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  • Mitch Harper, editor [contact via email]

    Original content, commentary and analysis © 2005 - 2014 Fort Wayne Observed

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Comments

Dan Turkette

My Dad bought my brothers and I Schwinn Sting-rays when we were kids and we were the envy of the neighborhood. I remember all to well what he said, too..

"This is the only transportation I'll ever be able to buy you, so save your money".

I immediately started mowing lawns, pulling weeds for neighbors and shoveling snow. Within a year I had made enough money to buy a Raleigh 10-speed and a Schwinn unicycle.

I then took the Sting-ray to a neighbors where we added another fork to it, a radical paint job and a large sissy-bar turning it into a mini chopper. I remember all too well the pain from the ass-whopping I got for doing that.

Eric Fetcho

Wow I had no clue Koehlinger's has been around for that long!

Ed. note: Not only was Koehlinger's Cyclery here in 1969 - Koehlinger's had also been Fort Wayne's premiere toy shop as well. They discontinued toys to concentrate on bikes.

"Uncle Win" Koehlinger became a well-known figure of early Fort Wayne television. Koehlinger's was a pioneer in the use of TV. Each Christmas, Koehlinger's bought several minutes of time on a local TV station (I believe it was WKJG - 33) for a program that featured "Uncle Win" in the studio talking about the new toys.

"Uncle Win" is as much a part of the collective Christmas consciousness of Fort Wayne baby boomers as is Phil Steigerwald (the W & D Santa Claus).

Michael Kerney

You could have bought a bike downtown last summer... =sigh=

Though you can get a lot more for a *real* Schwinn tandem these days, not to mention the (boys) Sting-rays.

brian stouder

Oh yes - we always watched Uncle Win at Christmas time...and you notice those bike prices are none too low even in 2007! My dad bought me a red Schwinn Skippy with chrome fenders - and it cost more than $60 in 1967!

While we're on memory lane, whatever happened to WKJG's Engineer John? (John Siemer [or Seemer?]) - a pleasant children's show, indeed

Tom Steigmeyer

John Siemer is alive and well. He and I worked together at Super 55 in the 80's and see him once or twice a year.

John B. Kalb

I remember that Krulls Model Shop was just across the street - I would spend almost all my newspaper route earnings after I rode the trolley bus downtown to pay for that week's papers after collecting from my route. Those were the days - but then people say I am not a dreamer I guess my dreams are mainly in the past - maybe that's part of getting older. We did buy my son's first bike at another bike shop - Kern's on South Calhoun- across from South Side - wow -that was 42 years ago! John B. Kalb

David Bennett

How well I remember wheeling my new Stingray bicycle out of the side door at Koehlinger's, probably around 1964. And the Uncle Win show was must see TV after school ... came on right before the Superman show.

Thanks, Mitch, for this reminder of such fond memories.

Ed. note: Thank you, David, for providing me with a grin this morning. It just struck me as funny to have you referring to Superman; I'm sure the topic of actor George Reeves does not come up too often in your day job.

But, yes, you are right. Superman did come on after Uncle Win. I had forgotten that and your comment immediately brought back a mental picture of our living room in the the 1960s.

I had an earlier 1-speed Schwinn that came from Koehlinger's. That bike got sold when I bought a 10 speed Schwinn from Dean Koehlinger that I still have. I have since acquired a lightweight fancy Klein - but the much heavier Schwinn 10-speed is still taken out for a spin.

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