From the old box of photos.
Finding that old box of photos was like discovering presents under the Christmas Tree. I thought these images of my early motorcycles, horses and cars were gone, lost to history. Merry Christmas in June!
My senior year of high school (Class of 1968), I tried to buy a motorcycle that I saw for sale along the street I took to go to work. As far as I could tell, it needed a little TLC. I told the guy I would buy it. I don’t remember how much. When I arrived home, my mom told me that the guy had called to see if it was okay to sell me the bike. Her response to him was, “He is still in high school and he is not buying a motorcycle!” I was mad. Very mad. Not destructive mad, just mad.
I had always understood that us boys were not allowed to own a car while we were in high school, but this was a motorcycle and I had been riding the Lambretta scooter that Dad bought. After I graduated, I went back to see if the bike was still was available. It was, and I bought it! It was a 1963 Harley-Davidson Sprint 250cc Scrambler. It was made in Italy by Aermacchi for Harley-Davidson. Yes, one of those. It had a kick start on the left and gear selector on the right–a four speed transmission.
I don’t think mom was very happy with that, but I had a part-time job, and paid with my own money. So, it was now acceptable. Dad was okay with it, I think, but I am sure there were discussions.
Immediately, I started giving that bike a little TLC, but it needed more than that. It needed a mechanic. Off it went to the Harley dealer. Upon its return, I gave it a paint job–cans of automotive spray paint from the hardware store. It looked reasonably good.
Even after “fixing it up,” the bike was still a piece of junk. Over the years, and after numerous purchases of motorcycles, I still think of that Sprint as the worst motorcycle I ever owned. Eventually, I traded it for a car, a 1965 Pontiac Lemans four-door sedan with a three-speed on the column.
Today, that Sprint is a collector’s item. I wish I still had it.
See you on the highway.