'Scuse the harsh title...

 




A Collection of Articles from the Archives of

Harry G. Pellegrin

Novelist and Musician






 

Read on, my man!


Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx



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Old Phart (Me)

My mother is a faithful reader of the Plastic Pony.  Despite the fact that she is not a motorcyclist and never has been one, she reads every issue cover to cover.  We often sit for hours and discuss the wisdom of including various articles, how I should edit out the profanity (I resent when someone edits my words, I refuse to do it to someone else) and she’ll even make suggestions for future articles!

Beside the fact that she is my Mom and I enjoy the “bonding” times together,  I listen to what she says because I need an outside voice now and then to give a bit of perspective to this project.   A few days back we were driving in the car together and she mentioned an article -- actually she couldn’t remember the exact name of the article or which issue it had appeared in.  She said “Oh it was another one of those articles where you reminisce about something that happened to you when you were eighteen.”

This comment upset me a bit.  Quite a bit.  I have had wonderful  biking experiences every year since 1974.  Why is it that I seem to be stuck in one particular year?  Riding the BMW all over Manhattan one summer  is a very fond set of memories.  But how about a more recent year when I went blasting around on a borrowed Eddie Lawson Replica Kawasaki for  a week?  A friend of mine was going through a divorce and wanted to give me the bike so that his ex-to-be wouldn’t get it or force a sale.  That bike was awesome.  It had to be the most powerful motorcycle I’d ever ridden.  I bet it would still astound today.  What made it truly scary was the lousy flexi-frame and the tiny brakes that smacked of a blatant disregard for their fellow man on the part of their designers!

That was 1981.  My wife at the time wouldn’t let me keep Tommy’s Kaw.  The same woman who had ridden pillion with me through my crazy teen years decided that motorcycles were just too dangerous.  The minute my divorce was finalized, I started saving for a new Kaw!

1990 contained a magic Fall -- the season, not an accident.  A lady friend of mine gave me a dirt bike (actually a dual-sport) upon which I discovered the joy of off-roading.  We rode through most of the Blue Mountain Preserve in Peekskill during those two or three golden weeks.

1991 -- I finally saved the bucks for the Ninja.  I’ll never forget the day I picked it up.  It had to be the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my entire life.  Of course, I picked it up on a rainy November 15th.  It was a Friday afternoon.  I took some time off from work and bummed a ride down to the dealership to pick it up.  The mechanic who had  assembled and prepped the bike took her out for a spin in the rain to check her over.  He almost high-sided right in front of the dealership -- and me. 

When he finally relinquished the keys, I was nervous due to his performance.  I’d never been on a modern sportbike, only the EL Replica ten years before.  I hopped on and mashed my crotch into the humped and steep gas tank.  My buddy said “You must be excited.”  They were actually tears of pain.  To this day, nine out of ten times that bike is on the road, it rains.  Some guys refuse to ride with me because they know if I show, the clouds can’t be far behind.  I bought a Kaw, but she seems to be a Duck.

1992 contained a long distance run to the Americade.  I still lived in New York City  after all.  1993, Daytona.   I never realized exactly how many motorcycles there were in the world until I went to Daytona.  I believe they said there were almost a half million bikes in town that week.  When you see that many machines in one place,  it is amazing.  No other word will do -- amazing!

1994, my introduction to the Mohawk Sportbiker’s Association and all those wonderful people.  This summer contained some of the best motorcycle memories I think I’ll ever have.  I even got my Harley on the road.  I don’t care what anyone thinks about them, I like my Hog.  I still love my Ninja though.

1994 was also a watershed year for my wife, ED who managed to get her motorcycle operator’s license in one try.  When I was a kid, that was all but unheard of.  I managed it, but all my friends went back two or three times.  I redid an old Honda for her.  It looks quite nice now.  She treats it well and loves it.  It brings back great memories when I see the look on her face when she runs her hand over the gas tank.  The bike is twenty years old.  Just a bit younger than my motorcycle license.

When I look at the bikes we own, I think of the times of my life I’ve lived through.  When my Harley was new, my father died.  It was also the year of the EL-replica  Kaw.  The ‘75 Honda reminds me of an identical  bike owned by a good friend of mine who died on it -- not the bike’s fault, Budweiser’s. A s**t shame.  (Sorry, Mom.)

The metal is all the same but the man has changed.  My hair is thinner and graying.  There are lines where there was once smooth skin.  The chrome still winks in the light like it did when I was eighteen, or twenty three, or thirty two.  Someday my daughter will look at that winking chrome and think to herself “This was Daddy’s bike when he was alive.  I wish I could see all the things he saw when he rode it.”  And she’ll ride it --  and right now I’m wishing I could see all the things she WILL see while riding it.

So that’s the way I want to end this little trip down memory lane --with future memories.  They are what make us get up in the morning.  The past is done.  The future calls us.  This snow will soon be gone and we’ll roll out the bikes and catch us some memories! 

Sorry Mom, I did it again.

 

Harry G. Pellegrin

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  LOW END  By Harry George Pellegrin.  The first in the Gary Morrissey series of mysteries.  Dealing with modern subject matter in the classic style of the 1940's Mystery Noire masters--think Raymond Chandler in New York in the 1980's...  LOW END is the story of a drug addict who is murdered after he believes he has found evidence of a major government conspiracy.  Is it only drug-induced paranoia?  Might be, except his paranoia could be considered justified: he was murdered, after all.  Friend Gary Morrissey takes it upon himself to find out just what happened and lands himself in the crosshairs.
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Classic Guitar Method  Composed, written, transcribed, edited and arranged by Harry G. Pellegrin: Now in one volume, much of what the novice classical guitarist will need to know to lead him or her to the recital stage. From proper instrument care and maintenance to the necessary technical skills, musical mind-set, and the standard repertoire—all exposed and explored with enough detail and insight that the student will wish to keep this book handy years to come as a ready reference source.
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DEEP END: The Wreck of the Eddie Fitz  By Harry George Pellegrin. A mystery novel. Involving a semi-professional musician and a Kreyol death cult, DEEP END takes the reader from the bottom of Long Island Sound to the steamy streets and Blues clubs of New Orleans. Alternative spirituality does battle with the common working man.  Published by PAB Entertainment Group in association with LULU.com.
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Reflecting Pools    Original Music by Harry G. Pellegrin:
Reflecting Pools is a departure for me as it is totally keyboard. Well, the guitar did show up on one track...

"...Reflecting Pools is a notable first album [for Mr. Pellegrin]. A dramatic sense of tonality and mood are propelled by exemplary musicianship and exciting compositional exploits."

Available through www.BATHTUBMUSIC.com...

...And containing nine tracks that are relaxing, inspirational -- sounds like a snooze. Not really, this is great stuff to listen to on a rainy afternoon, while with your significant other (nudge, nudge, know what I mean?) Please visit the Reflecting Pools page on this site or www.bathtubmusic.com.

In That Zone, is now out! Please visit www.bathtubmusic.com for details and to order.

See the info page on this site...

LOW END i

ISBN 1-58982-074-6

LOW END Copyright 2003-2010 Harry G. Pellegrin

In God We Trust








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