Totem Pole Tales- The Autobiography of a Bicycle Rim
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook May 2, 2014

Caption : The Lobdell stamp that was put on all wooden rims made in our Onaway Factory.
width="800" Afte having some clamps put on me so I would not move, I was thrown in a cart. I had now become completely discouraged becausde I had been so straight and now I was bent out of shape and could not get back if I tried. Finally someone took thoswe dreadful iron clamps off and I began to regain courage.
How nice it would be to straighten out again, but alas that was impossible; I had become as stiff as the iron itself. Yet this was not all, for I was then carried to a man who sawed me once more into two pieces.
This puzzled me greatly, to have them make me so round and then cut me up again, but I was soon to find out the reason.
I was again cut into round pieces and my head and feet were split so they fitted together, I was now round, hyet not very good looking, but when they stuck me together again I began to feel that perhaps I soon would be good after all.
I was next taken to a machine and a man held something rough against me, as I went around at terrific speed, I was so dizzy when I was taken out of that scarcely realized that I was being carried to another man who looked me over and held what looked like a dollar, but was only a measure, on my side, and then shoved me toward a man who separated the good from the bad.
I held my breath, because I knew that this meant that I would becom a bicycle rim or a cull. I will never forget the trial that I underwent in the inspection but I was put with the rims and soon another man looked me over and filled up the small holes in my side with something that looked very much like putty.
I was next taken to another room where I was painted a very pretty red and rubbed with some hard stuff and the repainted.
There was still another room to visit and here a man put some pretty black stripes on me, which made me feel very proud because I felt certain that I was now very good looking. I then entered a quiet room where a man put a lot of sticky stuff on me.
I did not like this at first, but, when I found that it added to my beauty, I suffered in silence.
I was then taken into a dark apartment, which was awfully dry and hot, and here I was left for quite awhile, unti a man came and looked me over and I was finally taken to a place where a man punched holes in me. I didin't like this treatment, but my wise head told me I would be useless without the holes, I was then crated and taken to a dark car, in which I tgraveled to a great bicycle factory.
I was in the best of spirits, but I was doomed to disappointment, becaused I was not touched for about two months.
At last I was taken awaay and soon some small steel wires were put in me; they are called spokes and we soon became very good friends.
Next some rubber tubes were put all the way around my back. Last of all I was put on a wheel and again sent away.
When I reached my destination I was given to a boy who seemed to think I was the whol thing.
After a while things became monotonous but the next year things were brightened by an accident.
This at least was exciting, if dangerous. My owner ran me into a telephone pole and I was badly broken. I felt very badly and thought my life was over but I had another surpise in store for me.
I had wondered why, in my making, I had been cut into two parts, but I now found out that one half of me was still good.
I was put on a wheel with another piece of rim, repainted, and once more I enjoyed life.
But after two years I was entirely discarded. I was picked up by a boy who sawed off a piece of me about eight inches long, then fastened me to another piece of wood and made a hoop roller.
I was used for a while but now, while I am telling this story I am lying in that boy's woodshed.
From the Onaway Outlook, May 2, 2014, page 5.
Retyped by J. Anderson

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