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!
Shootin’ the Breeze
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
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
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
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
I guess this is all gettin’ to me now ‘cause i
just came back from visitin’ Pappy, an “Old Timer” [and I
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.
||“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
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
“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
“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
|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
And I think that’s great! If
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
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
“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?”
“That’s an odd number. Why
“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
“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
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.