Friday, April 17, 2009

Nick Would Approve

People who knew Nick found him charming in the extreme. There is a story about a four year old Nick and motorcycles - Harleys to be accurate. First I'll show you something new to our household.

****Click for full size****

The town of Joseph OR is famous for scenery and bronze castings so it was reasonable that they would host a blues festival named Bronze Blues and Brews and even more reasonable that my wife and I would attend - with Nick. As we entered the park we walked past quite a few parked Harleys with their riders appropriately attired. Any time there are bikes and riders in one place throttles will be jacked and exhaust notes roar - they did. Nick was entranced and further so when I noted that I'd at one time virtually lived on a bike in N California.

While we were getting ourselves set up on a spot in the grass suitable for listening and dancing Nick managed to get stung by a yellow jacket between his fingers and tears ensued. The tears and sobs were nearly unending until he wandered off a ways. I went looking for him and found him at the beer tent surrounded by bikers in leather, dew rags, and tatts and as I led him away there was a chorus of, "See ya, Nick." As the day went on, if I needed to find Nick all I had to do was look for bikers. Leaving at the end of the festival it seemed every biker in the place knew Nick, "Hey, Nick," and variations came from most corners which made the little fellow shine.

For several years Nick could spot a Harley from our car or the street by looks or exhaust note and never confused any of the look-alikes or wanna-bes with an actual Harley. The above bike is a 1998 Super Glide 80 cubic inch Harley Davidson purchased about three days ago. Compared to the rest of my vehicles it gets great gas mileage but it is a ludicrous transportation vehicle. It is massively over powered and extremely weather limited and flatly really cool.

It's been 30 years since I was putting 30,000 miles a year on a bike and running with a ... fast crowd. Bikes have changed a lot, this bike has a lot more power per cubic inch and the handling and ride are hugely superior to anything available in my riding period. In some ways I bought this bike in honor of Nick, he'd love it, it would appeal to the looney tune portion of his character. Every time the exhaust roars I think of Nick and grin.

BTW, I own an absolute fleet of Chevrolets and now a Harley and every one of them was made in America by American labor.


Phil said...

". . . and every one of them was made in America by American labor."

As are many Toyotas. By the way, Chuck, my daughter and her husband own a Harley shop in southern California; I'm pretty sure she'll be enchanted by this story.

Chuck Butcher said...

Well, many "foreign" cars are "made" in the US by Americans, but the profits don't stay here. I'll admit that I ducked buying anything new for quite awhile because I didn't like anything Chevy built, but...that was then this is now.

I hope your daughter gets a kick out of this, I don't know anything about after-life, but I can here Nick pointing and saying - Harley Davidson!

Micgar said...

Cool story! There is something about that sound that Harleys have that kids (and adults!) find interesting! I think he'd love your new Harley by the sound of this story!

ThePoliticalCat said...

What a wonderful tribute to your boy!

elkaholic said...

Hey Chuck. Great story, really enjoyed the read. Nice bike too, hope you enjoy. Just got my very first bike, it's one of those wannabe Honda Shadows, but it is all mine and I'm a happy camper.

Anonymous said...


Great Story!!! I did not remember you telling this one until I just read it. I do remember how much Nick loved Harleys and I know he is watching you ride around the state of Oregon from heaven and getting a kick out of it. Make sure you remember to clean the bugs out of your beard after your road trip :)

- Matthew Clark (Nick's Brother)

Chuck Butcher said...

Hey Elkaholic,
Up on two is up on two. I like Harleys best, but there is plenty to be said for a lot of makes of bikes.