Back in college, one of my professors had a theory on why they find so many flint shards along the Illinois River. His theory was as follows; women were the gathers and provided much on the food and other necessities for daily living and men were the hunters and spent more time sitting around in circles talking and making arrowheads out of flint. The professor went on to say that this trait in men and the need to hang out has been carried on through the years and can still be seen today in our society. Tim Allen’s television show “Home Improvement” was a great example of his theory.
As I think back to when I was young, my father followed in this theory. My father would take us to the bowling alley during the cold winter days in Minnesota. There he would meet his friends, one of whom managed the shop during the winter on weekends, and they would all stand around the counter talking and drinking beer from longneck returnable bottles. My brother and I would feast on Slim Jims that were washed down with orange Crush pop. The winter afternoon would be whittled away bowling, playing pinball and listening to the exchange of conversation between my father and his friends. That is until my brother and I grew tired bowling and my father grew tired of giving us quarters for the pinball machines.
As the summer months pass and cyclocross season approaches, it will bring a group of us to gather for coffee and bagels before a morning spent riding cross bikes in the woods and around town. On an occasional Saturday, when the family’s schedule permits, an afternoon can be chipped away sitting in a circle at Wheelfast bike shop eating lunch while sitting and talking.