Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer


1976 Demm Smily

“Hey, were you at the concerts in ’76?” asked the welder as I approached.”Nope,” I responded. “Man, that was the best, they were just giving you drugs, now you have to buy ’em.”

I was not yet born in ’76 but I’m not sure this guy knew his age either. He was a rough, scraggly looking bastard missing a few faculties. I entertained him though – I was there to do business. I had called this guy earlier in response to a classifieds ad for a $350 running moped.

“I have this moped… you want to buy it?” he asked.

“I might be interested, how much do you want for it and can I hear it run?”

“I just had it running this morning… but now the stupid thing won’t start… I dunno, since it’s not running… how bout two hundred bucks?” he said scratching his scruffy cheek.

“How about 180?” I responded. He had listed it for $350, so this was sounding reasonable, assuming it actually had been running.

He froze for a second, squinted his eyes and glared deeply into mine. “How about 150?”

“Ok… deal?” I said hesitantly, not sure what was happening.

“Alright, let me get the title!” He dashed inside, then he popped is head back out the door. “Wait, I said $150 right?” I slowly nodded and he said, “Right on! $150!” and scurried back in for the title.

When he returned, his eyes lit up. “Wait a second… you aren’t the guy who called this morning, are you??”

I got that bike to ride around town when I was in high school. It was a 1976 Demm Smily from Italy, and I rode that thing everywhere and anywhere. Down to the courts to play basketball, out to parties, or even just cruising around town. The bike played a part in many fond memories with great friends. For the past 16 years, it has been with me through high school, college, my first job, my first house, and getting married.

I used to ride it everyday, but the last few years, it’s been sitting idle in the garage. I thought about selling it every now and then, but it had sentimental value. Mrs CK knew it meant a lot to me, so she always supported me hanging on to it. It’s not worth that much money anyway.

A younger Crazy Kicks, 16 years ago

A younger Crazy Kicks, 16 years ago

But lately I started to realize it was not only taking up space in my garage, but also in my mind. Every time I would think of things to clear out and sell, the moped popped up. After thinking about how much I might be able to get for the bike, I would decide it wasn’t worth selling. Besides, how could I give up on this thing that had so much history and meaning to me?

It not only took up my thoughts, but also created a roadblock to clearing out other things. How did this piece of machinery all of the sudden become something I needed to keep with me?  While I was writing about my RSX Type-S recently, I looked through the pictures of my first new car, and was able to relish in the memories as well as appreciate the gift my past self gave me by selling it. I decided to once again pay it forward to my future self. I dusted the moped off, got it running, and shined up the chrome one last time. After advertising on Craigslist, I quickly sold the moped for $340.

Sure $340 is not that much cash. But I still have the photos and the memories, which are even better than having an old bike dripping oil on my garage floor as it sadly sat unused. Now my future self won’t need to spend time maintaining the bike and stressing over whether or not to sell it. It makes for one more possession that no longer owns my mind, and the extra cash can be used to travel and make exciting new memories.

An added perk is, I gained another great memory from selling he bike. The new owner of the moped is an 18 year old kid, just like I had been when I first got the bike. He was really excited, telling me about all the plans he had for restoring it, and wanted to ride the bike home 8 miles away. Now, rather than wasting away in my garage, the bike will have a chance to make great new memories all over again.

22 thoughts on “Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer

  1. That’s a great way to think about that moped. It does no use to anyone if it’s just sitting in that garage. And it’s really all about pulling that band aid off. Once it’s sold, that’s it. No turning back and no regrets.

    Well done getting it sold. And if I’m right, you made a profit too (or maybe not with maintenance costs)? But still, it’s like you got to rent that moped.

    • Thanks FP! I did make a profit, even if it was 16 years later. Maintenance was mostly just my time, not much cash.

      I like getting paid to rent toys 🙂

  2. Great story Mr. Crazy Kicks!

    Truly, sometimes our memories and experiences hold us hostage. Over the years I’ve gotten better at not holding onto items for sentimental value, but I’m sure I still have a few.

    The problem is, we humans forget things very easily. Having the object around is a great way to remind ourselves, but I agree…pictures take much less space.

    Just remember to back-up all those digital photos!

    • Thanks, it was an interesting story getting the bike.
      I’m not too worried about forgetting the moped now that it’s even been written about 🙂

  3. Great way of thinking about something that you no longer use. You’ll always be able to smile at the pictures and think about the good times. Plus it won’t take up anymore room in your garage.

    I’m still struggling if I should clean out my “closet” and get rid of my Nintendo and baseball cards. I haven’t looked at either one in years but haven’t had the guts to part with them yet.

    Sounds like I need to find some pictures of me playing with them and sell them.

    • Thanks! It never hurts to declutter. I prefer to think about an old possession and have a good memory rather than worrying about what to do with it.

  4. That’s a really nice story, Mr. CK. And a great message. Not easy to do that kind of thing…

    Awesome picture from 16 years ago!

    And man oh man, that dude you bought the bike from was a fierce negotiator. You’re lucky you only paid $150. If the negotiations hadn’t ended there, you might’ve had to shell out $65 or even $20!

  5. Cool story! It was smart of you to sell the bike to a kid who’d get good use out of it. I think I know the guy who sold It to you. He smoked doobies in the school yard I hung out at in Brooklyn. And he said “far out!” a lot.

  6. Isn’t it great that something you valued so much is now making someone else happy too! Taking a picture of sentimental “things” is a great way to keep them in your memories, but still be able to let them go.

    De-cluttering frees up space for the important things in life. For me, it’s an ongoing process, for sure.

    • Yes, It’s nice to know these items are getting more use, and just because they are gone doesn’t mean we have to lose our memories with them.

  7. Great story and something I started working on myself. Now in my 40’s I have so much stuff I’ve accumulated its going to be a real chore to clean it all up, sell it etc. Now I don’t buy as much stuff at all, not only for financial reasons, but the clutter factor as well.

    • Thanks Arrgo! It’s incredible how much stuff you accumulate over the years. Some people do not realize how much stuff they have until they try to move. De-cluttering has been an ongoing process for us as well.

  8. It can be hard to let go of possessions that were a huge part of your life. It’s dorky, but I hung on to my Pokémon trading cards for a long, long time. I haven’t played with them since I was 8, but I was overcome with a weird sadness by getting rid of them. But there’s always a time to move on. 🙂

    Glad that you managed to give the moped a second life! It’ll get a lot of love and live on. 🙂

    • Thanks, Mrs. Picky Pincher! It certainly is harder to give up possessions that we have memories with. Congratulations on clearing out your Pokémon cards 🙂

  9. Great post man, you really painted a vivid picture. Love that you were able to let go of something you no longer needed and the moped got to make that kid’s day. Nicely done!

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