your extrapolating of my point is correct and on the mark. the flame
we (all of us) are trying to keep burning is based in emotion and
subjectivity. you're right to suggest that it may have never been lit
to begin with.
this is not cynicism on my part; it's an opinion based on
real life experiences within the industry. i cannot speak for br?an, but
i once used the 'iconoclastic' italian framebuilders as a role model.
we all need to find something to aspire to. my aspirations were based on
what i read, and what i 'thought', and the fantasies i concocted when i
was, uh, new. several years in the biz and 5-6 trips to italy later have
exposed me to a reality that has little overlap with what i expected
in my earlier days. these points have all been covered before and are
in the archives. in essence, tho' we (the 'merican builders...) were
trying to emulate and hopefully, one day, catch up to our euro counter-
parts, we created something that did not exist over there. one-man
shops, or small production artisanal shops were not the norm. they
were and are anomalies. i'd say, to a brand, not one shop would fill
the description that henry gave of, "a frame handcrafted by 'Luigi'..."
the irony, for me at least, is that the products-all through the ensuing
years-have been of a high quality, whether it was handmade, or lovingly
crafted, or custom-made, or whatdeva!
the mythology (bad word choice, but you get my drift) is something that
we all attach to it. it is not something that these makers used to market
their bicycles.