Roselyn's Hiawatha Princess

Here’s a story I know you’ll enjoy. Imagine getting the first bike of your childhood as a birthday present. And not just a similar bike. The same bike you had 72 years ago, fully restored to its original condition. Do you think you’d be excited? Possibly overcome with joy? Jeff Resler and his wife pulled his mother’s 1938 Hiawatha Princess from storage, and decided to get it restored for her 80th birthday!

New Bike! – 1938

Jeff Resler writes:

Attached are photos of my mother’s bike when it was new and the restoration pictures. Also attached is the story behind the bike–in her own words. My wife and I gave it to her for her 80th birthday on April 15th, and she had no clue what she was getting.

Roselyn’s 1938 Hiawatha Princess

This is the same bike. It’s 72 years old, and has been in storage for probably 40 years. When my mother decided to move to Nevada about 6 years ago, we brought it along. She keeps everything. I’ve attached some pictures of the condition it was in. Luckily, the metal was pretty straight and the restoration went very well. I probably moved that bike a thousand times to get it out of my way to find things in storage before the light went on to restore it.

The Bike before Restoration

Here’s the story of the bike as told by Jeff’s mother, Roselyn:

When Dad, Mom and I took a train to Los Angeles to visit Clifford, Dad’s half brother, and Adam, Dad’s full brother, and their families, we met a young sailor, Glen on the train. He must have been l8 or 19. We started visiting as Dad had also been in the Navy. Glen asked Dad if he could take me to lunch. It was ok as what could happen to me on the train?? So we had gotten Glen’s address. He was just like a big brother to me, and I his little sister. So we would write to each other. He would send me gifts such as lockets, a pretty orchid-colored slack outfit from Hawaii, a Teepee etc. Mom, in turn, would send him cookies or some other “care packages”.

Roselyn reunited with her princess – 2010

I wanted a bicycle (I must have been eight or nine years old) and my folks said “no”. So I wrote to Glen, feeling sorry for myself, telling him I wanted a bicycle and I couldn’t have one. Well. in his next letter he sent me a check so I could buy my bicycle. I can still see the astounded look on Dad’s face!!! To make a long story short….what could Mom and Dad say….l got my Hiawatha Princess. (Actually, I think Dad sent Glen a check back for the amount)

Hiawatha Princess fully restored

Happy Birthday, Roselyn!

4 thoughts on “Roselyn's Hiawatha Princess

  1. Dennis at Bike Habitat showed these photos to me several weeks ago, nice to see the whole story and photos. What a great gift for an 80th birthday!

  2. Thanks for the post Jeff. I’ll be sending this out in the “Friday fun” email either this week or next to the bike group at work. I think they’ll love it!

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