Home » Technically, It Was Abandoned Property. The Police Said So.

Technically, It Was Abandoned Property. The Police Said So.

Wednesday after my highly unproductive prenatal appointment, Mac and I hit the Park for our evening walk a little earlier than usual.  Chris went running and met us at the far side of the Park for the walk home.

On our way into the Park, Mac and I passed a tricycle.  A small, OLD, purple tricycle.  It was sitting unattended at the edge of the baseball field where a couple of high school teams were playing a softball game.  There were lots of people in the area but none of them seemed to be paying the tricycle any attention.

And as I got closer, I noticed this wasn’t just ANY tricycle.  This tricycle was IDENTICAL to the tricycle I had when I was a little girl!  It was even the same purple color!

Since no one was paying it much attention, I pushed the stroller very close to it, so Mac could see it.  “This was JUST like the tricycle Mommy had when she was just a year older than you!” I squealed at Mac.  “It was exactly the same color!  What color is it?”

Crickets from the stroller as Mac barely glanced up from the iPhone ABC game he was playing.

“I’ll have to show you pictures of Mommy on the tricycle when we get home!” I said, heart swelling with nostalgia.  “I used to ride that bike for hours!  And when I got older, Aunt Dana and Aunt Tiffany would stand on the back  while I pedaled around.  And sometimes I’d stand back there and push it with my foot instead of pedaling. . .but you had to be careful because if you hit a bump in the sidewalk, you could go forward over the handle bars face first into the pavement!”

Radio silence from the stroller.

And the people around me were starting to stare.

We proceeded with our walk.  But the whole time, I was thinking about that little tricycle.

Wonder whatever happened to mine?  My Mother keeps EVERYTHING.  Why didn’t she keep it?  I’ve never seen one like it since.  This one was IDENTICAL.  Uncanny really.  

About 90 minutes later, we were passing by the baseball fields again on our way home.  The softball game was over and all the players and parents were enjoying pizza and Rita’s Frozen Custard.  The little tricycle was STILL there!  And still being completely ignored!

“Chris, LOOK!  That bike is EXACTLY like my own first bike when I was a little girl!  It was that color and everything!”

“That’s nice, Deni, ” Chris mumbled watching Mac stumble around near a trash can.

“Do you think it belongs to anyone?  It’s been here unattended for a while.  I would hate to see something bad happen to it,” I said in tone which not so subtly insinuated I was prepared to snatch the thing in broad daylight.

“It definitely belongs to someone, Deni.  They’ll be back for it.”  Chris assured me.

“Oh.”  I said wistfully as I bent down and touched the front tire.  Same weird hard-as-a-rock rubber. . .just like I remembered.  I could see teensy spots of rust on the shiny front fender. . .just like mine. . .

I snapped a couple of photos and texted them to my Mom and Sisters.  We joked about how someone of ill-repute would probably take the thing for scrap metal overnight.

Then Chris, Mac, and I headed home for supper and bath and bed.  Tricycle nostalgia time was over.

Thursday morning, I had some emails to send and computer work to attend to, so Mac and I didn’t head to the Park until about 11:15.  I was feeling rather sluggish and honestly wasn’t looking forward to pushing the stroller up the hills.  But just as I was lamenting how tired and fat I felt, I saw something gleaming in the morning light by the baseball field.

My heart skipped a beat.  I swear I lost my breath for a second.  IT WAS THE TRICYCLE!


“No waaaaaaaayyyyyy!!!” I gasped at Mac.  “Remember the purple tricycle?  It’s still here!  Still here!  Even though it’s recycle day and people were all over this morning looking for cans and scrap metal.  It’s still here!”

I went over to it and inspected it more carefully.  Other than the fact that it was likely 35 years old and missing one of the grips for the handle bars, it looked like it was in good working order.

I pictured Mac flying down the street in front of our house, legs stretched far and away at the sides of the bike, streamers waving from the little holes on the handle grips, laughing and laughing. . .just like I did. . .

No one wants the bike, Deni.  It’s FATE.  RESCUE THE BIKE!

Get a grip, Deni.  You don’t need a 35 year old tricycle.  You just don’t.  Your Mom and Stepdad already offered to buy Mac a brand new tricked out Joovy tricycle (with safety features and a parental push bar) for his birthday next month.  

Step away from the tricycle, you hormonal, nostalgic psycho.

We headed towards the Lake and looped around looking for new spring bird arrivals.

TRI-CYCLE.  TRI-CYCLE.  TRI-CYCLE. . .My head kept singing in a happy tune.  Just thinking about it made my heart happy.

I headed towards my Spot-A-Pot (which you’ll be pleased to know has been in remarkably good condition this week).  That’s when I noticed two police cars parked front to rear (so the officers could talk from the driver side windows) near the Pavilion.

Oh. . .

What if it’s like BAIT CAR?  Maybe they are just waiting for someone to take that bike.  I mean, how else could you explain the fact that it managed to remain there overnight?  If I took the bike home, I could post a sign or at least email Friends of Patterson Park that I had the bike in case anyone was looking for it. . .but I couldn’t prove my intent if I just picked up the bike and walked out of the Park with it.  Just what I need. . .getting busted stealing a stupid tricycle. . .But it’s NOT stealing says Law School Deni. . .Couldn’t you argue this was abandoned property?  Maybe. . .but do you REALLY want to risk it?  You idiot, City police have more important stuff to worry about than playing bait car with a 35 year old tricycle in Patterson Park.

Mac and I crashed into the Spot-A-Pot and while I has hovering for an inordinate amount of time (thank you pregnancy), I formulated a plan. . .

I emerged from the Spot-A-Pot and very obviously slathered on a generous coat of anti-bacterial hand cleaner – just to show I was a decent citizen.  I swilled some water for confidence, looped the binocs back over my neck and shoulder and aimed the stroller towards the police cars.

I approached with a big smile, pausing at the Driver’s side window of the closest one.

He rolled down the back window.  “The front window doesn’t go down, Ma’am.”

Really?  Are all Police cars like that?  ‘Cause I would think if you cuffed and stuffed potential bad ass bike stealing stay at home moms back there, you REALLY wouldn’t want the BACK windows to go down.

“Ok.” I giggled.  “I’m sorry for the interruption.  I just have a silly question.  There’s a little tricycle down by the baseball fields near Eastern Avenue.  It’s been there since at least 5 last night.  And I would hate to see the thing get scrapped or ruined.  I was thinking about taking it home and trying to find the owner. . .”

You’re a liar.  You hadn’t seriously thought about finding the owner until you started talking to this Cop. Stop talking while you’re ahead.  You’ve seen crime shows, you know the rules of evidence, less talking is better.  You are guilty as hell.  You’re basically trying to get this Cop to give you permission to steal that tricycle.  Pfft.  It’s not stealing if it’s abandoned, remember? Law School Deni. 

(So that’s how I chose to omit the part of the dialogue with the Officer  I rehearsed in the Spot-A-Pot about how the bike had a special place in my heart because I had one JUST like it when I was a little girl. . .In case you were curious.)

“Ma’am, if that bike has been there since last night, it’s technically abandoned property.  And if you’re planning to do a good deed (I could barely keep a straight face) by trying to find who it belongs to, you’re not going to get in trouble for taking it.”

“Ok.  Thank you.  I didn’t want you to think I was stealing something or had any malicious intent.”  Malicious intent?  Really?  You had to use that phrase?  You’re trying to steal  a bike.  Appearing sweet and stupid is to your advantage.

“You have a great day!  Thanks again for your help!”

Suddenly, all my sluggishness vanished.  I felt GOOD.  Omitting even a few minor details to a COP is a RUSH!

All I could think about was how quickly I could get Mac to the Pagoda and back through the Park so I could grab that bike and hot-tail it home!

Mac and I wandered around the Pagoda.  We played at the leaky water fountain.  We ate graham crackers while taking in the beautiful view of the Key Bridge from Hampstead Hill.

Hurry.  Hurry.  Hurry!

We bounded down the hill towards the Boat Lake.  A few crackers for the ducks and I was home free. . .with a free bike!

Please let the bike still be there.  Please.  

As Mac mucked around in the mud near the Lake, we happened upon our friends Vern and John.  They are retired gentleman who we see a lot and we’ve become very friendly with them.

I don’t have time for idle chatter today.  Hurry!

As Vern chased Mac out of the pond muck, I watched a trash truck drive by the vicinity of the bike.  My heart nearly exploded!  What if they picked it up!?

I convinced Mac to hurry up and feed the ducks.  I dissed some poor Mom who wanted to talk about her daughters aged two and a half.  I practically stiff-armed a four year-old while getting Mac back in the stroller. . .



I ran towards the bike. . .anticipating how heavy it would feel.  Wondering if I could get it home with the stroller?

Breathless, I wrapped my hand around its grip-less handle bar.


I hoisted it onto my shoulder.

I couldn’t conceal my delight.  I was grinning from ear to ear.

“We’re taking the old girl home!” I laughed at Mac.  “She’s coming home!”

Oh nuts.  How am I going to post a notice that I have this bike?  I mean, if I post a photo, just any old person could say they owned it.  How will this work?  It’s not exactly like a “found pet” notice.  Do I really want to post my phone number on flyers throughout the Park?  Uh oh.

To ease my mind, I texted my Mom and Sisters:  “Guess what I’m dragging out of the Park, bitches?! LOL!”

The bike is in the basement.  Mac hasn’t seen it yet.  Chris is going to kill me when he finds it.

What do I do?!  

Can I blame it on being temporarily, pregnantly insane?


How would you post a notice?  Or do I not post a notice, refurbish the bike and donate it?  Or maybe I keep this bike and donate a similar one?  Thoughts?



Which I looooooove sooo much, oh my word, it makes me happy!  













6 Responses to “Technically, It Was Abandoned Property. The Police Said So.”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Oh it is so cute!! And you just did post about it if you want to get technical 🙂
    Jennifer recently posted…Just BecauseMy Profile

    • admin says:

      Thank you. I felt better after writing the post. And my Husband wasn’t all that shocked to find the thing “hiding” in the basement. He knows me too well! HA!

  2. Mary Ann says:

    Think of it as a “really feel good moment”. Any time you need a pick me up go take apeek at the “purple childhood memory”.

    • admin says:

      Chris made me put it in the potting shed outside. He said it was taking up room in the basement where he was trying to do some work. My newest plan is to sucker Mom and Bob into taking it to their house. . .you know, fix it up, have it there for the grandkids. Bah-hahahaha!

  3. Rick says:

    Suddenly I have an uncontrolled urge to find my original model Schwinn bicycle…and ride it….and break my ass….Never mind.

    • admin says:

      Hahahaha! I wanted to stand on the back of the tricycle but I didn’t think my ego could handle what might happen when the wheels collapsed like some kind of cartoon! These sorts of things are only fun in theory!