jeremy's adult tricycle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic


the story is about a young man and his adult tricycle

Submitted: May 26, 2018

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Submitted: May 26, 2018

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Chris Clarkson

41 Potters Shed Drive

Columbus, Ohio 43068

 

JEREMY’S ADULT TRICYCLE

By Chris Eugene Clarkson

 

On a beautiful summer morning on the Ohio

State campus, Jeremy Washington was enjoying

the mindset of an artist. Lights, colors, and

images were a source of joy and inspiration to the

young art student. Jeremy often painted portraits

of his family and members of his extended family.

He also painted scenes of Connecticut, his native

state, and scenes of South Carolina, where he

graduated from high school. Jeremy was a

talented artist, and he drew somewhat like

Norman Rockwell. As Jeremy went out the back

door of his house, he saw Kathleen Van Dyke and

Jodie Halvorson playing badminton out in the

back yard. Kathleen and Jodie were local school

teachers. With classes out for the summer, the

two young women were celebrating their freedom.

The weather was perfect for bicycling---or in

Jeremy’s case---tricycling. Jeremy had an adult

tricycle that he had painted in red and gray

colors. The spokes were red and gray, the rear

wheels were red, the front wheel was gray, the

gear was gray, the bearing was red, and the crate

was red and gray. Jeremy’s adult tricycle was a

virtual flag of Ohio State’s colors.

“I’m going cycling,” Jeremy called out to

Kathleen and Jodie, who were resting between

games.

“Bye, Jeremy,” said Kathleen. “Have fun.”

Kathleen and Jodie were roommates with whom

Jeremy shared a house.

“We’re ordering pizzas from Donatos,” said

Jodie.

“We’re having it delivered,” said Kathleen.

“What kind of pizza would you like?”

“Medium pizza with pepperoni, bacon,

mushrooms, ground beef, and onions, please!”

Jeremy smiled in response.

“Your pizza will be here when you get back,”

said Jodie. “Enjoy your ride.”

“Will do!” said Jeremy. He went to the garage

door, and hit the colde to open the garage door.

Jeremy brought out his adult tricycle, and used

the code to close the garage, then pedaled off. He

pedaled past the Robert Louis Stevenson

Elementary School and Pierce Field. Women were

playing tennis, men and women were playing

basketball, and there was a softball game going

strong. Jeremy pedaled up the hill and watched

some men installing new traffic lights on

armposts, and pedaled past the Boulevard

Presbyterian Church. Next door to the Boulevard

Presbyterian Church, William Anderson was

washing his red 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner.

William was the owner of Grandview Hobbies.

That’s where Jeremy purchased his red, white,

and blue 1971 AMC Javelin, and his green and

white 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. Jeremy had a slot

car layout at home which he built himself, and he

often raced his slot cars whenever he didn’t have

any schoolwork.

“Well, if it isn’t Jeremy Washington,” said

William. “I love your tricycle. Where did you find

it?”

“I got it from a bicycle shop down in South

Carolina,” said Jeremy. “It was a high school

graduation present.”

“That’s nice, Jeremy. My wife and I went to

see a movie at the Grandview Theater, and we

saw a couple riding adult tricycles. They were

dressed in University of Michigan jogging outfits.

The man rode a yellow tricycle, and the woman

rode a blue one. Yellow and blue are the colors of

Michigan.”

“They must be a pair of University of

Michigan fans, William.”

“They must be, Jeremy, considering the outfit

and the color of the tricycles.”

“They must be from Michigan, William.”

“They told me that they were from Michigan.

Detroit, to be exact. Not all people in Columbus

are Ohio State fans.”

“I’m a Buckeye through and through,

William.”

“I can tell by the colors of your ride. My wife

and I are OSU fans, too. In fact, every time Ohio

State plays both at home and away, I have my

DVR programmed so that I don’t miss the games.

I always wear my Ohio State University shirt

when I’m at work, and my radio is always on so

that I can listen to the football games while I’m at

work.”

“Way to go, William! Are you going

somewhere? I see you’re getting your car spiffed

up.”

“Actually, I am. My wife and I are going to Los

Angeles.”

“You are? For how long, William?”

“We’re going for two weeks. Grandview

Hobbies will be closed while my wife and I are

away.”

“What route will you be taking?”

“We’re going to take Interstate 70 to Saint

Louis.”

“What road do you take out of Saint Louis?”

“We take Interstate 44 to Oklahoma City,

then we get on Interstate 40 through Texas, New

Mexico, Arizona, and when we reach California,

we take Interstate 10, which will take us to Los

Angeles.”

“What will you be doing in California?”

“We’re going to Disneyland, tour NBC and

Universal Studios, go to the San Diego Zoo, visit

the Petersen Automotive Museum, take a bus tour

of the homes where the stars live, and we’re going

to the beach and surf.”

“Have a safe trip, William.”

“See you, Jeremy, and enjoy the rest of your

ride.” William and Jeremy waved their goodbyes

as Jeremy pedaled away. He pedaled past the

Third and Hollywood Café. Eating dinner and

drinking some Sprite soda were Marcia Schmidt

and Melissa McDougal, staff members from the

Grandview Heights Public Library. Marcia

worked at the reference department, and Melissa

worked in the children’s department.

“Well, if it isn’t Jeremy Washington,” said

Marcia. “Hey Melissa, check out Jeremy’s cycle!”

“I love it,” said Melissa. “Where did you get

your tricycle?”

“It was a high school graduation present from

my parents,” said Jeremy.

“That’s nice,” said Melissa. “You must be a

true Ohio State fan!”

“I go to Ohio State, and I’m for the Buckeyes

all the way,” said Jeremy.

“We are too,” said Marcia. “Melissa and I are

Ohio State fans, too.”

“We’re going to go bowling at Sawmill Lanes

when we finish here,” said Marcia.

“Get lots of strikes,” said Jeremy.

“We will, Jeremy,” said Marcia. Jeremy,

Marcia, and Melissa said good-bye to each other,

and Jeremy pedaled across West Third Avenue,

then across Grandview Avenue. He ran into

Everett Stewart, his art professor, at the corner of

West Third and Fairview Avenue. He was

carrying a bag of groceries from Giant Eagle

toward his house.

“Hello there, Mr. Stewart,” said Jeremy.

“Hello there, Jeremy,” said Everett.

“What do you think of my tricycle?”

“I love it, Jeremy. I can envision you pedaling

around the Ohio State campus on it. You must

bleed scarlet and gray to ride a trike with that

paint job.”

“I do, Professor Stewart. That’s how I was

able to paint my cycle in red and gray colors!”

laughed Jeremy.

“Nobody would ever mistake you for a fan of

another school. You’re for the Buckeyes all the

way!”

“You’re absolutely right, Professor Stewart.”

“That makes the two of us. I hate to cut our

conversation short, but I have to carry the

groceries home before the ice cream melts and the

meat spoils. Enjoy the rest of this nice summer

weather and your ride. I’ll see you in September.”

“See you around, Professor Stewart.” Jeremy

waved at Everett, and he waved back at Jeremy.

“A nice summer. What will I do with a nice long

summer?” Jeremy entered the football field at the

Grandview Heights High School. Jeremy pedaled

around the track in a clockwise pattern. As he

pedaled, he daydreamed about being in a tricycle

race. In Jeremy’s daydream, he was in an annual

tricycle race pedaling along the streets of

Grandview Heights, trees and bleachers in a blur.

He was in the lead! The crowd was roaring. The

pack was behind him, furiously trying to catch up.

But Jeremy was so far ahead, that the pack

couldn’t beat him. Jeremy crossed the finish line.

The crowd went wild! Jeremy came back to reality

with a jolt! WOW!” Even though Jeremy’s

shoulders ached and pain shot through his legs,

he was exhiliarated. “A race,” thought Jeremy.

“What a great idea!”

Jeremy pedaled west on Third Avenue, then

south on Cambridge Boulevard. As Jeremy was

pedaling down Cambridge Boulevard, he smelled

a cookout. Now that was an aroma Jeremy

couldn’t resist. After all, summer wasn’t summer

without hot dogs and hamburgers being cooked on

the grill. Too bad that Jeremy hadn’t received an

invitation. But smelling the aroma was

consolation enough. On the corner of West First

and Cambridge Boulevard was the First

Community Christian Church. Jeremy pedaled

past it to West First Avenue toward his home. As

Jeremy approached the Grandview Heights Public

Library, Jeremy saw Abigail Kackstetter loving it.

Abigail Kackstetter was Kathleen Van Dyke’s and

Jodie Halvorson’s next-door neighbor. Abigail

worked as a manager of the Lady Foot Locker

store at the Easton Town Center. With Abigail

was her sister Tiffany Householder. She worked

as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.

“Oh hello there, Abigail and Tiffany,” said

Jeremy.

“I love your tricycle!” said Abigail. “Jeremy,

you must be one of the top people who support

OSU’s school colors!”

“You’re absolutely right, Abigail,” said

Jeremy. “Would your husband and your sons

Russell and Keith like to have tricycles like

mine?”

“We’d love to, Jeremy,” said Abigail. “We’d

have fun pedaling around the Ohio State campus.

Mitchell and I went there, you know.”

“You did?” asked Jeremy.

“We did,” said Abigail.

“I bet the students and the faculty would like

it if you had Ohio State University tricycles,

Abigail,” said Jeremy.

“I bet they would, too,” said Abigail. “Now that

you’ve mentioned it, Mitchell and I might go to

the Campus Bicycle Shop and purchase adult

tricycles and have them painted in Ohio State

University’s colors.”

“That’s nice, Abigail,” said Jeremy. “Would

you pedal your adult tricycles to OSU football

games?”

“Absolutely!” said Abigail. “The students,

faculty, and the sports fans would applaud our

cycling around in OSU colors.”

“They would, all right,” said Jeremy.

“Now, I might have gone to Kent State

University,” answered Tiffany. “But I enjoy OSU

football, and the men’s and women’s basketball

teams. I’d love to have an adult tricycle in Ohio

State colors, too.”

“That’s great, Tiffany,” said Jeremy. “What’s

with all the books on Washington?” Jeremy

noticed all the books that Jodie was carrying.

“We’re going on a vacation to Washington,

D.C., Jeremy,” said Tiffany.

“You are?” asked Jeremy. “What’ll you be

doing in Washington?”

“We’re going to tour the White House, the

Washington Monument, the Smithsonian

Instiute, the Federal Bureau of Investigaton, and

visit Colonial Williamsburg,” said Tiffany. “We’re

going to Virginia Beach, too.”

“You are?” asked Jeremy. “When are you and

your family going?”

“We’ll be going next week,” said Tiffany.

“We’re going to take Interstate 70 to

Washington, Pennsylvania,” said Abigail. “From

there, we take Interstate 79 down to Morgantown,

West Virginia. From Morgantown, we get on

Interstate 68 through Maryland.”

“We’re going to stay at the Hyatt Regency in

downtown Washington,” said Tiffany.

“Have a safe trip, Abigail and Tiffany,” said

Jeremy.

“Thank you, Jeremy,” said Tiffany.

“Where are you headed now?” asked Jeremy.

“I’m going to pick up my boyfriend Jarad

Hutchinson,” said Tiffany. “He’s African-

American. Jarad works at the gift shop at Port

Columbus Airport.”

“We’re all going to see a movie at the Easton

Town Center,” said Abigail. “See you later.”

“See you later, Tiffany and Abigail,” said

Jeremy. The two women and Jeremy exchanged

waves goodbye. Jeremy was tired and very glad to

be nearly home. Jeremy pedaled across

Grandview Avenue. The traffic light was blinking.

Jeremy had to be careful pedaling across the

street. West First Avenue became a tree-lined

street after he pedaled across Grandview Avenue.

When Jeremy arrived home, Kathleen was exiting

a black 1965 Chevrolet BelAir station wagon. It

was her mother’s car. Jeremy used his remote to

open the garage door.

“How was your ride?” asked Kathleen.

“It was great,” Jeremy said, feeling his first

hunger pangs. “I saw Abigail and Tiffany. They

complimented my cycle.”

“That was nice of them, Jeremy,” said

Kathleen. “Now I might’ve gone to Brigham

Young University out in Provo, Utah, but I’m a

fan of Ohio State University Buckeye football and

basketball teams.”

“Well, Kathleen, if you and Jodie had adult

tricycles in Ohio State colors, what would you do?

Where would you go?”

“Maybe we would go pedaling on the

Olentangy Bike Trail.”

“That’s so nice of you to say that, Kathleen.

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, you

know.” Kathleen and Jeremy entered the kitchen.

Out in the back yard, Jodie was sitting down

on the steps playing with Jeremy’s orange 1969

Pontiac GTO Judge hot rod car.

“Pizzas are here,” said Kathleen.

“I’m getting hungry, Kathleen,” said Jennifer.

Kathleen gave Jeremy a salad, pieces of pizza

with bacon, ham, ground beef, mushrooms, and

onions, and root beer to drink. As Jeremy finished

drinking his root beer, he suddenly felt terribly

tired. His legs felt like two heavy clubs and were

cramping. Jeremy needed to soak in a hot bath.

“Good night, Kathleen and Jodie,” he said.

“I’m off to bed. Thanks for the supper.” Jeremy

usually spent part of the evening in his bedroom

playing with his slot cars and admiring his

Lindsay Caldwell poster, or listening to her CD.

Tonight, after his bath, Jeremy ignored them all.

He went straight to his bed and fell asleep.

Jeremy dreamed that Kathleen, Jodie, and he

were pedaling along a bicycle train past the Ohio

State University campus on their way to a picnic

at Antrim Park up in Worthington.

On Sunday morning, Jeremy woke up to the

sound of Frank Sinatra singing “A Foggy Day in

London Town.” But right here in Columbus, the

sun was shining and Kathleen and Jodie had fixed

a great deal of pancakes, Bob Evans sausage, and

hominy. Kathleen and Jodie were both going to

church, then shop for groceries at the Meijer store

on Sawmill Road. Jeremy suddenly knew what he

would do with this day.

“I’m going to pedal my tricycle in Upper

Arlington today,” said Jeremy as he sat down to

eat some breakfast.

“You are?” asked Kathleen. “Jodie and I

graduated from Upper Arlington High School.”

“Take your key,” answered Jodie. “You may

get home before we do.”

“I will, Jodie,” said Jeremy. “I’ll go get it. It’s

in my pouch pocket upstairs.” After eating his

breakfast, and putting his dish in the dishwasher,

Jeremy went upstairs to his room. His pouch

pocket was hanging on the doorknob. It was gray

with the words OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

written in red letters. Jeremy wrapped his pouch

pocket around his waist. Then he headed

downstairs. Kathleen turned on the dishwasher.

“I’m out of here,” said Jeremy.

“Enjoy your tricycle ride,” said Kathleen.

“We’ll see you when we get back,” said

Jodie. “As we mentioned to you earlier, you may

get back before we do.”

“All right,” said Jeremy, and he waved at

Kathleen and Jodie. They waved back at Jeremy.

He went to the garage. Jeremy pressed the code

for the remote and the garage door opened.

Wheeling his tricycle out, he leaped on and

started with a rush. Jeremy pedaled up Oxley

Road past the Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary

School. Across the street at Pierce Field, women

were playing a game of basketball. Up the hill

Jeremy pedaled, then he made a left turn at the

intersection of Northwest Boulevard and Oxley.

Jeremy pedaled past the Boulevard Presbyterian

Church. Jeremy pedaled west on Third Avenue

Past the Third & Hollywood Café. Jeremy pedaled

down West Third, north on North Star Avenue,

and up North Star Avenue until he reached

Northwest Boulevard. He was now in Upper

Arlington. On Jeremy’s cycle ride, he passed by

two elementary schools, a senior center, and the

Upper Arlington Public Library, which was one of

Jeremy’s favorite haunts, and into Northam Park,

with its swimming pool and tennis courts. Jeremy

stopped briefly to watch a Little League baseball

game in progress. Jeremy pedaled his tricycle

from Northam road down to Northwest Boulevard.

By the time Jeremy neared home, his legs were

stiff and cramped. He could hardly see straight.

Jeremy yawned as he approached Oxley road. It

was such a relief to just stick his legs out and

coast down the hill on Oxley Road and into the

garage. Kathleen and Jodie were shopping at

Meijer, he guessed. Jeremy parked his tricycle in

the garage, and he got his keychain out of his

pouch pocket. He opened the back door, walking

stiffly. He went towards the front door, glanced

through bills from Saturday’s mail, a People

Weekly magazine, and Redbook, McCalls,

Columbus Monthly, and an Ohio magazine.

Dropping those magazines and the bills on the

Tri-Village News, a

neighborhood newspaper, and took the paper

upstairs to his room. On the back, a headline

caught his eye:

ASSOCIATION FOR THE

DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED

10TH ANNUAL ADULT TRICYCLE

RACE

SATURDAY, JUNE 14 AT 10:00 A.M

GRAND PRIZE IS $7,500 WORTH OF

GROCERIES AT MEIJER STORES.

Jeremy could hardly believe his eyes. How many

would race in the contest? Who would his

competition be? Jeremy realized that there was no

question about it. He WOULD race. He wanted to

win the race---not just for the prize, but for the

winning. Visions of New York strip steaks, fresh

fish, imported cheeses, pure Vermont maple

syrup, and snacks filled his mind, and his mouth

watered. Jeremy remembered his make-believe

race around the track at Grandview Heights High

School. Then Jeremy remembered how tired and

sore his back and shoulders were and how

cramped his legs had gotten. He came back to

reality with a thump.

“I’ll need to get back in shape, and a week

isn’t much time,” thought Jeremy. The front door

opened.

“Jeremy, we’re back,” said Kathleen. Yes,

Kathleen could help him plan his stategy. He

walked down the steps quickly, waving the

Tri-Village News.

“I have something to show you,” yelled

Jeremy. “It’s on page six!”

“Let’s see what you’re so excited about,

Jeremy Washington!” laughed Jodie as she

dropped her bag of groceries on the couch. The bag

of groceries was strong enough so that it wouldn’t

rip.

“Jeremy Washington, this race has your name

all over it!” said Jodie.

“And I’m going to enter,” said Jeremy. His

eyes were wide open.

“Jeremy, we couldn’t stop you even if we

wanted to,” said Kathleen. Both Kathleen and

Jodie smiled delightedly as Jodie patted Jeremy’s

shoulder.

“This is great, Jeremy,” said Jodie. “My

sister Jacqueline Mansfield and my brother-in-law

are going to watch you and cheer you on!”

“If you intend to win this race, I’ll have my

work cut out for me,” said Kathleen.

“A week isn’t very long to train,” said Jodie.

“My thoughts exactly, Kathleen and Jodie,”

said Jeremy. “Will you and Jodie help me set up a

good program?”

“We would love to, Jeremy,” said Jodie.

“We’ll need lots of leg strengthing and some

durability workouts, as well as speed workouts,”

said Kathleen.

“YEAH!” cried Jeremy enthusiastically.

“There’s a track at the Grandview Heights High

School.”

“There’ll be competition,” said Kathleen.

“Now remember, if you don’t come in first

place, it’s not the end of the world,” said Jodie.

“But Kathleen and Jodie, I plan to win,” said

Jeremy stubbornly as Kathleen swung an arm

around Jeremy’s right shoulder.

“Then let’s go down and get started before

supper,” said Kathleen.

“All right, Kathleen,” said Jeremy as he

followed her to the basement. The basement was

set up as a gym, and Kathleen and Jodie knew

that he could use the equipment. There was a

treadmill, an aerobic stepper, a machine for arm

and leg presses, along with jumping ropes.

Kathleen tried Jeremy on each, timing him as he

worked out.

“I’m getting hungry,” said Jeremy. “I can

smell that pizza!”

“And here’s a salad with ranch dressing and

pink lemonade,” said Jodie.

“All that coaching builds up an appetite!”

snorted Jeremy.

“It does,” said Jodie.

“By the way, Jodie,” said Jeremy. “Why

are you fixing pizza?”

“I just thought that I’d fix something quick for

a Sunday dinner, Jeremy,” said Jodie. “Anything

wrong with that?”

“I don’t mind eating pizza again,” said Jeremy.

“Thanks for appreciating what Jodie cooked,”

said Kathleen.

“You’re welcome, Kathleen and Jodie,”

answered Jeremy. For the next six days, Jeremy

worked harder than he’d ever work in his life.

Kathleen and Jodie would have Jeremy work out

on the exercise equipment. They would run with

Jeremy at the track, and do water aerobics at the

YMCA in downtown Columbus. Kathleen and

Jodie took turns keeping charts on his progress,

recorded Jeremy’s speeds, recorded his weights,

and watched his food intake. In fact, Jeremy was

becoming a trim and energetic racer. In the

evenings, after a hot bath, Kathleen and Jodie

spent time massaging muscles that bunched and

cramped. Then Jeremy would fall into bed and

sleep dreamlessly. Jeremy was ravenously hungry

in the mornings and Kathleen would fix a large

breakfast after a few hours of exercise. The other

meals were lighter but carefully balanced for

maximum energy. Jeremy had two periods of

relaxation since he’d started training for the adult

tricycle race. Jeremy watched “Breaking Away,” a

movie about of all things, bicycle racing! And he’d

spent some time racing his slot cars, playing Pac-

Man, and playing football on his home computer.

Other than that, Jeremy spent his time devoted to

racing techniques and strategies. On the

Thursday morning before the race, Jeremy turned

into the track at the Grandview Heights High

School to do his speed workout. Kathleen and

Jodie usually timed Jeremy, but they went to

Sawmill Lanes to bowl. Jeremy pedaled around

the track in a clockwise pattern ten times. On his

last lap, Jeremy ran into his friend Vincent

Hairston, who was in his English class at Ohio

State.

“Well, if it isn’t Jeremy Washington!” said

Vincent.

“Oh hi there, Vincent,” answered Jeremy.

“I love your adult tricycle’s colors. You and I

have a lot in common. We live, sleep, and breathe

Ohio State!”

“You’ve got that right, Vincent. We’re not only

students at Ohio State, but we support the

Buckeyes all the way!”

“We do, Jeremy. And that reminds me. I’d love

to have a tricycle in those red and gray Ohio

State colors. By the way, Jeremy, what’s with the

pedaling around the track?”

“I’m entering an adult tricycle race. It’s

sponsored by the Association of Developmentally

Disabled Citizens.”

“What’s the grand prize?”

“You’re not going to believe this! It’s $7,500

worth of groceries from Meijer!”

“Wow!” Vincent whistled. “That’s a lot of

money to spend on groceries!”

“And it’s tax free, too!”

“Well, how about that, Jeremy Washington!

You know, my family could use that kind of money

for food.”

“I bet they could, considering how expensive

food has gotten.”

“It has, all right. Is it hard to be in training?”

“It’s time-consuming, and by nightfall, I’m

completely exhausted. Then in the morning, I go

at it again before breakfast.”

“I would love to have a tricycle like yours,

Jeremy. I can just see us riding them around the

campus.”

“I’ll bet that our pedaling around the Ohio

State University campus will attract a whole lot of

attention from the students and the faculty.”

“I bet it would too, Vincent.”

“I hope you win the race on Saturday.”

“I will WIN the adult tricycle race. Would you

like to watch me, so that you can cheer me on?”

“I’d love to, Jeremy, but we’re going up to

Cedar Point and go boating on Lake Erie. My

brother won a boat in a church raffle. But I’ll be

thinking of you. Tell me how the adult tricycle

race goes, will you?”

“I’ll tell you what happens, Vincent. See you

later.”

“See you later.” Vincent and Jeremy waved at

each other. Jeremy pedaled home, tired and

hungry, yet he was full of happiness. Saturday,

June 14, was almost here.

“Kathleen and Jodie, I’m home,” said Jeremy.

“Will you come to the adult tricycle race and cheer

me on?”

“Absolutely,” said Kathleen. “Jodie can come;

so can Karen and David Mansfield.”

“What about your mother?” Jeremy asked

Jodie.

“She can come and see you race,” said

Jodie. “Why don’t you go upstairs and take a

nap. You’ve done enough pedaling for the day.

Kathleen and I can tell that you’re tired. You need

to rest. We don’t want you to over-exert yourself.”

“I won’t, Jodie,” said Jeremy. “Kathleen, do

you think that I stand a good chance of winning

the race?”

“At the rate you’re going, you just might,

Jeremy,” said Kathleen. “You’re the kind of person

that likes to go all out. We love it when you work

hard at your achievements. And when you work

hard, it shows, really.”

“Thanks for believeing in me, Kathleen,” said

Jeremy.

“No problem, Jeremy,” said Kathleen, as she

and Jeremy hugged each other. Jeremy walked

upstairs to his room at a turtle’s pace, stretching

his arms out and yawning. After Jeremy got

inside his room, he plopped down on his bed and

took a long nap, dreaming about winning the

adult tricycle race.

It was Thursday, the twelfth of June. He had

spent all of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday,

riding his adult tricycle in the neighborhood,

trying to prepare for the adult tricycle race. He

wanted to win the $7,500 badly. It was raining

hard outside. Jeremy just woke up. He decided to

exercise on his bicycle. So, after he got out of bed,

he turned the channel to the Music Choice smooth

jazz format. Jeremy often listened to smooth jazz

as he exercised on his bicycle. It was soothing

music, not threatening like rap was. As he

listened to the smooth jazz format, Jeremy

pedaled, timing himself. He pedaled his legs as if

he was a diesel. Jeremy’s legs were tiring out,

when Kathleen knocked on his foor.

“Do you want to eat breakfast, Jeremy?” asked

Kathleen.

“In a minute,” answered Jeremy.

“What would you do if you won the $7,500

worth of groceries?”

“I’d buy all the steaks, snacks, juices, and

dairy items at Meijer.”

“I bet you would buy out the entire store,

Jeremy.” Kathleen was laughing. As the Nat King

Cole song “The Best Thing For You” ended,

Jeremy got off his bicycle so that he could eat

breakfast. Kathleen and Jeremy went downstairs.

Jodie was downstairs in the kitchen. There were

pancakes that were stacked as high as some 45

r.p.m. records. There was a mountain of cake

doughnuts piled up on top of each other. There

were strips of bacon and Bob Evans sausage piled

up on top of each other. And there was a pitcher of

ice cold water.

“You know how to cook an awesome breakfast,

Jodie.” said Jeremy.

“Thanks for the compliment, Jeremy,” said

Jodie. Kathleen and Jodie sat down. They said the

blessing. Kathleen and Jodie were religious. They

always said the blessing before each meal. Jeremy

got a fork and picked up three pancakes, six bacon

strips, and six sausage patties. He poured real

Vermont maple syrup on the pancakes. Kathleen

passed a container of butter to Jeremy. He

shoveled the butter to his pancakes. The butter

oozed in different directions. Jeremy, Kathleen,

and Jodie cut the pancakes into pieces. They were

ready to eat.

“You sound like a car that’s in need of some

fuel,” said Jodie.

“I’m a car, all right,” laughed Jeremy. The

three of them took small bites of their pancakes

and bacon. Jeremy got two powdered doughnuts

off the plate. Then he got a pitcher of some ice cold

water and poured it in his glass. Jeremy took sips

of his ice-cold water.

“Are you going to go tricycle riding?” asked

Jodie.

“You bet I am, Jodie,” said Jeremy.

“I’m sure you’ll win the $7,500 for groceries,”

said Kathleen.

“But if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world,”

said Jodie. “We know that food is expensive, but

Kathleen and I will make sure that you won’t be

a car without fuel.”

“If you say so,” said Jeremy. After Jeremy ate

his pancakes, he went upstairs to his room. He

collected his thick-soled Vans slip-on boat shoes,

his red shirt with gray stars, and his gray shorts

with red stars. Jeremy was going to dress up like

the OSU fan that he was. He got his underwear

out of the drawer, his clothes, and shoes into the

bathroom, and washed himself up. Jeremy put on

his red and gray outfit, and felt as if he fit right in

with the OSU crowd. Jeremy left the bathroom,

trotted donw the steps, and went to the kitchen.

Kathleen had helped Jodie put the dishes in the

dishwasher.

“You’re all decked out in OSU colors,” said

Kathleen.

“I’ll tell you one thing that is certain,  

Kathleen and Jodie,” said Jeremy.

“What’s that?” asked Kathleen. “Jodie and I

would like to know.”

“I’ll never wear Michigan colors,” laughed

Jeremy.

“You don’t have to dress like a Wolverine,

Jeremy Washington,” said Kathleen. “You are an

OSU student who supports the Buckeyes.”

“And I’m going to stay a Buckeye until God

arranges me to be otherwise,” said Jeremy.

“That’s a fact.”

“I hear you, Jeremy,” said Jodie.

“I’ll see you two later,” said Jeremy.

“We’ll be here,” said Jodie.

“See you,” said Kathleen. Jeremy went out the

back door. He went to the garage. The door was

already open. Jeremy got on his adult tricycle and

pedaled the tricycle out of the garage. He pedaled

up Oxley Road past the Louis Stevenson

Elementary School. Up the hill, Jeremy pedaled.

He looked at the traffic lights that were on

armposts. Jeremy pedaled onto Northwest

Boulevard and West Third Avenue. Jeremy

pedaled onto Northwest Boulevard, making a left

turn. He pedaled past the Boulevard Presbyterian

Church. At the intersection of Northwest

Boulevard and West Third Avenue, Jeremy saw a

1966 Pontiac GTO that was painted in a red and

gray checkerboard pattern. The owner of the car

must’ve been an OSU fan. But the license plate on

the car happened to be a Michigan plate. Jeremy

pedaled west on Third Avenue. As Jeremy

approached the intersection of West Third and

Grandview Avenues, the traffic lights were out.

There was an African-American female police

officer directing traffic. She let Jeremy pedal

across Grandview Avenue. Jeremy ran into

Everett Stewart.

“It’s you, again,” said Mr. Stewart.

“You look so fabulous, Jeremy. Now you’re

really an OSU fan.”

“I thought that I’d show support for the Ohio

State Buckeyes, Mr. Stewart.”

“You fit righ tin with the Ohio State crowd,

Jeremy.”

“I’m a student at Ohio State, Mr. Stewart.”

“I know that you are, Jeremy. When you’re

wearing Ohio State colors, you’re bound to be a

student at the Ohio State University.”

“You mean that, Mr. Stewart?”

“I do, indeed.”

“Listen, Mr. Stewart, you take care. I’m

going to go pedaling.”

“And I’ve got to go home, Jeremy. My wife and

I are going to a Jill Axelrod concert. She’s giving a

free concert at Goodale Park this afternoon. I

don’t want to miss the concert.”

“I hear you, Mr. Stewart. Take care, and

have a great day.”

“You too, Jeremy. Bye.” Everett Stewart and

Jeremy waved good-byes to one another. Jeremy

continued pedaling down West Third Avenue past

the Grandview Heights High School. Jeremy

pedaled as hard as he could. He was going to do

whatever it took to win that race. Jeremy made a

right turn on North Star Avenue. He pedaled

north on North Star Avenue. He heard a siren

from an emergency squad. Sirens made Jeremy

nervous. He stopped and covered his ears with his

hands. Jeremy didn’t care for the blaring sounds

of fire engines or emergency squads. After the

emergency squad drove by, Jeremy continued

pedaling up North Star Avenue. The traffic lights

were out. A silver Toyota Camry had run into a

pole. The pole was tilted. A female police officer

was directing traffic. Jeremy pedaled carefully

across Northwest boulevard. As he pedaled up to

West Lane Avenue, Jeremy was a 1971 AMC

Javelin heading westbound. The 1971 AMC

Javelin had red, white, and blue colors. “I have a

slot car just like that one,” thought Jeremy. “Now

that’s a car that’s worth driving on the Fourth of

July.” Jeremy considered the passing AMC

Javelin’s colors. Jeremy pedaled across West Lane

Avenue and up to Ridgeview Road. He made a left

turn, and pedaled west on Ridgeview Road,

approaching the Upper Arlington High School,

Kathleen’s and Jodie’s alma mater. Jeremy ran

into Erin and James Littlepage. Jeremy knew

them from Bible study at the First Community

Church. Erin and James Littlepage were teachers.

Erin taught kindergarten at the Barrington

Elementary School, and James taught American

History at the Upper Arlington High School.

Erin and James Littlepage were wearing gold and

black striped shorts, and gold and black T-shirts

in a checkerboard pattern. Erin and James each

had on black Vans thick-soled slip-on sneakers

with gold stars. Gold and black were Upper

Arlington High School’s colors.

“Hello there, Erin and James,” said Jeremy.

“Hi there, Jeremy,” said Erin as the two of

them raised their hands up in the air. They gave

themselves a high five. “Hey James, check out

Jeremy’s tricycle and his outfit.”

“Erin and I love your outfit and your tricycle,”

answered James.

“Go Bucks,” laughed Jeremy.

“I’m majoring in art education, Erin,” said

Jeremy. “I’m a talented artist. “I can draw like

Norman Rockwell.”

“Is that right?” asked James. “Erin and I love

Norman Rockwell paintings.”

“Do you and James have Norman Rockwell

paintings?” asked Jeremy.

“Nope,” said Erin. “Norman Rockwell

paintings are pretty expensive.”

“Come to think of it, I don’t have any money

for Norman Rockwell paintings myself,” said

Jeremy. “By the way, have you heard about the

adult tricycle race?”

“I have as a matter of fact,” said Erin. “It is

going to take place this Saturday in Upper

Arlington. It’s a fundraiser for the Association for

Developmentally Disabled Citizens. My brother

Patrick O’Malley had a developmental disability.

He died four years ago.”

“Sorry to hear that,” said Jeremy.

“I wish that the two of us could take part in

that race,” said James. “Erin and I could use

$7,500 for groceries at Meijer.”

“Are you and Erin going to take part in the

race this coming Saturday?” asked Jeremy.

“No can do,” said James. “We’re taking our

daughters on a cruise to Hawaii this Saturday.”

“Great reason not to be in this race,” said

Jeremy.

“But James and I wish you luck,” said Erin.

“At the rate you’re training, you might well win.”

“You think so?” asked Jeremy.

“You might,” said Erin. “You never know.”

“Listen, Jeremy,” said James. “Erin and I

are going to Lane Avenue Shopping Center. We’re

going to Larson’s Toys & Games to buy some

games to take with us on the cruise to Hawaii.”

“That’s great, James,” said Jeremy. “Have fun

on your cruise.”

“And you enjoy your race,” said Erin. “See you

after the cruise.”

“See you,” said Jeremy.

“Bye,” said Erin. The three of them waved

good-bye and Jeremy pedaled across Northwest

Boulevard. He pedaled past Northam Park, where

some boys and girls were playing soccer. Jeremy

pedaled past the senior center. Then he made a

left turn on Tremont road, and pedaled south on

Tremont Road past the Upper Arlington Public

Library. Jeremy pedaled past some nice houses on

Tremont Road. The houses were pricey, but

looking is easier than buying. Trees shaded the

front lawns. Jeremy approached the intersection

of West Lane and Tremont road, made a left turn,

and pedaled past some huge houses with

landscaped front lawns. There was no way that

Jeremy could afford living in such nice houses.

Jeremy felt his legs tiring out. They were getting

stiff. He stopped his tricycle, stretched his arms,

and began to yawn, wondering if he could make it

back home. Jeremy approached the intersection of

Northwest Boulevard and West Lane Avenue,

pedaling slowly. All that pedaling had made him

tired to the point that he could hardly move. He

was getting more and more tired, when he heard a

truck honking. A gold-and-black-striped 1964

Ford pickup truck came to a stop at the traffic

light that had just changed to red. Driving the

pickup was Kathleen Van Dyke.

“I’m so glad you’re here,” said Jeremy,

yawning as he got off his adult tricycle.

“I’m here to take you home,” said Kathleen.

“You don’t look as if you could make it on your

own.”

“Thanks for picking me up, Kathleen.”

“No problem,” said Kathleen. Before the traffic

light changed from red to green, Kathleen quickly

lifted the adult tricycle onto the pickup truck’s

bed. Kathleen and Jeremy got inside the truck.

Jeremy took a nap as Kathleen drove home. After

Kathleen and Jeremy arrived home, they got out

of the pickup truck. Jeremy walked wearily to the

back door. Kathleen opened the door for him.

Jodie was drinking a glass of water.

“We’re home, Jodie,” said Kathleen.

“I’m so tired that I can’t see straight,” said

Jeremy.

“We can see that,” said Jodie. “Why don’t you

rest while Kathleen and I fix dinner.”

“Are you having a cookout?” asked Jeremy.

“I’m glad you asked,” said Kathleen. “Yes, we

are.”

“What are we having?” asked Jeremy.

“New York strip steaks, baked potatoes, corn

on the cob, and a salad,” said Kathleen.

“What about dessert?” asked Jeremy.

“Since this is a celebration for the great

training that you’ve done, we’ll have a chocolate

cake,” said Jodie.

“Tomorrow, you’ll get your final workout,” said

Kathleen. “Jodie’s going to time you on the

exercise equipment.”

“I can’t wait,” said Jeremy.

“I bet you can’t wait,” said Kathleen. “Why

don’t you go upstairs and take a nap so that when

you wake up, dinner will be ready.”

“All right,” said Jeremy. He walked up the

steps, feeling every muscle groan. He went in his

room, and plopped down on his bed for a short

nap. As Jeremy slept, he dreamed about pedaling

the hilly streets of San Francisco. Jeremy

dreamed that he was pedaling down Lombard

Street, a street that curved like a snake. He

dreamed that he was huffing and puffing as he

pedaled up San Francisco hills. Pedaling up Oxley

Road was one thing, but pedaling up San

Francisco hills was too much for Jeremy to

handle, when the effects of his dreams became too

great. Jeremy woke up to the aroma of food

cooking out in the back yard. Jeremy got out of his

bed, stretched his arms, and yawned. He walked

downstairs, as every step reminded his muscles to

ache. Kathleen was downstairs sitting on the

couch watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

perform. Kathleen had Time Warner Cable, and

BYU, the network in which Mormon-related

programs were aired, was one of the channels

included in the cable system.

“How was your rest?” asked Kathleen, smiling

at Jeremy.

“I slept just fine, Kathleen,” said Jeremy.

“Guess what?”

“What?”

“I had this dream about trying to pedal up

San Francisco hills, Kathleen.”

“Pedaling up San Francisco hills is too much

of a hassle,” Kathleen was laughing. “When I was

a senior at Upper Arlington High School, my

friends and I went to San Francisco with my

mother on spring break, and we rode bicycles up

the hills. I tell you, it was 100% stress.”

“I don’t want to pedal up San Francisco hills,

Kathleen.”

“I wouldn’t want to, either. Pedaling up Oxley

Road is bad enough, but I wouldn’t recommend

pedaling up San Francisco hills. Unless you want

some wicked training exercise.”

“In that case, I won’t, Kathleen.” Jeremy and

Kathleen nudged each other. Kathleen got up

from the couch. The two of them went outside the

back yard. The steaks were almost done. There

were potatoes cooked on the grill. A bowl of green

beans, a fruit salad consisting of oranges, peaches,

apples, bananas, and grapes, bottles of Snapple

ice tea, a bowl of ice, and chocolate chip cookies

were on a table facing the grill.

“Are you hungry, Jeremy?” asked Jodie.

“You bet I am, Jodie,” said Jeremy.

“Jeremy Washington, you’ll have your

stomach filled up with food in no time flat,” said

Kathleen. “Why don’t you get a plate.”

“Sure, Kathleen,” said Jeremy. He went to the

picnic table and got a ceramic plate. Jodie lifted a

huge steak with a fork. She dropped the steak on

top of Jeremy’s plate. Next, Jodie lifted a baked

potato off the grill. Jeremy went to the table. He

sat down, and dug into the green beans with a

huge spoon. Kathleen and Jodie came with their

steaks and baked potatoes. The two of them used

the spoon for green beans as if it was a shovel.

After Kathleen and Jodie sat down, Jeremy said

the blessing. They were ready to eat.

“Have you watched the Tour of the Scioto

River Valley races?” asked Jeremy.

“I’ve seen them pedal many times,” said

Jodie. “One of my teachers pedaled from

Columbus to Portsmouth.”

“I bet it was tiring,” said Jeremy.

“No doubt,” said Jodie.

“I don’t think that you’re ready to pedal that

long a distance yet,” laughed Kathleen. “You’ve

got to pedal the race in Upper Arlington first.

After you get that race out of the way, then we’ll

think about your training for the Tour of the

Scioto River Valley bicycle race.”

“First things first,” said Jeremy. The three of

them took small bites of their food, sips of their

tea, and took small bites of their fruit salad and

chocolate chip cookies. The different flavors

melted in Jeremy’s mouth. After eating, Jeremy

pushed himself away from the table, feeling every

muscle groaning. Kathleen and Jodie finished

eating too. After the three of them were done

eating, Jeremy helped Kathleen and Jodie carry

the food and beverages inside the house. Jeremy

helped Kathleen and Jodie put the leftovers in the

refrigerator.

“Jeremy, do you want to know something?”

asked Kathleen.

“What’s that, Kathleen?” asked Jeremy. “I

have an enquiring mind.”

“I’m proud of the fact that you take racing

seriously,” said Kathleen. “You’re one of many

who enjoy riding adult tricycles.”

“I love pedaling my red and gray tricycle,” said

Jeremy. “But I’m ready to pedal in one spot.”

“That’s fantastic, Jeremy,” said Jodie.

“I’m going upstairs and pedal on my exercise

bicycle,” said Jeremy.

“That’s fine Jeremy,” said Jodie. “You’re

going to need stamina and speed for the race.”

“I’m going to need it all right,” said Jeremy.

“See you later,” said Kathleen. Jeremy and

Kathleen exchanged hugs. Then he went upstairs

to his room. He got his exercise bicycle out of the

closet. Jeremy got the remote from his crate, and

powered the remote to the Time Warner Music

Choice format. The SMOOTH JAZZ format was

Jeremy’s favorite. He enjoyed the easy listening

Music, but often listened to the smooth jazz

format. It was smoothing music for a summer

day. Jeremy times himself as he pedaled on his

exercise bicycle. Jeremy pumped his legs as if he

was a diesel engine. He was going to do whatever

it took to win the $7,500 worth of groceries from

Meijer. Even if Jeremy didn’t win the $7,500

worth of groceries, he wanted to make a good

showing in the race. As Jeremy wanted to make a

good showing in the race. As Jeremy pedaled,

drops of sweat slid down his face, like tickling,

crawling ants. He huffed and puffed. Jeremy

spent almost all afternoon and evening pedaling

and pedaling. When night arrived, Kathleen came

upstairs and knocked on his door. Jeremy got off

his exercise bicycle and stretched his arms.

“You’ve done awesome training, Jeremy,” said

Kathleen. “I’ve never seen someone put out the

effort like you have.”

“I’ve given it my best, Kathleen,” said Jeremy.

He was yawning.

“You have, Jeremy. I believe that you stand a

good chance.”

“You think so?”

“I think so, Jeremy.”

“Kathleen, I need a hot shower and I need to

go to bed,” murmerred Jeremy. “Thanks for the

wonderful supper.”

“You’re welcome,” said Kathleen. “Good night,

Jeremy.”

“Good night,” said Jeremy. The two of them

gave each other a hug, and Jeremy headed for the

bathroom for a shower. In the bathroom, Jeremy

let the steams spray soak into his tired muscles.

Jeremy washed himself with his Ohio State towel.

After that, he put on his red and gray

checkerboard pajamas. When Jeremy entered his

bedroom, Jodie was ready to massage his

shoulders. His last thought, as her strong hands

kneaded kinks out of his muscles was “How can

something this painful feel so good?”

Friday dawned, and with it came a tsunami of

nervous energy that nearly bowled Jeremy over.

He got up from his bed, took off his red and gray

checkerboard sleveless T-shirt, his red and gray

striped underwear, and his red and gray striped

socks. Jeremy went in the closet and got his red-

and-gray striped Vans slip on sneakers. Jeremy

just couldn’t resist choosing to wear OSU colors.

In the bathroom, Jeremy washed, brushed his

teeth, and combed his hair with his gray comb.

Then, Jeremy put on his OSU outfit. After that,

Jeremy went back to his room, and got on his

exercise bicycle. Kathleen came inside his room.

“Good morning, Kathleen,” said Jeremy.

“Good morning, Jeremy,” said Kathleen. “Are

you already on your exercise bicycle?”

“Yep,” said Jeremy. He was a little nervous.

“Jeremy Washington, I think you’re having

some kind of stage fright,” Kathleen laughed as

she timed Jeremy’s workout, which she was

making longer than usual. After the workout,

Kathleen and Jeremy walked downstairs. He

could smell the aroma of Bob Evans sausage

cooking. Jodie carried a mountain of Bob Evans

sausage links and patties toward the table.

“Ahhh, just smell that sausage,” said Jeremy.

“You really love sausage, don’t you,” said

Jodie. “By the way, good morning.”

“Good morning, Jodie,” said Jeremy.

“Let’s sit down and say the grace,” said

Kathleen.

“All right,” answered Jeremy. He prayed the

blessing. Then Jeremy got a fork and lifted three

sausage patties to his plate, used a spoon to

shovel up some hominy, and his fork lifted a stack

of pancakes onto his plate. Butter and real

Vermont maple syrup covered the pancakes.

Later, Jeremy added oatmeal. He also had a tall

glass of orange juice, and a banana.

“Jeremy, this morning was your last workout,”

said Kathleen. “I want you to spend this day

relaxing doing what you wish.”

“If you want to ride your cycle, that’s fine,”

said Jodie. “But no pushing yourself.”

“I won’t,” said Jeremy.

“You’re as ready for tomorrow’s race as you

can get,” said Jodie.

“So don’t rock the boat,” said Kathleen.

“Okay, Kathleen,” Jeremy said. “I think I’ll

ride to the Grandview Heights High School track.”

“Fine, Jeremy,” said Jodie. “You do that.”

Jeremy went upstairs to his room, got on his

pouch pocket, made certain his key was in it, and

wrapped it around his waist. Kathleen stacked

dishes in the dishwasher, and decided there were

enough dishes to run the dishwasher.

“I’ll be right back, Kathleen and Jodie,” said

Jeremy.

“That’s fine,” said Kathleen.

Jeremy went to the garage, opened the door,

and got on his cycle. He opened the garage door

with the remote, pedaled up Oxley Road, past the

Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School and

Pierce Field. Jeremy followed the familiar route to

the Grandview Heights High School field. He

pedaled around the track 25 times in a clockwise

pattern. After that, Jeremy got off his adult

tricycle and did 75 jumping jacks. Jeremy really

wanted to do as much exercising as he could just

so he could come in first. After Jeremy did his 75

jumping jacks, he got back on his adult tricycle,

and pedaled around the track 50 more times.

After his final lap, Jeremy pedaled back home. By

the time that Jeremy arrived at the house he lived

with Kathleen and Jodie, he could hear music

and smell food cooking on the grill. Inside the

garage, he got off the tricycle. Jodie’s sister, Karen

and her husband David Mansfield were out in the

back yard, with Kathleen, who was grilling

chopped sirloins and smoked sausage. Bowls of

baked beans, barbecued potato chips, corn chips, a

fruit salad, lettuce salad, and some peach cobbler

pie filled the picnic table. A jug of fruit punch

appeared to sweat in the afternoon sun. Sweat

trickled down Jeremy’s face.

“How was your cycle ride?” asked Kathleen.

“I enjoyed it,” said Jeremy. “Sorry to cut the

conversation short, but I have to go inside and

take a shower.”

“I understand,” said Jodie. Jeremy REALLY

needed to go inside the house. He went up the

steps to take a quick, warm shower. Jeremy

carried his clothes to the bathroom and dropped

his clothes and his flip-flops on the rug. Jeremy

got inside the bathtub, and turned on the faucet.

The lukewarm water didn’t bother Jeremy one bit.

Jeremy dried off and dressed, then walked down

the steps.

“That shower sure felt good,” said Jeremy.

“I’m glad that you’re so suave,” said Jodie.

“You know my sister Karen Mansfield and my

brother-in-law David.”

“Good to see you, Jeremy,” said Karen.

“Likewise,” said David as he and Jeremy

shook hands.

“How’s college coming along?” asked Karen.

“It’s a lot of work, but I’m learning a lot,” said

Jeremy. “I’m an art major.”

“David, Jeremy is going to take part in a cycle

race,” said Kathleen.

“Are you really?” asked David.

“I sure am,” said Jeremy. “Do you know what

the grand prize is going to be?”

“What’s the grand prize?” asked Karen.

“It’s $7,500 worth of groceries from Meijer!”

answered Jeremy.

“Holy cow!” answered David.

“You mean to tell me that you’ll be able to eat

free for a year?” asked Karen. “You could fill a

freezer with a whole bunch of meat!”

“That would be a lot of cow, hog, and poultry

all right,” laughed Jeremy. “Would you and

David like to come cheer me on at the race?”

“We’d love to, Jeremy,” said Karen.

“You, David, and Jeremy can fill your plates

and start eating,” said Kathleen.

“We’re eating high on the hog,” laughed Jodie.

“Hamburger is not hog, you nitwit,” laughed

Jeremy.

“Hamburger doesn’t come from a pig,” laughed

David. “It comes from a cow. Right, Kathleen?”

“You’re right, David,” said Kathleen between

gritted teeth. “Hamburger comes from a cow, not a

hog.”

“Do me one big favor,” said Karen as she

turned off the grill and went to the table and

helped herself to some salad. “Please stop

discussing animals!”

“Why?” asked Jeremy.

“Karen doesn’t want to think about animals

while we’re eating them,” said Kathleen as she

offered a chopped sirloin sandwich with Swiss

cheese and a smoked sausage to Jeremy.

“Holy cow!” Jeremy laughed and winked. “I’m

so hungry that I could eat a horse.”

“A horse?” chuckled Kathleen.

“Kathleen Elizabeth Van Dyke, Jodie

Halvorson, and David Mansfield, you’re going

to turn me into a vegetarian!” said Karen as

she went in the house with her food. Jeremy slid

beside Kathleen at the table.

“Do you seriously think that I stand a chance

to win the race tomorrow?” asked Jeremy.

“At the rate you’ve been training, you stand a

very good chance,” said Kathleen.

“Now Jeremy, don’t get discouraged if you

don’t come in first,” said David.

“You know, Kathleen and I have enough food

and money,” answered Jodie.

“I guess so, Jodie,” said Jeremy. “But I hate to

come in second. I want to win so bad.”

“And we want you to do your best,” said

Kathleen. “Jodie, Karen, David, and I believe that

you’ll pull it off.”

“We really do believe in you,” said Jodie.

“Tonight, you’ll get a massage from Kathleen,”

said Jodie. “She’ll give you a very light workout

in the morning before the race.”

“Thanks for all you’ve done, Jodie and

Kathleen,” said Jeremy.

“You’re very welcome, Jeremy,” said Kathleen.

“I think that I want to go inside now,” said

Jeremy. He went inside, threw his paper plate

and cup in the trash. Kathleen and Jodie were so

great to Jeremy. To take his mind off the race, he

turned on the television and yawned. A reporter

from the local television station was interviewing

two female cyclists, one African-American, and

one who was Oriental. They were preparing for

the Olympics up in Chicago. Jeremy drifted to

sleep. As he slept, Jeremy dreamed about winning

the gold in the Olympic games. He dreamed about

winning the year of free groceries from Meijer.

What a pleasant dream it was. It stayed with

Jeremy, who couldn’t seem to shake it off after he

woke up. Jeremy went to the room where

Kathleen, Jodie, Karen and David were playing

a game of “SORRY.” Karen had just moved her

last red peg to the circle marked HOME and won

the game.

“I had a dream,” said Jeremy. “I dreamed

about winning the year of free groceries from

Meijer.”

“You really want to win that, don’t you?”

asked Kathleen.

“I do, Kathleen,” said Jeremy.

“You’ll do fine,” said David.

“You’ll be able to pull it off,” said Karen.

“Kathleen, David, Jodie, and I believe that you’ll

pull it off.”

“Thanks for encouraging me, Kathleen,” said

Jeremy.

“You’re welcome,” said Kathleen.

“I’m going to exercise,” said Jeremy.

“By all means, Jeremy,” said Jodie. Jeremy

went upstairs and got on his exercise bicycle for

the rest of the afternoon. David came upstairs.

“Do you want to know one thing?” asked

David.

“What’s that?” asked Jeremy.

“We think that you’ll win the race. Karen,

Jodie, Kathleen, and I will be at that race to cheer

you on to certain victory.”

“I want to win that race. Really I do. And I

want to win all those free groceries.”

“I bet you can, Jeremy.”

“Thanks.” David went downstairs. Jeremy got

his remote from his crate, and turned on the Easy

Listening format on the Music Choice system.

Then he pedaled the rest of the afternoon,

listening to music and daydreaming of winning

the race. Later that night, he slept and dreamed

again of winning the race.

It was Saturday June, 14. The big day had

finally arrived! Jeremy washed and dressed in

his Ohio State colors. His body, now used to daily

exercise, felt vibrant with energy. Kathleen’s and

Jodie’s coaching had paid off. Jeremy could hardly

wait to ride.

“How many do you think will be in this race?”

asked Jeremy. He hadn’t thought until now what

the actual race would be like.

“I have no idea,” said Kathleen. “But we’ll

know in about 20 minutes.” Kathleen, Karen, and

Jodie gave him hugs. David shook Jeremy’s hand.

They promised to see him at the finish line.

Jeremy was taut with excitement, but not jittery.

Kathleen was pleased with her week of coaching.

Kathleen lifted the tricycle out of the trailer, and

gave it to Jeremy.

“You’re on your own, Jeremy,” said Kathleen.

“Good luck.”

“Thanks, Kathleen,” said Jeremy.

“Give it all you got, Jeremy Washington,” said

David. Racers were already lining up at the

starting line. Both Joseph Kleshinski and his

father were entrants in the race. Jeremy’s uncle

and Mr. Kleshinski’s son Joseph were both in the

City of Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation

Department’s Adult Therapeutic Recreation

Program that met on Sundays. Feeling somewhat

alone, Jeremy wished that his friend Vance

Hairston was in the race. Jeremy glanced around

at the spectators. Kathleen, Karen, her mother,

and Karen’s husband David were waving at

Jeremy.

“Good luck, Jeremy!” yelled Kathleen.

“I’m going to drive to the finish line to see you

win this race!” said David.

“You’re going to do your best in the tricycle

race,” said Mrs. Mansfield. “You’ve trained so well

that you should have no trouble pulling it off.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Mansfield,” said Jeremy.

“You can call me Sheila,” she said with a

smile.

“Thank you, Sheila,” answered Jeremy.

“ALL CONTESTANTS TO THE STARTING

LINE!” announced Curtis Schumacher. He was

the director of ARC Industries North. “THIS

RACE IS OFFICIALLY OPEN. ON YOUR MARK!

GET SET! GO!” Curtis aimed his starter gun up

in the air and pulled the trigger. As the gun

cracked, the cyclists started off. Jeremy focused on

all Kathleen and Jodie taught him about balance

and pacing, and suddenly realized that he was far

ahead of everyone except Joseph Kleshinski.

Jeremy couldn’t believe it. Where was everyone?

He and Joseph looked at each other, grinned and

shrugged.

“They must’ve not trained as well as we have,”

said Joseph. “It guess it’s just you and me.” Just

then, Joseph’s father caught up. Jeremy pedaled

faster, and so did Joseph. Suddenly, Joseph’s cycle

was spinning on its side across the road, and

Joseph was rocking and jerking strangely.

“HELP!” yelled Jeremy, as he stopped racing

to see about Joseph. Joseph’s father saw what

happened, and yelled.

“HOLD HIS HEAD, JEREMY!” Joseph’s

father dismounted and sat beside his son,

cradling Joseph’s head on his lap. “Joseph

sometimes has seizures. He’ll be all right soon.”

Jeremy could see that Joseph was distressed. He

was concerned for Joseph than about the race.

“I’m sorry that this involved you,” said

Joseph’s father. “It looks like we’re the only ones

that trained for this race.”

“Right now, Joseph is what matters,” said

Jeremy. Someone had called Dr. Charlotte

Blackwell from the first aid station. Just as Dr.

Blackwell knelt to check on Joseph, the main pack

of cyclists pedaled past. Joseph recovered, and he

was finally ready to pedal his tricycle. The cyclists

were pedaling hard. Joseph’s father raised his

head and looked straight at Jeremy with

excitement.

“Check your tricycle,” said Joseph’s father

firmly. “If it’s all right, you may still catch up with

all the other cyclists.” Jeremy turned and pulled

his adult tricycle upright. It was fine.

“We’ll be all right,” said Joseph’s father. “Just

try to catch up with the other tricycle riders and

try to win the $7,500 grocery certificate from

Meijer if you can.”

“I’ll give it my utmost, Mr. Kleshinski,” said

Jeremy.

“Go, Jeremy! If you don’t win, at least you

tried.”

“Thanks, Mr. Kleshinski.”

“You’re welcome, Jeremy. Now go!” Jeremy

took off like greased lightning. He’d catch up or

die trying. Jeremy was sweating. Gone was

Jeremy’s carefully paced plan. The others were

already out of sight. It would be hard to catch up,

but Jeremy was no quitter.

“I’ve got to win,” Jeremy kept repeating and

gave it all he had. Spectators cheered as he flew

by. Jeremy pedaled through a tree-lined part of

Upper Arlington. Jeremy’s favorite phrase was

“IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY

SINGS!” It meant that he was not going to finish

until he won the $7,500 worth of groceries.

Suddenly ahead of him he saw the other cyclists,

pretty much struggling together. Just beyond

them was the finish line. Jeremy’s heart sank.

He’d never make it. Then Jeremy thought of

Kathleen and Jodie and all of their great

coaching. And remembered his daydream of

winning a race as he pedaled around the football

field. Jeremy was flying! Spectators began to

shout, then started cheering. Jeremy approached

the pack, and caught up with them. For one wild

moment, he was among them, then through, free

and clear. He saw the tape! Jeremy felt the tug of

the tape against his chest as he crossed the finish

line. Jeremy had won! Totally drained, Jeremy

lowered himself off his adult tricycle and bent

over. He was shaking. Kathleen, Jodie, Karen,

and David were there, Mrs. Mansfield was there

as well, hugging and congratulating him. One of

the volunteers gave Jeremy some Gatorade which

he drank thirstily. Ralph McNaughton, one of the

job coaches from the Franklin County Board of

Developmental Disabilities, ushered him to the

stand where Charles McNaughton, the director of

the Franklin County Board of Developmental

Disabilities handed Jeremy a certificate for one

year of groceries at Meijer.

“You’re the winner, Jeremy Washington,” said

Mr. McNaughton. “How does that make you feel?”

“It makes me feel very grateful,” said Jeremy.

“I almost didn’t win because I had to help Joseph.

But I pulled it off.”

“You must have had a positive attitude,

Jeremy.”

“I did. Kathleen and Jodie coached and

supported me. They were sure I’d win, and now

I’m ready to eat that year’s supply of food.” Sheila,

Karen, David, and Jodie ran up to Jeremy, and

hugged him.

“You did great, Jeremy,” said Kathleen. “See

what happens when you believe in yourself?”

“I believed in myself, and I won,” said Jeremy.

“And you tried with all your might,” said

Karen.

“I did,” said Jeremy.

“Your accomplishment deserves a celebration,”

said Sheila.

“By all means,” said Jeremy. “Would you like

to go up to Meijer and get some steaks to cook on

the grill?”

“Sure,” said Kathleen. “Let’s go!”

“Congratulations again, Jeremy,” said

Jodie.

“Thanks,” said Jeremy. “I wanted all five of

you to see me win this race.”

“And you got your wish, Jeremy,” said David

as she and Jodie put their arms around him. “We

believed in you and you believed in yourself; and

looked what happened.”

“Are you going to take part in other tricycle

races?” asked David.

“I might,” said Jeremy. “Who knows? I might

decide to be a professional cyclist.” While they

were talking, a large woman passed by them. She

was listening to music through headphones and

didn’t seem aware of how loudly she was singing.

Jeremy started to laugh, and said, “Maybe that’s

a sign I should say ‘MY CYCLE RACING IS

OVER’ AND JUST BE HAPPY AS AN ART

INSTRUCTOR.” Jeremy continued to laugh, and

so did all her friends.

This story is dedicated to all the Upper Arlington High School alumnus who enjoy riding gold and black adult tricycles. ©2013 by Chris Clarkson

 

 

 


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