Thursday, May 10, 2012

Harley Feud Fades with Passage of Time

       When my brother and I were about 13 or 14 in the early 1950' we asked our Dad if he would buy us a motor cycle. The answer was pretty easy for Dad and he also took the opportunity to tell us in no uncertain terms that he didn't want us to get a motor cycle. 

      This set back didn't stop us from dreaming about getting a motor cycle. Shortly after Dad's refusal and lecture we saw an ad in the paper for a motor cycle. It was about 80 km away and was the closest motor cycle available. We gathered enough money for the machine and one Sunday afternoon went with a few friends to look at the vehicle. We tested it out and road  around the block a couple of times. And then, as is characteristic of 14 year olds, we bought it . It  was a Harley Davidson 80. With 14 year olds, what you see is what you get. 

      We had a lot of fun taking the motor cycle back home. Everybody had a turn riding the new machine. About half way home we looked at each other and said , "But Dad said we couldn't have a motor cycle. "   In a matter of seconds we had a solution . We would put it in the bush on an isolated part of the farm. 

     We got home and found the selected bush and parked the motor cycle in the trees. 

      With such an exciting machine nearby we would go out and have a little ride everyday. 

      Time went by and one day my brother drove one of the vehicles out to have a ride. When he came to start the truck to come home the truck wouldn't start so he drove the motor cycle home. I guess the suspense of being caught was too great and he decided to end the suspense. Dad  came out of the house and was speechless. He did find out the barest of details which were only 50% right. He also took a test ride so he was incriminated   and we were sure we could keep the great machine.

     While the motor cycle was in the bush Dad had been working in that area and had noticed strange single wheel tracks. Someone had also reported seeing a motorcycle on the local road. Dad had gone into the local Credit Union and the manager said, " Hey Emil, did you know that your boys took all their money out of the Credit Union?" Dad had no idea about this. So when the motorcycle ended up in the yard everything fell into place. Dad had been busy and had not got around to an investigation of all these clues. 

     We became excellent mechanics as the motorcycle was ancient and needed constant repair. Maybe that was because we always wanted to find out how fast the thing would go. The speedometer didn't work so we had to have a car follow behind to get the speed. It's a wonder we survived.

    Interest in the great machine soon faded and we sold it to a kid we knew. The kid didn't have any money but convinced us he could pay. The kid got about 75 km down the road and as usual the great machine died.

 The kid left it in the ditch and came back the next weekend to pick it up and of course, it was gone. Did the kid pay us? No. 

    Now my brother and I had to live about 40 years not mentioning this part of out lives when Dad was around. We would be reminded of our wrong doing. By the time Dad was eighty he was talking about this event. By the time Dad was ninety he was laughing about our escapade and thought it was a joke.

    So with the passage of time the feud faded away. I'm not sure if you want to wait quite so long. Dad was about 40 when this happened and it took almost forty years for the anger to die away.