I just bought a 1984 Mongoose Californian frame set
Now I can build the bike that I was [sort of] promised in 1983 when I was 8 years old, but never got.
I'm from a small town in Central Maine where real BMX wasn't a thing. Sure, just about every kid had a department store BMX (Huffy, Murray, Kent, Magna, Columbia, Free Spirit, Western Flyer, etc.), but there was no organized BMX racing in the area, so you never saw any real BMX brands such as Mongoose, Redline, Cook Bros., etc. I'd never even heard of any of the real brands in 1983, until a family from California (where BMX originated) moved in next door in the spring of that year. One of them, Bill, was 18 and had raced BMX bikes in the mid 1970s to early 1980s.
Note to the younger crowd who thinks of Mongoose as a crappy Walmart brand: prior to the mid/late 1990s when Mongoose "sold out", they were a top tier BMX brand that was only sold in actual bike shops. Not only that, but they were pioneers, being the first company to sell a factory-built complete BMX bike in the mid 1970s (prior to Mongoose, kids modified regular street bikes such as Schwinn Stringrays to make them more suitable for racing on dirt).
Prior to meeting Bill, I thought a BMX was a BMX; I had no clue about different levels of quality. But he told me about all the good brands, and introduced me to strange terms like "alloy", "chromoly", "3-piece cranks", and so on. This got me wanting one of those exotic bikes from the far away land of sunshine, sandy beaches, hot blonde women, and movie stars; wicked bad.
Bill said, "Nah, you don't want to buy one; it's better to build one."
That didn't sound very good to me. I was envisioning a bunch of mismatched parts of all different colors looking cheap and homemade. Bill cured me of that misconception and pretty soon, a store-bought bike just wouldn't do; I wanted Bill to build me one, like the Mongooses he built for himself in California.
He said he would do it, and he would even pay for half of it if I worked for it (stacking firewood and such), but when he told my parents what it would cost, even when only paying half, that plan was dead in the water.
So I was stuck with a $100 department store BMX; never got my bike built from a Mongoose frame set.