Monday, September 11, 2023

Chapter 7: The Sportster.

The Old Man was into motorcycles.  In the garage was stored frames for different years and styles.  There were parts for Harley Davidsons, Indians, Hondas, Kawasaki's, and Suzuki Motorcycles scattered around the walls and hanging from different locations on the rafters.  He had boxes and bins where the motors, transmissions, forks, brakes, fenders, lights, mirrors, and seats were kept all organized by catalogue number and date.  All the tools he needed to put any one of these works of art together were also in their proper place ready for use.  This was no ordinary garage, it was also the place The Old Man did all repairs that kept his Peterbilt semi tractor in good shape.  It was a large and wonderous space of mechanical beauty.

The Old Man's garage was located at the front of the property next to Winston and the Bel Aire, the trailers that the family lived in.  His truck was parked in front most of the time while he was inside either working on parts of the truck or working on a motorcycle mechanical marvel.  

The Old Man caught the Boy in his garage looking over frames of different bikes.  He walked in, smiled at the Boy and threw him an open ended wrench and pointed to a frame that the Boy was standing next to.  "What do you think of that one?" He asked.

The Boy blinked and replied, "Sportster?"  

"Of Sorts." The Old Man said. 

Then he started handing the Boy parts.  He gave him bolts, nuts, handle bars, seat frame, and wheel assemblies, "That'll get you started."  

The Boy worked for the entire summer, when he wasn't working on the ranch, building, rebuilding, polishing and fine tuning a piece of mechanical wonder of his very own.  Under the guidance of the Old Man, the Boy began growing into a man of mental means.  He was learning to focus his energies into a creative project that he could begin to see come to fruition.  The Old Man was teaching him how to create, how to think. 

By the end of the summer the Boy and The Old Man together had managed to rebuild a 1955 Harley KHRM Sportster.  The engine, chrome parts, exhaust, and fenders where all painted a nice flat black.  The gas tank an ivory white with a gold Harley Davidson etched down the center.  That bike was a wonder of a motor cycle art.  A veritable sculpture in motion.  It was fabulous.  

The Old Man and the Boy celebrated their hard work and went for a ride together.  The Old Man drove an Indian Chief of the same year and the Boy drove the Harley.  The Boy thought he was dreaming when The Old Man threw him a key and said, "This belongs to you." and pointed to the bike they had built.  He was in heaven. 

Together they road west on highway 2 toward Shelby.  They rode there and back stopping at the Bar S restaurant for lunch.  The Bar S is a small place in the middle of, Nowhere.  Good food, good people, and they don't mind bikers. 

On the drive back the Old Man kicked his Indian in the butt and disappeared over the horizon.  The Boy just laughed and followed.   They arrived home just before dusk.  Parked the bikes and sat on Winston's porch to watch the Sun set. 

School starts in a week, and the Boy had an almost evil idea.  He rode the Harley to town picking up a friend on the way.  The two arrived at the High School back entrance and sat for a time to make sure no one followed.  The Boy jumped off the bike and produced a key from his pocket and unlocked the back door.  There were no cars in the lots front or back.  His friend held the door open as the Boy, this icon of human nature drove his Harley through the school halls making the loop from the door past the main office and back to the door again and out.  The two locked the door behind them and drove off into the sunset laughing like it was the funniest thing that had ever happened.  They had gotten away with the ultimate incursion, or so they thought.

Peace and Balance,


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