Make Art Not War

I’m cheating on my favorite shirt.

About a year ago, I splurged on a Colorado flag t-shirt.  Living out of state, I had to order the shirt on-line, and I think it ran me somewhere around $25.  I realize to many people spending $25 on a shirt is not a big deal and is certainly not considered a splurge.  But I take pride in being cheap.  If a shirt is not at least 75% off, it’s going back on the rack until it is. By then it will only be available in sizes 2 and 22, will have the hem unraveling, a stain on the front and be two seasons behind the fashion trends- but dammit, it will be cheap!

The $25 was money well spent.  I love that shirt.  I wear it once or twice a week, every week, and beam with happiness every time I do.

Going through photos for a recent blog, I ran across this picture.  I doubt most people pay attention to the small sticker on the frame of the bike, but it always draws my attention.


When I took up cycling, I wasn’t just cheap- I was broke.  For the first time in a decade, I was renting an apartment by myself- no roommates to cushion the financial blow.  My psyche welcomed the solitude.  My pocketbook missed communal living.  I had no means to purchase a bike, but a kind friend offered to give me his old one.

The bike had seen better days.  The gears stuck when I tried to shift.  The tires were worn from adventure.  The paint peeled off the frame.  Most of all, it wasn’t cute. I know, it’s petty- but it looked like a BOY’S bike.  I guess in my heart, I always see myself riding the same bike I rode when I was eight years old- pink, with graceful curves and sloping handlebars.  But the price was right.  I took it home and willed myself to love it.

First bike by Kat Glover

My boyfriend (now husband) offered to fix the bike for me.  I knew nothing about adjusting gears, lubing brakes or any of the other things he said he would do.  I turned the bike over to him and returned to my fortress of solitude.

A few days later, Ben called to say that the bike was ready.  I drove to his apartment to give it a test spin.

Ben swore he only used elbow grease, but I believe he wielded a magic wand.  The bike glistened in its new found beauty.  He painted it silver, but added dashes of a purple fade.  The seat was new and cushioned.  Best of all, on the front was a sticker- a portrait of a woman with the words “Make Art Not War.”

At the time, I was unfamiliar with the artist, Shepard Fairey, but the slogan fit as if it were written with me in mind.  I loved everything about the bike and especially the man who fashioned it to suit my tastes.  A freebie transformed into a DIY beauty- nothing could suit me better.

The bike was put out to pasture a couple of years ago- no amount of magic or elbow grease could make it last forever.  But in seeing the photograph last week, I got to thinking how much I loved that sticker.  I mentioned to my husband that I wanted a shirt with that picture on it.  Tada- look what came in the mail. It’s love all over again.


This entry was posted in bright ideas, crazy on you, rants, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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