Me with the new bicycle.

It all started with free tickets to the Saturday matinee at the Mayfair Theater in Fresno, California.  The free tickets came with the purchase of a bag of potato chips.  It was either Laura Scudder or Granny Goose potato chips.  I was around 11 or 12 years old at the time and my sister, Cynthia was 13 or 14 years old.  We pleaded our case to get our  mother to buy two bags of chips so we could attend the matinee.  The real bonus was they were having a drawing after the show for a 3 speed bicycle, using the numbers on the ticket stubs.

Cynthia's friend, Linda, had a neighbor who offered to give us a ride to the theater along with her children.  When the movie was concluded, a man from the theater came on stage to announce the drawing.  They brought out the bicycles (a boys if the winner was a boy and a girls for a girl winner).  As they called the winning number, Cynthia and I could hardly believe our ears.  Cynthia had the winning ticket!  She was embarrassed and a little shy about going up to claim the bicycle, while on the other hand, I didn't have a problem going up to claim it.  We both went up together.  You could see the looks of envy from all the other youngsters as we proceeded to the stage.  We had only two tickets, while some of those kids had handfuls of tickets.  I can only imagine how many families were forced to eat potato chips for weeks, all because of a child's dream to win a new bicycle.

The bicycle was a real beauty and very streamlined compared to the old big tired bomber we were used to riding  It was blue, had 3 speeds and it's own tire pump secured to the bike.  Hand brakes on the handle bars.  This was going to take some getting used to and skinny tires as well.

Our next hurdle to cross was getting the bike home from the theater.  When the same lady showed up to take us home, she seemed quite agitated that her children had not won the bicycle.  She drove a station wagon and there was plenty of room for us to get the bike in her car.  She decided we should get a ride home from our parents.  Off she went and Cynthia and I stood, the two of us alone with the bicycle and surrounded by a group of other children waiting for their ride home.  More than one approached us asking if we really wanted the bike and were going to keep it.

Since it was a Saturday, our father always worked half a day on Saturdays.  We called home to tell mama our good news and to ask if daddy could come and pick us up along with the bicycle.  It wasn't long after that daddy arrived in the old Jorgensen company truck to give us a ride home.  Our family was very happy about the bicycle.

That bicycle provided many years of pleasure for me.  I rode it far more than sister, Cynthia.  We certainly were lucky that day to win over so many other children.

Cynthia and the new bicycle.

Mama on the new bicycle

Daddy in his Sunday suit on the new bicycle.