For some reason, this story has always resonated with me and, in many ways, I find it one of the more memorable things that Kerry wrote. While it has no date on it, my guess is that Kerry composed it in the early to mid-70s.
Enjoy this bike ride down memory lane.
To begin my story with anything but The Man on the Bicycle is by now nearly unthinkable to me.
The Man on the Bicycle probably had what by 1942 standards was long hair. He was certainly bearded fully—I remember that much clearly.
My mother says he always wore swimming trunks and carried somehow along with him a butterfly net.
Every morning and every evening of the Los Angeles summer. Up one way and down the other along the boulevard (Hoover Street).
The Man on the Bicycle had a deep sun tan and his hair was like burnished gold. Undoubtedly. Or maybe not. But he certainly seemed a superbly impressive phenomena to my four-year-old mind.
Even passing on a daily basis he managed to surpass in my eyes the occasional canvas-covered trucks of soldiers. And they waved. The Man on the Bicycle probably never gave us more than a passing, casual glance. But there were many soldiers in those days.
That Man on the Bicycle—he was one of a kind.
“If you depend on radios and record players for your music, you owe your soul to the power company.”
—The Secret Teachings of Paul Beihl