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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 shell
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 couldnt
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 wouldnt
get it or force a sale. That bike was
awesome. It had to be the most powerful
motorcycle Id 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
That was 1981. My wife at the time
wouldnt let me keep Tommys 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. Ill never forget the day I
picked it up. It had to be the most
beautiful thing Id 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. Id
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 cant 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 Sportbikers
Association and all those wonderful people.
This summer contained some of the best motorcycle
memories I think Ill ever have. I
even got my Harley on the road. I dont
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 operators
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
When I look at the bikes we own, I think of
the times of my life Ive 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 bikes fault, Budweisers.
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 Daddys bike when he was alive. I
wish I could see all the things he saw when he
rode it. And shell ride it --
and right now Im wishing I could see all
the things she WILL see while riding it.
So thats 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 well roll out the bikes and catch
us some memories!
Sorry Mom, I did it again.
READ THE PRESS
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
See more info...
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.
See more info...
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.
See more info...
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
"...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
...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
LOW END Copyright
2003-2010 Harry G. Pellegrin
God We Trust
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