Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Hail to Thee Oh Needashave!

Needashave is based on the bewhiskered old man with the green bike and saddlebags who often rode silently past my first, childhood home. It seemed he spray painted his entire bike green, including the wheels and saddlebags. We were across from the fenced-in O & W railway yards, and any traveler past our home was reason to run to the front and let fly our greetings. But, Needashave was a challenge. He never acknowledged the existence of anyone on our street that I ever saw. He patently ignored our waves of greeting, as he did any from other kids in the neighborhood. Actually, he ignored the adults as well. But we kept trying.
My home at 210 Cottage Street

And we never knew where he was going, though he rode his bike very smoothly and with a decided firmness of intention no matter the weather. No one I knew had ever seen him anyplace except our street, riding to or fro. From what Ed told me, Needashave was spending his last days living in a rock wall in the woods up the hilly street. And, of course, older brother Ed always told the truth to his much younger siblings [he saw it on the Internet?.]

Needashave's existence, albeit a harmless one, was used by Mom and Dad, jokingly, as the local bogeyman [we pronounced it boogeyman] when we needed chastisement for any wayward kid activities. But, knowing his aloofness as we did, we were far from terrified.

From what I could gather, this harmless soul lived alone somewhere up the hill, had only a bike for transportation, and was not interested in Middletown society, however modest. But, for me at least, he'll always be a childhood memory. "Hail to thee, oh Needashave!"

Hail to Thee Oh Needashave

Silent lane with breeze alive;
Powered chain and a one wheel drive;
Sun or rain---and that's no jive!
..........Rides along our Needashave.

Saddle bags with contents hid;
Passing crags with a no climb bid;
Zigs nor zags---but smoothly rid.
..........Rides along our Needashave.

Barber's bane, he'd use no blade;
Ragged mane of cut delayed;
Hirsute pain? Yet features staid.
..........Rides along our Needashave.

Railroad fence whizzing by;
Common sense tells you why:
“Riding hence, while always shy!”
..........Hail to thee oh Needashave!