Friday, November 20, 2015

No one could steer me right, but mama tried, mama tried!

We had our tickets and our vacation planned thanks to Scott Johnson from Fuel Cafe. I had never been to Milwaukee and my sight was set on it. What could make a better family vacation than a motorcycle show? Josh and I worked all night while Sandy and Heidi packed up. The morning that we left was cold with a chill in the air; a real brisk Michigan morning. We set off for the open road! Three hours into the trip it dawned on me… Milwaukee is far. We made the best of it and I was in a good mood, but right as I was about to leave town someone tried to get shovelhead out from under me! Whom, you ask? The one and only Fab Kevin; and he was all too happy to send us pictures of the score. I wasn’t going to let it get me down. I was bound and determined to have a good time. When we hit Milwaukee, it was unreal! There are tons of cool old buildings and the streets looked clean. That is something we are not used to in the Detroit area. When we found our hotel, Josh and the girls took everything up to the room while I parked the car. I found a cool little steak house for dinner right next to the hotel. We went in for a good meal, but got much more. Walking in was just like going into a Speakeasy back in the roaring 20’s. The steaks were great and dinner was awesome. Most of our friends had tickets to the pre-party, but we did not. Instead, we had drinks at the little bar in the hotel. The whiskey flowed. Around 11 pm Sandy and I headed for the room. Josh and Heidi stayed at the bar because people were returning from the pre-party. I knew things had to have gotten wild. When we entered the elevator the next day, a man asked if we were part of “that Detroit crew.” Our first stop that morning was the Harley museum. I was so excited! It has been on my bucket list for a while. If you have never been, you need to get there. They have so much to see. The engine room was my favorite. They have motors I didn’t even know Harley had ever made. Josh was stuck in the “beginning of Harley” room. He is a sucker for antique bikes. They had a bunch of cool things, from Evil Knievel’s bike to bikes people had put together in their garages. After we spent a few hours at the museum, Josh, Heidi, Sandy and I headed for Mama Tried. The show was not far from the HD museum in a cool, old building right in downtown Milwaukee. It was crazy! There was no parking anywhere around the show and people were everywhere. Mama Tried took up two floors in this building. Josh took off and tried to shoot all the bikes at the show. I was walking around when an older man stopped me and said he knew me. I was pretty sure I had never seen this guy, but who knows? Maybe he did know me. We started talking and he said his name was Paul Smith. Paul is an artist. He has done work for Harley in the past. His gallery was not far from the show, so the next morning we stopped by to see it. Paul had paintings of bikers from 60’s and 70’s all over the room. We talked for hours and he showed Sandy, Heidi, Josh and I art work he had created over the years. Paul showed me pictures of his old Flathead chop he had back in the 70’s. What was really special was finding out that Paul was the guy that created the Harley Davidson Eagle on the Bar-and-Shield. It was created from a project he was commissioned by Harley Davidson back in 1974 to create decals for the 1976 Bicentennial Liberty Edition motorcycle. The entire collection of decals and a poster of the Liberty Edition painting that he created in 1975 are on display at his galley. By the time I left, I felt as if I had known Paul for years. He was like a new, old friend. I could have spent the rest of day talking with him, but we had to hit the road. I would have loved to have spent some more time in Milwaukee, but I needed to get back home and get back to work. Summer is on the horizon and I have bikes to sell and parts to find. It shouldn’t surprise you to know, I ended up swiping that Shovel from Kevin. I know it’s going to cost me, but NO ONE GETS A SHOVEL PAST BOOMER!!

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