My First Motorcycle




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I was a E-3 stationed at Charleston AFB, South Carolina in 1957. One of the fellows with whom I worked received orders to a remote air force station on the Dew Line in Alaska. His motorcycle wouldn’t go much over 45 mph. Even if it had the capability, it probably would never have made the 2,000 miles +/- to the Dew Line. So he offered me his 1949 Harley Davidson 125cc for $40.

In those days there was no need for helmets, insurance, or an endorsement. Handing over the cash I was good to go.

This machine had been ridden hard. It was run down at the heed, so to speak, and required constant tinkering to keep it running. If there wasn’t one thing wrong there were two. But it provided wind in my face on a part time basis, and for that I was grateful.

I was an aircraft navigation equipment maintainer, working nights on the flight line fixing airplanes flying troops to Europe and the Caribbean. When I got off duty the day belonged to me.

One of my favorite rides was to travel north of Charleston, following the sandy back roads into the brush. I didn’t realize the backwoods were alive with moonshiners. Had I stumbled upon one of those guys running a batch I might not be here to tell you about it today.

10 thoughts on “My First Motorcycle

  1. Kinda wish you would have run into those moonshiners. You could have helped with my new book! One of the craziest things I’ve ever researched was “how to make moonshine.” Easier to run to the liquor store! 🙂 Hmm. Maybe I’ll blog about this! 🙂


  2. Hi Scott, almost 20 years ago I found a 1950 Harley Hummer under a building being torn down. I rescued it. It was 99% disassembled, wrapped in old news paper, stuffed in cardboard box’s. I cleaned it up, greased it well and boxed in a wooden crate. I’m waiting for my grand kids to get old enough to help me restore it. I’m 61, had a way too busy of a career and now looking at early retirement, they are only 4 and 6, a few more years until they are ready.

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