For his fourth birthday, my father, George Firestone, was given a purple Sting Ray. It was a boy's bike with a gear shifter. It was a three-speed and had a T handle. The Sting Ray bike was an iconic children's bicycle design in the late sixties and early seventies. This was an important part of American culture for these two decades.
Only a few weeks after he got the bike, it was stolen. He had left it unlocked for just a few moments and that was enough time for someone to take it. He said, "It was stupid of me to leave it unlocked." Luckily, the police were able to find the bike and return it back to him. He learned after that day that he needed to be more careful with belongings that were important to him. The adventures that he had with his bike, good or bad, can be easily tied to "coming of age". This object created very memorable experiences for my dad at the time.