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Bummer's Monthly Musings

Bummer, who's an ABATE institution, writes one of the most widely read articles in the Outspokin' each month. Now he's also right here on the web! Welcome to the Computer Age, Bummer! ~ Enjoy!

 

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Shootin’ the Breeze 

by Bummer

Email: bummer@abate.com

     Before I start blabbin’ this month, I’d like to mention that the state web site now has a chat room and a whole lot more features to inform, enlighten and entertain y’all. When ya go to the chat room, just hit “enter” on yer keyboard after ya type something and you’ll be able to talk and reply to folks.  I plan on checkin’ in there ‘bout noon and about midnight when I can.  Also those of you who work days, or are independently wealthy might want to check on it in the evening, say 7PM.    

       Somebody I know mentioned the term, “REAL BIKER” the other day and it got me to thinking......What is a “REAL” biker?  Is there an “UNREAL” biker?  Are there “UNREAL” bikes?  Of course they were talking about the sub-culture, or lifestyle if you prefer.

     I remember back in the 60’s the people I hung with were what we called “FREAKS”....We would NEVER use the term “HIPPY” because that was a label the media gave us and sounded silly, and we certainly didn’t want to see ourselves as being silly, even if the rest of the world did.  But “Bikers” weren’t often  thought of as being silly.  If someone thought so, they kept it to themselves.

     For the most part,[and there were exceptions], freaks and bikers didn’t exactly get along.  The freaks might have ridden bikes, but bikers were the buttkickers and we were into peace, love, and blah blah blah....That is, of course, unless someone stole our stash, then we wanted to kill ‘em.

     In fact the media itself actually helped bridge the gap between Bikers and Freaks.

     A few movies like “Billy Jack” were about social issues, pitting the Rednecks against the Freaks, then good old Billy Jack [who rode a Triumph], would come in and kick some major butt while the longhairs in the audience would be cheering like mad!  Every skinny, greasy haired Freak that was ever spat upon or laughed at all of a sudden had a Viet Nam Vet, martial arts expert stickin’ up for them and givin’ those good old boys their comeuppance.

     Then of course “Easy Rider” roared across the screen.  When Billy, [Dennis Hopper] and Wyatt [yes, that was Peter Fonda’s character’s name] got hassled, EVERYBODY felt it.  Even George [Jack Nicholson] became one of our own when the bad guys did what they did- I don’t wanna spoil it if ya haven’t seen it.

     After THOSE movies we all seemed to come together.  The Freaks, the Viet Nam Vets and the Bikers suddenly realized that they ALL seemed to have in common a distrust and distaste for the status quo.  The government, white bread America and the whole system in general became the enemy.

    The good folks down in Region 5 get together once a year and take over a movie theater for a private screening of Easy Rider.  I think that is so cool because it allows us to remember our roots, so to speak.  To remember what it was like in the good/bad old days when we’d get thrown out of bars and restaurants ‘cause we were bikers.  If ya got stopped by the man you were hassled endlessly and when yer girl’s father found

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Bummer's Shootin' the Breeze Page!

matter, and the media isn’t interested.  The officer who initiated all this is married to the local prosecuting attorney, so we won’t see any help from them, and Sam’s attorney says he needs lots more bucks to continue.  The only good to come of all this is new legislation designed to prevent this from happening again, when it’s enacted!

     I know that usually I try to make this a “light” feature of this magazine and inject a little humor into my writing.  I spoke to Sam the other day and I’m afraid that this month I’m gonna let ya down folks, cause there’s no way in hell that I can find any humor in any of this and still say what I think needs to be said about it.  I haven’t written about this in the past because others have and I wanted to wait ‘til something new happened.  Now it looks like it’s gonna be a while, if anything is gonna happen at all.  Throughout all this, Sam and his family have not given up.  Maybe a politician or attorney reading this can help.  If so, please contact me at the above Email and I’ll relay it to Sam and Deb. The police have literally confiscated a law biding citizens property and won’t give it back!  This isn’t a drug bust we’re talkin’ about here.  Sure looks to me like a case of illegal seizure.

     Now bear with me for a few more minutes.....

     A local radio station is promoting a contest in which a Harley, a jet ski and a truck are the prizes.  In the commercial they refer to these as “Big Boy Toys”.  This is wrong in a lot of ways.

     I might be a “Big Boy” but that piece of work sitting out in my driveway is not a “Toy”!  It’s a viable means of transportation that reduces national energy consumption and an expensive piece of machinery that can reduce traffic congestion and make our highways safer to travel.

     Also, it’s that kind of thinking that deters us from having public bike parking at malls and other places it’s needed.  On top of all that, we should be getting tax rebates for riding transportation that consumes and pollutes less and, as previously mentioned, just plain takes up minimal space on the highways and in the parking lots!

     So, to sum it all up.....I’m sure that brave defender of the public trust that decided to outrageously steal Sam’s bike like a thief in the night was thinking “toy” when they loaded it on a truck. We’ve finally united in our struggles against unfair persecution and harrasement only to have one of our own burned badly.

     What are “real bikers”?  Well, I think that those who keep their faith and dignity under extreme circumstances are fine examples....people like Sam and Deb.                

     Before closing, I hope to see y’all at the June Jam, and I just want to mention a blowout we in Region Zero are havin’ next month- July 20, 21 and 22 just south of Canton at a place called Bear Creek.  It’s easy to find and a FANTASTIC location.  A flyer will be somewhere in this magazine. Hope to see ya at both of them and to be talkin’  to ya in our chat room soon.

That's me, dammit!~Watch here for next month's installment!

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out that you were one of them Hippy Biker types, all kindsa hell broke loose.

     Now, of course, times have changed and anybody who misses the old days should stop and remember what it was really like.  Sure, there was much more brotherhood, but that was because we shared a common bond being round pegs tryin’ to fit into square holes.  It wasn’t all that great to be refused service at a gas station when it was the only one in town and you had miles to go!  Walkin’ into a bar alone was taking yer life in yer hands and if ya sported tatoos, ya kept ‘em covered when applying for even the most menial jobs.  That is unless you were a woman, then you could get a job in a carnival as the Tattooed Lady!  Most women would never have dreamed of a tat.  Yes, times have changed and one of the reasons is ABATE.

     Abate is constantly on the lookout for injustices and barriers initiated by the government and society that prevents us from living as we choose and enjoying our rights.  We sometimes forget that the “pursuit of happiness” is one of our rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States!

     I have a friend named Sam Sarconi.  You might have heard of his story.  Like so many of us, he’s someone who earned his wings the hard way.  He didn’t wake up one morning and rush to the local shop to buy a brand new bike because he decided to dabble in bein’ a biker.

     A few years ago he, his wife Deb and a few others rode to Geneva On The Lake for a weekend of fun.  In the midnight hours he was awakened by police who were in the process of loading his and another’s bikes onto a trailer to be hauled away for “questionable” serial numbers.  The police thought a few of the numbers looked “funny” but were at a loss to be able to say the bike was actually stolen.  Not only that, Sam had a re-constructed title and  could trace the bike back thru a whole bunch of previous owners.  Besides, once again, the bike wasn’t even listed as stolen!!

     For over a year the bike sat in a storage lot outside, unprotected from the weather.  Finally the police changed their position to claim that the bike had stolen parts on it.  The only serial numbers on a Harley are on the frame and on the cases, so how can they claim whether or not a specific part is stolen?  And how many of you keep receipts for every single solitary part you buy to put on yer sled?  And if ya did, would the NEXT owner keep them?

     Finally Sam had his day in court and was told that the police were legal in what they’ve done.....The bike still sits in police custody, tho they’ve moved it inside.  The paint is faded, the seat is weathered and cracked, the sheet metal is rusted and the chrome is pitted.  Although Abate of Columbiana County, [his home county] has tried to help out with fundraising, the family can’t afford the thousands and thousands of dollars to appeal the decision.  

     Every politician we’ve contacted doesn’t want to get involved because it’s a police

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