riding my bicycle with other neighborhood kids.

I had an old bicycle that I had basically built out of junk bicycles, nothing matched, different sized tires, many different colors of paint, etc. As with most things rebuilt by a 9 year old, there were many breakdowns.

Mr Boggs witnessed one of these “breakdowns” while sitting under his shade tree. I came barreling around the corner at full speed, and there came a car. My brakes failed, and I drove into the creek to keep from hitting the car.

A few scratches and a knot on the head, along with a bruised ego were the results.

Mr Boggs took my twisted up bicycle back to his workshop. Little did I know, Mr Boggs was a builder and seller of used bicycles. In no time he had my bike fixed up. The tires were now the same size. The bicycle was now one solid color, and the brakes now worked very well. Mr Boggs said “no charge, just be careful.”

In came the call….fire. Down the metal stairs of the fire house at full speed, clang clang clang. On our bikes and screaming off to fight the imaginary fire. Thanks to Mr. Boggs.

Michael Campbell is a former Lawrence County resident who now calls Statesville, N.C., home.