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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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April 2001          
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Shootin’ the Breeze 

by Bummer

Email: bummer@abate.com

I went down to my local bike shop this afternoon and picked up some parts
for my old FXE....Man!  Findin’ shovel parts is startin’ to be a chore!  It’s like Pan parts used to be.  Pretty soon I’m gonna be needin’ parts for my own self and they’re gonna tell me,” Oh, they don’t make those anymore!”
  “But I NEED a heart!”
  “What year was that again?”
  “I was born in ‘51.”
  “Sorry.  That’s considered antique.......Maybe i can find an aftermarket replacement for it.  Hang on a sec....
......Uh, here ya go....Kustom Pumps has one i can let ya have fer a good price.....I can have it here in a few
weeks, but it doesn’t come with an aorta, just a left and right ventricle....It SHOULD match up tho.”
  “I think I need a whole one!”
  “Well I can get ya a used one probably, but we don’t guarantee those.”
   Anyway,.....gettin old seems to have a lot more disadvantages than I figured
it would.  I remember when I could party all night with the best of ‘em.  Now I find
myself in bed before closing time!
   I find myself getting short tempered with all the jerks that hang in bars, whereas used to be I didn’t mind it so
much,....Hell! I used to be one of ‘em!....but now the drunker they get the
dumber they seem to act.  And “Old Timer”....God I hate bein’ called Old
Timer!  It’s almost as bad as bein’ called “Big Guy”!  I got yer Big Guy right here
Butt Munch!!!
   And the music these kids listen to!! Hey......Wait a minute!!!!  I’m startin’
to sound like my father!!!!!  How did THAT happen?  Go ahead and laugh...If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will...I find it happening more and more often.
I just hope that like my Dad, I learn to be more forgiving and patient.  But, ya gotta admit, ya can’t compare the
Yardbirds or Bob Seger with the.....Well, I’m not EVEN gonna go there!!!
   I guess this is all gettin’ to me now ‘cause i just came back from visitin’ Pappy, an “Old Timer” [and I say that
with mucho respect!]  down at the Home....That’s what he calls it...THE HOME.  Like it’s the Factory or the Grocery Store.  I think he just likes to keep it separate from his own personal
reality, if ya can dig it.  

    [Next Column]

Bummer's Shootin' the Breeze Page! “What were ya doin’ when you weren’t runnin’ dispatches?  I mean the radios musta been good enough most of the time.”
     “When we weren’t movin’ we had it pretty good.  Them French girls loved us!!  But when Patton took over 3rd
Army and I was reassigned, he used to use us fer forward recon fer his tanks.
That totally sucked!!  Ya got another smoke?”
     I almost choked on my coffee! To hear him say so simply what must have been one of the most terrifying jobs
in the war!  To have the whole German army know that a column of tanks is comin’ their way and to be IN FRONT!! .....On a MOTORCYCLE no less!!
Sheesh!!  Here I get concerned about road rage every now and then!
     “Pappy!  Put that cigarette out!”  It was the Bad Nurse.  He had some great nurses, but this one didn’t seem to like me, him, the world or her gender.  “You know you really shouldn’t even have any
guests if they’re going to give you cigarettes!  Vising hours are over!”
     This fine old warrior helped defeat our enemies and this battleaxe was
treating him like a bad school child.
     As I packed up he put out his smoke and asked when I was comin’ back.
     “Soon Pappy.  How ‘bout Monday?”
     “Bring me a pint of Jack?”
     “You got it bro.”
     As far as i’m concerned he can have whatever he wants. 

Well, that’s it for this
month...
That's me, dammit!~Watch here for next month's installment!

We got to blabbin’ ‘bout the way things used to be and I discovered that like him, I can’t get over how much this biking frenzy seems to be taking over the masses.  It’s everywhere!   
     And I think that’s great!  If yer
righteous, yer gonna recognize those traits in others.  If ya seem to be surrounded by wannabees who just got themselves a brand spankin’ new scoot and they don’t have a clue how to act,
show ‘em!  If they don’t wanna learn, screw ‘em.  Sooner or later they’ll find a new lifestyle of the week and sell the scoot, buy a boat and be on their way. Ya might even get a nice bike for a good price.
     Anyways, excuse me from rambling. I was talkin’ ‘bout Pappy..... 
     During WWII he was a dispatch rider for Gen. Patton. 
     “What did ya ride Pappy?”
     “Well mostly it was a Harley 45 c.u. flathead, but my favorite was a ten year old Knuckle they assigned me a few months before I mustered out.”
     “How long were ya in?”
     “Seven years.”
     “That’s an odd number.  Why
seven?”
     “Well, ya see back then you were in for the duration of the war.  I enlisted in ‘39 and just before my hitch was up the
Japs bombed Pearl.  After the war I guess I stayed in fer a bit ‘cause I got to likin’ it.”

  “Ya see much action?”
     After lookin’ at me like I was the biggest dumbass he’d ever seen, he just smiled and replied,   “Well, Paris was a
party.” 

  “You know what I mean...Were you in combat?”
  “He took a hit off a cigarette I had just offered him and casually said, “Northern Africa, then Sicily, Italy, Normandy, thru France and into Germany.”
     I was kinda speechless.  Here was a guy who was in the war from our initial involvement in the European theater all
the way thru to the end!  I knew he held some decorations but this was too much!!

  “Yer lucky ya made it thru all in one piece.”
  “I know a lot who didn’t.  Whenever we hit a beachhead I was always supposed to go in the second wave, bein’ a motorcycle dispatch rider, but when D-Day hit I was on temporary assignment to the 1st Division and ended up on Omaha beach with the rest of the poor slobs.  If anyone ever tries to take yer bike and hand ya a rifle just say no.”   
   “I’ll remember that!”
   “After we established a beachhead, they gave me my bike back and told me to relay dispatches.  Can you imagine
using a Harley to run up and down a beach?”
    “I know guys who do that every year in Daytona.  But I’m sure it’s not quite the same.”
     He once again looked at me like I wasn’t from the same planet as him.
[Next Column]

 

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