Friday, April 29, 2011

Associate Collector - Part Two

At one point, the rental house on Iliff, which you can see from my back yard, was occupied by a rather interesting guy who was known to his associates as "Scary Gary".  Gary was about 55 years old, and had never held more than a temporary part-time job in his life.  He had drifted into Colorado a few years earlier, from Iowa, and had never even registered his truck in Colorado.  He was, as we say, "flying under the radar".

Gary made a living, of sorts, through a little casual drug-dealing, day-labor work, and metal scrapping.  He was one of those guys who drives through the alleys, picking up discarded bed frames, etc., from the dumpsters.  Once his truck was filled with scrap, he would take it to the recycler and sell it.

One of the things he did differently than a lot of the scrappers, though, was he brought bicycles home rather than taking them directly to the recycle yard.  He would separate the alloy parts from the steel, and get more money that way than he would if he sold them in one piece.

He came wandering over, one day, as I was out in the yard (this was before I built my fence), and asked me if I wanted to look at some bikes.  He had seen me working on bikes, and figured I might want to see them before he disassembled them.

I followed him to the shed, where he had a pile of bikes.  There were mostly Huffys and Murrays, nothing really worth saving, except...

There was a Specialized StreetStomper, the bike that Scott had ramrodded through at Specialized, with the original StreetStomper tires still on it!  I couldn't believe it.

"What do you want for this?" I asked Gary.  Then, I told him why I wanted it.

"Hell, man, just take it for your buddy.  I picked it up in an alley. I ain't out no money," he said.

So, we rolled it over to my back porch, and I went into the kitchen and grabbed a six-pack of beer I had happened to buy the day before.  I gave the beer to Gary, and told him I felt like I had to give him something.

So, I found one of the most rare Specialized bikes that there is, one that had a really strong personal meaning for Scott, and got it for the cost of a six-pack of Fat Tire.

And, Gary insisted on sharing the beer with me, so I guess I actually got it for 3 bottles of ale.  Not too bad.


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As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.