"So I heard," said Jackie dryly. "So I heard." He was starting to fidget.
And the three generations of the racing Simeses sat there on the porch, each caught up in his own thoughts. All are scarred, all tough. Jack I has a dent on his head in the exact imprint of a bicycle toe clip. He got it—with 27 stitches—in 1905, hooked over the side of a banked bicycle track. He fell between the track shell and the stands—two stories into the basement. Jack II wears a necklace of scars around his right kneecap. They were put there in 1934 when a bike tire exploded in a Michigan race, and in the spill Simes put his leg through the wheel. "They took me to the hospital wearing that wheel," says Jack II, "and the doctor said, 'If I take it off of there you'll never walk again,' but he took it off. And I walk all right now."
Jack II now runs a bicycle shop in nearby Westwood and, to hear Jack I tell it, sells more racing bikes than anybody all up and down the East Coast.
Now Jack III—last of the racing Simeses—is the first one of them to hold promise of an Olympic medal. They don't need it; there is hardly any room left in the house for any more award paraphernalia, and a national championship might well be enough. But the first two Jack Simeses understand why the youngest has to win. They, too, have heard the sound of the white noise.