…”ey up, are ye knackered from the lorrie ride to the agency?, yalookin’ a lil’ gobsmacked mate”… the Norton uttered. I’m not sure what he said or who he was addressing so I didn’t say anything. “He’s asking you if the ride in the truck to the dealership made you tired” interpreted the Parilla. Oh, okay, wellll, (wow did she have a sultry voice) “uh, no, no, the ride in the truck was fine, the ride from the “agency” to here was rather harrowing” . ‘ol Vic, he’ll test ye mettle, he will” again, the Norton speaks and again, I don’t know what he said. Before the Parilla can relay what he said, I replied, “I can speak “motorbike” with the best of you, but for the life of me, I can’t understand what you are saying”. “It’s a fair cop guv, you’ve got me bang to rights you do” the Norton comes back. The Parilla interrupts, “he likes to bring a little of the old country with him but he means no harm. You’ll figure him out soon enough”. Pip Pip, cheerio and all that rot” says Norton. The Parilla rolled her headlight, “he’s showing off a little, but he’s okay.
Just about every Sunday for the next 2 years, the Norton was shuttled off to some racetrack, usually sporting some kind of trophy when he came home, so I knew he was faaast. The Parilla was Vics’ favorite ride to go eat breakfast on every Saturday morning. He would ride to a different obscure little restaurant, then ride some interesting roads, roll back into the garage around three o’clock, then clean us up. Oh, by the way, I get ridden just about every day back and forth to work. Vic works thirty four miles from his house, and though I’m not sure what he does all day, it must be pretty stressful ‘cause he’ll wring me out on the way home.
Dateline: Some Saturday in November 1963 – 8:35 am
Vic always opens up the garage at exactly 6:30 am every morning. Rain or shine, Holiday or no, I’ve never known Vic to take a day off. He always strolls into the shop, whistling some catchy tune, a clean towel at the ready, just in case one of us need a quick wipe down. He was over two hours late and getting later. We were all talking amongst ourselves, trying to figure out what was going on, but it didn’t matter because he never did show up. I mean, HE NEVER DID SHOW UP! EVER! I MEAN, NOT ONE TIME EVER AGAIN, DID HE SHOW UP!
After a lonnnnnnng time, could have been months, may have been years, the garage door opened slowly and a couple of people that we didn’t recognize walked in. They really didn’t seem too interested in us although one of them had a screamin’ little ba…uh, kid that would jump on each one of us, dragging his little cowboy boots across our gas tanks, twisting and pulling everything from the clutch lever to the choke, but Norton quickly put all the fun and games to an end when he promptly fell over, pinning the little kid underneath him. The Parilla stifled a laugh but I didn’t. I laughed out loud, though through all of the commotion, I don’t think anybody heard me. It took both of the bigger people to pick the Norton up and get the little kid out from under him. He was crying and had snot running out of his nose but he wasn’t hurt too bad. The bigger people seemed to want to get out of here, so left with the crying kid in tow.
A few days after the “cryin’ kid people” left, we were all split up. They loaded up Norton , and I was waiting my turn to load up when they drove off, leaving the Parilla and myself in the garage. Sure enough, some young looking punk came and crammed my key into me and hit my starter button but my battery was dead. He was able to kick start me but I didn’t give in until the pimply faced kid was sucking some serious wind. I tried to tell the Parilla goodbye but she wouldn’t look at me and I couldn’t get her attention. He rode me hard for about three weeks and burned my tires smooth as a tabletop, then rather unceremoniously parked me in a barn forever. Well, not forever but long enough for me to go into a deep coma.
I woke up for the first time in a long time, in the back of a pickup truck, leaned over against an old mattress. At least it was pretty comfy. It seems like we had driven for days when we came to stop somewhere in a place that is indescribably hot. Oh, and humid too! I found out later that this place is called Tulsa,Okohma, or something like that. Now this fat chick with some truely bizzare tats comes over to look at me, and says, “I thought you were a Harley”. Now I really wasn’t sure what a Harley was but figured out that it was some other kind of motorcycle. She spat a wad of tobacco juice at me and said, “I don’t want no freakin’ rice burner”, and with a crude jesture of her thumb, said, “send this thang to my sister in Bonham, Texas”. I wasn’t even unloaded, in Okmahoma. The same day, I landed in Bonham, Texas. A real nice guy named Rick, ( brother-in-law to tat girl ) came out and looked at me and said that he would take me. I’m thinking, finally, someone is going to adopt me but this guy rolled me right into his shed, leaned me over against a post and walked away. Sigh.
I was asleep when Rick came out one day and loaded me up into, yeah, you guessed it, another pickup truck. He took me to a place that he went to work everyday, some car dealership. He said some guy named Lanny wanted to look at me. Lanny came out and said he would try to see if there was something he could do for me. So he messes around with my electrics for a few days and here is where things get really weird.
This dude name Byod, Body, nooo, maybe Bob, I don’t know, strange name, anyway he sees me an starts to hyperventilate or something. His knees went weak, his face was flush, his words all astutter, starts rubbing my seat and stroking my gas tank. I’m thinking, “hey, maybe this fat dude has a clue” Well it takes this guy like to month to strike a deal for me (salesman Indeed?) but he finally ponies up the cash and takes me to his place. When he wheels me into his garage, I see my cousin, a black dude named “Dream” already there. He was born after me, like ’66 I think and he’s a 305. There are some other kewl dudes hanging out in there as well so for now, it looks like I’ve found a home, at least this guy seems to like me. I’ll keep you updated on my progress as he says he’s gonna make look like new. Later and write when you can. Benly