Friday, August 7, 2009

Futuristic Fred Flintstone Messenger Rides in Charlotte

Me posing in the Toon Shirt that I found in the gutter on a road ride earlier this summer. I cannot stop wearing the ground score made in nowhere. photo JW. photo JW
James Willamor photographer and CltBlog journalist dug really deep into his suitcase of making something out of nothing with his latest post titled: A day in the life of a Charlotte bike messenger. JW first contacted me last month on the park bench in front of the BOA Corperate Center introducing himself and asking about my relationship with the deceased Charlotte artisan David Ray Chisholm. From that initial conversation sparked JW's bright idea to do a story on the Good Spirit's life and then in an effort to kill two birds with one stone neither being Jerry Reed's fine feathered peregrine Pontius, he would run a little spot on what it is like to be me. This story was posted 3 nights ago and is the end result of the time that James spent with me on one of my daily shifts as messenger. That morning his kind wife drove him out here to the estate just as I had finished my morning oats, a ceramic cup of splendid English Tea and posting my daily blog riddled with improper grammar usage, spelling mistakes and unreasonable true perceptions. They hung out for a bit meeting the 4 pack and getting a personal tour of the vegetable gardens from me ever anxious to share some domestic pastoral time with new acquaintances. JW's bike was in the car and they followed along on my Stay Alive leap frogging to spots that I had suggested that would provide good moving shots of my 33minute commute. When I arrived at the USPO Charlotte Main on McDowell at 0830hrs for my first 2 jobs JW was there with his slightly bigger than he is road bike and the camera rolling on a home made head mounted to the top of his bars. I believe it was Calvin Stiles Grant who said it first, "Why buy it when you can fabricate it."

From that point on JW followed me on my circuitous labor route through the big buildings, to my clients, their recipients, the courthouse(unfortunately all of his photo equipment kept him from getting inside the hall of justice for the more exciting juicy parts) and other municipalities until my shift was over at roughly 1430hrs. JW got the scoop on how normal the job really is but at the same time he was able to convey that I care about the service I provide and that the clients have come to trust in that professionalism. When I watched the film document I had a few thoughts roll through my mind about what I was seeing. First, I sound matter of fact about mileages. For clarifications sake when someone asks me, "How many miles do you ride in a day?" I often just throw out the number 35. Okay, here is how I calculate that number as a rough average. Before my kid went into the 1st grade I was 97.5% double commuting. As my kid grew I had to adjust my riding commute schedule while she was in the 1st-3rd grades and I was only able to commute in the morning because in the afternoon I would have to find the car in one of those buildings and then give her car passage home. When she went to the 4th grade I was able to get back on the double to my relief. So, each way is 10 and then I have a 6 hour day of mostly sitting around with perhaps 2 hours of riding around, back and forth, forth and back which I ball park to be no less than 15 miles which brings my average speed to a conservative 7.5mph. Sounds like I am rationalizing my own stupidity however it really is not that big of a deal to hit the number 35 on a day of messengering for up to 8 active Law Firms in town after commuting both ways. People ask the question and I try to answer it.

The next thing that bothered me about what I saw in me is when I said something along the lines of I use my bike for everything, especially within 25 miles. Horse Shit, just like what is inside Boots' head tube. I am not sure what that knee jerk elitist sounding me meant or where it came from. I do not drive very much around here, it scares me and I do use my bike more than the average Charlottean but I also do use my 1991 UN Montero. It averages no more than 2,500miles a year and I occasionally am bamboozled into using St. Lissa's car if the kid is in need of transport or if my family needs me. I do like the green ways, I often ride to the shop and on Friday nights I sometimes take the cruiser to Pino's to pick up the extra cheese pie and make a quick home delivery like a good pizza boy. Occasionally I also ride to the Spanish Mexican Produce Tienda to get ripe avocados for a home made pizza or wraps. I usually ride out of here when I am left alone on the major Holidays. I remember one Christmas/Hanukkah Ilan pulled along side of me in the pouring 38F degree rain 15 miles from the house and heading away while I was out fixed on a 3 hour transfer. He electronically rolled down the Sequoia's window along side of me at my pace holding up traffic and was laughing harder than I have ever seen him. I ride out of the house sometimes just for the hell of it and ultimately I think that is what I was really trying to say.

The last thing that bothered me is that I felt like in the pictures and the film that I look like a futuristic Fred Flintstone on a bike and there is nothing that I can do about that.

Okay, on with the story and film which the rest of I have no qualms about. If you do, please speak up, I won't get mad.

A day in the life of a Charlotte bicycle messenger from James Willamor on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

Thank's for posting the video- BTW-Who's the smartest messenger in Charlotte with the sandal's?

Enjoyed the comments- All sounds good, but I'm sure some day's it just a job

Billy Fehr said...

Rich of course....

Doug said...

well done Billy!

cornfed said...

The scenes of you dialing the phone remind me of my grandfather trying to email. Made me smile.

If the smartest messenger is so smart and sandals provide healthy feet year round (I'm a year round 2 strap shimano sandal lover myself), then why does he suffer from such evil foot parasites (also known as his little toe?) Course I've always thought to be the smartest you have to have equal parts of genius and madness.