So how does any of this connect? I worked off boredom, frustration and pressure from the office job by doodling at my desk. Someone saw the little drawings, and showed me George Bain's book. I got 'The Voice' at a stoplight across the street from a Harley shop, and was inspired to return to school. Years later I started doodling at the desk again when I got into the School of Education, (see a connection?) and again, people would ask me if they could have the pictures. I got the artistic burn, and turned those doodles into serious work. I bought the motorcycle at the same place where 'The Voice' first prompted me to go to college, and get a job that would give me enough money to buy the bike, and enough time to travel on it. And to stretch the web of coincidence even thinner, I would not have made that first long solo journey if the gal I also met at the Harley shop hadn't broken up with me just before the school year ended in '91. 'The Voice' again prompted me to stop in Elkins where I found the Celtic art book again. As I said yesterday, the connections are often tenuous, and separated by great lengths of time.
But time, and timing are also part of it. I didn't get inspired to go to college until I was ready to invest the effort required to finish. I didn't get George Bain's book in hand until I was ready to invest the effort into learning how it was done. It took months of study to get it down. And this blog sat empty for two years until I was ready to 'find it', and begin this project.
But here's a lighter, and more amusing example of synchronistic coincidence. The bicycle is a 1950 Schwinn B-6. When I bought it, it was missing the headlight, pedals, seat post and gooseneck. It had a set of chrome plated fenders that rightly belonged to the Schwinn Phantom, which is the same machine only with a fancier paint scheme, and more chrome. I was still working in field service when I bought it. Sometime before I bought it I had a service call at a run down, and very old house in a crappy part of town. I noticed a large pile of junk bikes in the back yard, and mentioned to the owner that I had been looking for old Schwinn stuff. I left my phone number, and moved on. Many months later, and shortly after I bought the B-6 I got a call from the old guy. He had a thrashed old Phantom sitting in the back of the garage, and wondered if I would be interested. The bike was junk, but the headlight, gooseneck, and seat post were just what I needed. Some years later during the college phase, I was on Main Street in Huntington beach, standing in front of a shop that had some old bikes for sale. In the window sat a dingy Phantom. I noticed a guy standing next to me, also checking out the old Phantom. "Cool bike, huh?" I said.
He said, "Yeah. I have one like it at home, but the problem is that the fenders on it belong on a red B-6.
Oh- a final note. Shortly after I bought it, I designed a custom paint scheme for the Hog, and had it painted in the same pattern and colors as the old Schwinn. I have some snapshots of the motorcycle somewhere, but no decent pictues. bummer.