From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Harleys For Young and Old

All In The Family... Another Trip Down Memory Lane...



Isaac, my 17-year-old, hates Harley Davidsons. "They're old people's bikes," he rants. "Cars without a roof!"

I'm surprised he has such a low opinion of Harley Davidsons. I think that Harley Davidson was the first motorcycle name I ever knew. My father spoke of them reverently. I realize now that he had probably always wanted one.

When I was in high school, my dad bought me my own little 65cc Harley Davidson as a reward for a summer of working in the hayfield. I had a lot of fun riding it all over the ranch for several years until I absolutely wore it out! I don't seem to have a photo of myself on it -- just one of Mary Ann Huff riding it. Anyway, that little bike is the main reason that I have an affection for the Harley Davidson name to this day.

Isaac objects to the fat, plush look of the modern Harley Davidsons he sees people riding. He doesn't like saddlebags and windshields. He prefers a simpler bike with just the bare essentials, or if it's going to be fancy, he wants the chopper look.

I've told Isaac that when Peter Fonda made the great chopper classic, "Easy Rider", his Captain America bike was a modified Harley. Isaac hasn't seen the movie, so this means nothing to him. He says that "Easy Rider" was a long time ago and nowadays, Harleys are for soft old geezers.

Harley puzzleIsaac may be right. I saw at the store today that Harley Davidson puzzles are available for those who would rather do a nice jigsaw than roar down the highway getting bugs in their teeth. That would be me.

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2 comments:

Mark said...

The motorcycle culture is our world in microcosm. That community is split roughtly into four parts, with little crossover among them. It's the Harley/Harley-look-alikes (or cruisers), the boy racers (you see their riders hunched over them as they speed from stoplight to stoplight) and the tourers (subdivided mainly into two groups, the Honda and the BMW riders), and finally, the dirt bikers. I used to be a BMW rider, but mine sits forelornly in the garage, gathering dust. I guess I'll have to sell it.

Sammie said...

Thanks to you, Gennie, I "had" to get me a 65cc Harley. I loved mine as well. Bicycles were hard to ride on sand trails where I lived and I truely felt free riding my little motorcycle. It had a lot of power for a small cycle! I once raced my brother-in-law who had a Honda 90 and beat him in the long run. Ha! I do remember having to push it two miles through a pasture when my friend Doni and I went riding. Not fun! My brothers unfortunetly rode it too death while I was away at high school. They laugh about it to this day but I still don't find it very funny. My kick starter broke and my brother-in-law welded a make shift one on. It would sometimes come back and hit me in the leg. OUCH! I learned that my cowboy boots prevented that. What a sight I must have been. But I didn't care and it was the best thing I ever spent with my hard earned money!! I wish I had one today.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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