1 of 7
Bruce Brown airs up the tire of a bike belonging to Ben Scruggs. Many children in Du Quoin have benefited from either Brown fixing their bikes or they acquired a bike from Brown.
Bruce Brown and Ben Scruggs, 13, work together to repair Scruggs' bike. On just about any day Brown can be found in front of his house repairing bikes and holding court, mostly for kids. While workinig on the bikes he regales anyone within earshot of his views and opinions. He has given away many of the bikes he repairs because he wants to help the children in the neighborhood. He has friends who also work on bikes who do the same thing, and they help each other find parts and used bikes to repair and sell, trade or give away.
Bruce Brown sits on his front porch on North Hickory Street in Du Quoin and talks to sisters Gabby Baugh, 13, (left) and Hanna Baugh, 11. Brown, who is opinionated outspoken, often does not have much nice to say about adults, but he has a soft spot for kids who stop by his house either to have him help them repair their bikes, or who come by just to watch Brown work on bikes.
Bruce Brown emerges from his house with a can of lubricant to do a repair on a bike belonging to Dominic Engleage, 15, who hangs his head over the handlebars of his bike after some ribbing by Brown. Looking on are Ben Scrugges, 13, and Hanna Baugh, 11. The kids come by Brown's house that always has dozens of bikes in front (and even more in back) to get their bikes worked on or to watch him work. No one is spared Brown's constant banter and opinions. While he works he states opinions, teases and cajoles and gives anyone within earshot a hard time. The kids who come around seem to appreciate Brown's gruff exterior and kind heart.
Brown works on a bike chain using a tool to take the chain apart. He is a self-taught mechanic and also works on lawn mowers.
Bruce Brown walks off of his porch of his house located on North Hickory Street in Du Quoin carrying a bicycle pump. Brown, who is disabled, repairs bicycles and buys and sells used bicycles. Although in the past there has been complaints by city officials over Brown's constant accumulation of bikes that dominate his residence, neighbors and people who know him say he is a good man who gives of himself to help others and they appreciate him and what he does.
Bruce Brown works on a bicycle tire that belongs to Ben Scruggs. Brown has been working on bicycles for years and much of his work is for bikes belonging to children in the neighborhood on the north side of Du Quoin where Brown lives.
Driving north on Hickory Street, not far from the north edge of Du Quoin, one will spot on the east side of the street an old dilapidated house dominated by bicycles piled on and in front of the front porch. And, there are more bicycles in the backyard surrounded by a wood fence.
The house belongs to Bruce Brown, who buys, sells and repairs used bicycles. He is disabled and does the business more as something to do and to help provide bicycles for local children.
Brown is gruff and opinionated, but those who know him are quick to say that he is a good man and will tell you that Brown goes out of his way to give of himself to others, especially children. Brown works on the bikes in afternoons, either sitting on the front porch or in the front yard.
All the while he works he usually has an audience, mostly of area kids, who come by to either get their bikes repaired or to just watch Brown work and listen to him talk.