Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Dozen Things To Do -- But Not Today

I knew the moment I woke up this morning this was not an ordinary day. It was just too beautiful to be ordinary. A cold front is coming in perhaps tomorrow, but today was perfect. I looked at my table with several projects scattered on it and I knew I should be getting to work -- but not today. I have three DAR apps waiting for attention;  my lesson/program for Thursday night at the FHC waiting for attention; my script for ComCast TV in November waiting for attention. But I told myself I have lots of time to do those things and a day like this will not always be at my beckon call.  So doing what any self respecting retiree would do -- I chose to not do any of my chores.   I decided to head for Loveland today.  I like to go there and drive by places I lived and worked a long time ago. Its a nice town and it brings back good memories.  As I was driving south on Highway 287 I saw several Harleys out and thought back to the years when we were lucky to have a beautiful fall and rode well into November.  One winter we made a promise to ride at least once each month -- and we did it although some of those days were pretty bitter cold.

All of a sudden I decided to go out to Hawg Wild. Hawg Wild is a Harley shop south of Loveland and John and I didn't go there much the last 15 years or so. We didn't have our Harleys anymore and John didn't feel so social in those last years.  But today, I wanted to go and see who was still there.  Seeing the Harleys on the road made me homesick for a Harley shop. A real Harley shop that is.  I like the kind that are dark, greasy, messy, crowded and full of Harley aura.  There are glitzy ones these  days for the upper crust in the Harley world but the real ones are for me. 

I parked my truck and went in the side door. Ed was talking to a couple of fellows about their Harleys.  I patiently stood there waiting till they were done. They all three looked at me sort off quizzically.  I could see Ed trying to dig out of his memory why he should know me.  I was looking him over as well --because like all of us he has aged and his beard has gray in it now.  When I first met him in 1983 he was a young single guy and he was a giant, just as his brothers are as well. Well over 6 feet tall and strong husky guys. As soon as the other fellows moved on I held out my hand to shake his and told him who I was.  His face broke out in a big smile and he was glad to see me, I could tell.  I told him about John's passing and we began talking about old times.

Oh my gosh, we both remembered different things that had happened years ago.  Like the trip up Thompson Canyon with all of us on our Harleys going to a Harley wedding in the mountains.  When John and I would help at his Swap Meets selling Harley parts, all of the various Harleys we bought and traded and sold, and so many memories. Many other things from so long ago.  It was a fun few minutes with Ed.  I think he enjoyed it as well.  He asked me if I still ride and I said "No."  I told him I tried to get on Harley a few years ago but my legs aren't limber enough anymore to climb up that high.  Not like the years when I didn't think a thing of throwing my leg over my Harley. I can't do it anymore.  But as I was leaving he said, "Come back next spring and I'll take you in my sidecar."  Hmmmm, don't you know I am going to take him up on it?

Anyway, it was a neat afternoon for me. Years ago he had written a story about John and his 1951 PanHead.  Ed used to publish a little magazine and mail it to his customers. I kept that one and they are pictured here.  It is the December 1984 issue and if you enlarge it by clicking on the image you can read his words.  Actually, no one ever knew until now that the PanHead belonged to me, not John. I fell in love with it in Boulder and bought it on the spot. I had a good job and buying a Harley was a piece of cake.  Trouble was it was a kick starter and it scared the bejeebers out of me, so I never started it myself and never rode it. But John sure did enjoy us having it.   He had learned to ride on a "kick starter" (that's all Harley made until much later) so it was second nature to him.

Yes, it turned out to be an extra ordinary day for me. I hope it did for you as well.

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