Sunday, January 10, 2016

To Fight A Hidden Past.

November, 1984.

As the deputy walked me around the courthouse to the jail, I knew my life was fixing to change. This was the fourth time in eleven months I had been handcuffed. Judge Case decided that I needed more guidance in my life. He was so sure of the fact that he signed as a witness when I signed up for the Army's delayed entry program. On 5 Feb, 1985, just over a month after my 17th birthday I reported to Fort Benning, Ga. for basic and advanced training in the Infantry.. There were several reasons that I chose the Infantry. I was a big fan of John Wayne and Audy Murphy... and the Army offered me a $3000 signing bonus. (recruiter lied, I didn't get the money). I was given the choice of first duty station and I chose Fort Lewis, Washington for good reason. Not only was the Pacific Northwest a beautiful area, Ft. Lewis was also home of  The 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and 1st Special Forces Group. I wanted to be the best. Imagine my surprise when I learned that I had joined a COHORT Unit.   (cohesion, operational readiness, training), I would be in the same unit with the same guys I went to basic with. The whole company was going to Ft. Lewis, Together. No chance of Ranger school for me, or any of us for that matter.. Basic and Advanced training took 16 weeks and as the youngest Soldier in the unit, I was Special. Some of that was good. Some of that was bad. Attention is not something that you want in that environment. I was pushed to excel. Pushed to set the standard. "What is the matter with you Private.? Even Wood can do it and he ain't even out of high school yet". I wasn't the Best, but I wanted to be.

Graduation then a couple of days leave to see family and on 2 May,1985 we reported to Ft, Lewis, Wash. 4th Battalion/ 23d Infantry Regiment. 9th Infantry Division. I Corps. Under the command of General Norman Schwarzkopf. A Unit of Distinction. Within 6 months of being on Ft. Lewis, Our Battalion became the 9th Infantry's Quick Reaction Force and I Corps Parade Battalion. The Best "Straight Leg" Infantry Unit in the history of the World. Or so we were told.



 Our unit training was of the intense variety. There was no such thing as "Training Speed". "We don't train like the girls down the road." still rings in my ears. That saying was meant for the 3d/60th just south of us on Libby Ave. To our north was The 2d/75th Ranger Battalion. We shared the same P.T. field and on more than a few occasions we trained with them as their opposing force. I wanted that Ranger Tab so bad I could taste it but it was out of my reach. No individual schools for my unit. "Soldier On" 1st. Sargent Liggett told me that he would guarantee me a slot after I reenlisted... 20yrs old, E-5 with three yrs service would have put me at the top. The only thing left for me to do was to earn the coveted Expert Infantryman Badge, or EIB, is a special skills badge of the United States Army. Although similar in name and appearance to the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), it is a completely different award: while the CIB is awarded to infantrymen for participation in ground combat, the EIB is presented for completion of a course of testing designed to demonstrate proficiency in infantry skills.
The EIB was first created in October 1943. Currently, it is awarded to U.S. Army personnel who hold infantry or special forces military occupational specialties. To be awarded the EIB, the soldier must complete a number of prerequisites and pass a battery of graded tests on Infantry skills.
                              
Our unit, the entire Battalion, was training for the task. We worked. We studied. We trained. Our goal was a 100% pass for the Battalion. Our day had come. As we marched to Watkins Field there was little doubt that We would complete our mission.

We stood in formation before entering the field. "The Bear", General Schwarzkopf, stood before us. With a motivational speech he prepared us to "Achieve Greatness". Then my World changed. A medic approached my company 1st. Sargent. Then the medic approached me. I was to report to Madigan Army medical center. I was crushed. Truth be told, I teared up..I was ready to earn my Award..
 I had been having some problems with my feet from all the training and I'd had some tests done at the Med Center the week before.. Feet problems were common in our unit so i didn't think it was a big deal. I was just gonna push through the P.T test, forced road march and land navigation coarse like I always had. In 48hrs, I would have my EIB. I had no idea that my life and dream was about to change. I sat before the desk of a Lieutenant Colonel, looking at x-rays and MRI film I was informed that my military career was over. He pointed out that my arches had collapsed and there were stress fractures in both of my achilles tendons.. I was being put on a permanent profile. No running, no marching. That is a death sentence to an Infantryman. I went to a medical review board a few days later to plead my case. Luckily my Command Sargent Major was on the review board. He had my back but it was no use. The boards findings were By The Book. Because of the permanent medical profile I was barred from reenlistment, Because it was my first enlistment, I couldn't be reclassified into another MOS. I was granted 10% disability and told to have a nice day... My Sargent Major told me to meet him at his office. We talked as Men and he asked me, "What do you want to do?" "Top, my career in your Army is over. Its time for me to go to the house". He agreed and called my Company Commander. It took me two days to turn in my gear and clear post. From parade field to civilian in 5 days.5 May, 1988. I was devastated.. After my Honorable discharge I was placed on "inactive Reserve status". for 4 more years.. That time would expire in 1990. Then I got a letter in the mail. Certified. Department of the Army. I was to report to my closest military installation for inprossessing. I was being called up for the Gulf War under the command of "Stormin Norman". When I reported to Fort Lewis I was told that I would not be needed because of my Medical condition. Only those who have prepared for battle understand.the gravity. I was no longer needed. I would watch My war on CNN.

Part of being with a unit for 3 yrs is the bond that men build. That was the Army's plan. To say w knew each other would be an understatement. We knew Everything about each other,, including their sisters names. Private Applegate invited me to join his family for Thanksgiving 85 but I had chosen to take Christmas leave instead. How was I to know that my decision would bar me from having dinner with the future Miss. Kelly Bundy, his cousin, Christina Applegate. I could have ate a grenade when he showed me the pictures on his return from leave..One of the men I served with was a guy from north Georgia named Edward Simms. He would get red faced every time I saw him. As a true Southerner, he took a playful offence to me calling him a Damn Yankee..Being Born in Jeff Davis County, Ga. gave me that right. Everybody knows that anybody north of I-16 is a Damn Yank.We pushed on together, peeled a truck load of taters in a desert and did enough pushups to move Georgia half way to Hell. He was the Best man at my first wedding..


  

Back before cell phones and the internet, it was difficult to keep in touch or find lost friends. All I had to go on was his name, years of service and that his folks lived in north Georgia. Every time I would ride through North Ga. I would stop and call all the Simms's listed in the local phonebook, to no avail. Then one day, 17yrs later, I made another call. "Hello." "Crusty, What are you doin?" "Woody, I was just sitting here thinking about you." Three days later he's sitting on my couch in Tennessee. Some bonds can never be broken. We reminisced about the Him's and Her's of our time. The horrible food. The 25mile forced road marches and the painting of rocks. Our times in the Yakama desert and Fort Ord, California. We talked about Klahn and Mabry, Dean and Pratt, Sgt,.Mefford, and his wife. we hashed it all. His memory was far better than mine. We had spent three years together becoming The Razors Edge. We had plenty to talk about. "Why did you beat that guy up that one night when you were on CQ?". (Charge of Quarters) I hadn't thought about that fight in 17years but the memory came back as clear as if it was happening now.

"Smith" (not his real name) was a big guy from out in Kansas. He was a good Soldier. As good as anyone of us.. It was a weekend in the Barracks and I was riding the desk all night. The boys were hooping it up in the day room with a couple of gals from town and a bunch of beer. I had told them for the last time to keep the beers off the snooker table. I was the asshole. It was snowing which was odd for Ft. Lewis. The snow falling down in the barracks quad had a peaceful tone to it.. As the snow and empty beer cans accumulated the night took a drastic change... In a rush, around ten guys came rushing past my desk. The mood was jovial as there was now enough snow for them to play in. "Smith" was drunk. Not falling down drunk but he was slurring his words a bit.. He was hollering about "Let's have a snowball fight". He was excited about it, jumping up and down with excitement.. Then he grabbed me by the arm and pulled me from my desk chair. Pulling me out the door.. I snapped. I beat that man severely. I might well have done permanent damage had I not been pulled off of him by the rest of the guys.. He was taken to the Barracks aide station and the event was covered up. It was never spoken of again.. I felt remorse. I grieved about it. That behavior was not me. I had never lost my cool in such a way. I couldn't reconcile my behavior. That singular event began to haunt my thoughts. 17 years after the fact. I needed to know the why's of what I had done. Primal instinct kicks in when you are confronted with a threat. This was not a threat. It was a snowball fight. Why had I gone straight to "Battle frenzy" with this guy.? Bezerk was my mindset and vengeance was my goal. But I had no understanding of why. I had blocked the past from my mind.. It took me eight long years to get back to that moment that shaped me..

It was March, 1986. I remember because something I believed as odd happened.. sitting in a foxhole in the Yakima desert, My sergeant approaches from our rear and chews my ass because "His only mission in this shithole was to bring me my mail". (in 1983 when Mt. St. Helens erupted the state of Washington had spread all the volcanic ash that they had collected from the roadways in the Yakima Desert, It was truly a shithole). I had received a letter from my High-school guidance consular, Mrs. Pat Porter.. In the envelope was an invitation  to me High-school class graduation. I had been in the Army for 13 months and a lifetime from my classmates.. When our training cycle was complete, Our unit headed back to Ft. Lewis. The time in garrison was used to clean and inspect equipment, re-enter society and get some much needed R&R. It had always been that way but this time was different. There was a buzz about the Fort.. Tensions were high as a developing situation was evolving in Libya. After a couple of days in Garrison we were put on alert and 24hrs later our Battalion was activated to respond. As the Quick Reaction Force for the 9th Infantry Division, we had trained to be Unit mobile in 36hrs..  We had trained for all scenario's, Plane, Train or Ship. What we had not trained for was the quick turn around. Our Unit was in pieces for cleaning and inspections. We had tents in the quad that were still air drying. Trucks in the Motor pool were torn apart for service and men were scattered everywhere spending some downtime with family and friends. Plus 30hrs we were at McCord AFB loading onto C-5A galaxies in route to Libya. Tensions were high but we had trained hard for this scenario.

Our first stop en route was Tinker AFB, Okla. We found it odd that we had to remove all of our equipment from the planes. The C-5A's could have easily taken us all the way to Libya. We spent the next three days in an empty airplane hanger with the only information that the weather had us grounded.. Understand that in 1986 nobody had a cell phone or any way to check the news. No radio. No television. We played cards and did pushups. We ate MRE's and 20yr old C-Rations. We cleaned what gear we could and waited for news and direction... That direction finally came... GET ON THE BUS..

What the fuck.? Are we going into combat on a big yellow bus.? Thats when we realized that we were not going to Libya. We would not see combat.. Someone with a Star on his shoulder had lied to our whole Battalion.. This was a Readiness Training Exercise. We were taken by school bus to Ft. Chaffee, Ark. for a two week field training exercise. Unit moral was as low as it could go.. Too many mind games had been played out. Some guys had spent less than a day off in over a month of training and were now looking at two more weeks without Glory.. We, E-4 and below who had spent the last 14 months together, collectively decided that we would push this exercise to the limit. Each man would give it 100%. We were tired of The Testing. We were going to prove our worth..

Foxholes. Fields of Fire. Overhead cover, Probing Patrols. We had a mission. We were to seek out, engage and destroy the enemy. Part of our unit had been split off to act as our opposing force. It didn't take leadership long to realize that the unit was operating well above the level of Training Speed. Captives were hogtied and gagged. Some of the men took the training too far. The level of intensity was beyond extreme..

Dark of night. Two men to a foxhole. A runner comes behind us to let us know that the enemy is approaching.. Our trip wires send up parachute flares. The land and sky in front of us is illuminated and we can see the enemy coming.. my hole has 4 claymores set and we are banging the clackers to detonate.. flashbangs are going off all around us... Our enemy has removed all of their "Miles gear" (think laser tag on steroids) we can't kill them.. We are being over run. The guy in the hole with me bugs out the back and is running towards our Command Post in the rear.. I see the fire in his eyes as "Smith" dives into my foxhole on top of me.. He is crazy. punching and kicking. I see the butt of his AK-47, then the lights go out...

The next thing I remembered was the explosion in my head. It was quiet now but at first, i thought i was deaf. The pain in my head had me completely disoriented.. What happened.? Where is everybody.? Did that really just fuckin happen..? I felt the crease and dent in my steel pot helmet with my hands. I had been knocked out with a rifle butt to the head.. It was still dark and i was disoriented. I made my way back to the CP where an after-action review was in progress.. I had been killed in battle. I felt shame. There was only one man who knew what had happened. It was never spoken of again. That memory was repressed for 17yrs and then another 8yrs to dig deep enough to remember.. for the last 4 years I've carried that memory without understanding its meaning. Until two weeks ago when I spoke, openly to my therapist.

I have known men who have experienced worse and those who have done worse. Men who have seen the truth of battle. My story does in no way compare to what those men have been through. I hold them with the highest esteem. I write my story as therapy for myself and anyone who can gather some knowledge or understanding.. Through the process of remembering and spending time with my therapist, I've come to understand some of how this has effected my life. An event that happened when I was 18yrs old has had a lasting impression. 
Abandonment. Fear, Vigilance, self worth, trust, hopelessness, depression. Using drugs and alcohol to cope. These are just some of the stones that I have carried without any understanding of why..  

I do not seek your sympathy, but, I would ask you for a measure of understanding. Not just for me, but for all that fight a hidden past. 


 Peace&Grease








Monday, November 30, 2015

Just my opinion.






o·pin·ion
[əˈpinyən]

NOUN

  1. a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge: Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press  



. You have heard it all before.. "Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one".  "You ain't smart enough to have an opinion". and a favorite of mine from Drill Sargent Burlington. "Soldier, If the Army wanted you to have an opinion they would issue you one".

We are slapped in the face every day with a barrage of opinions from every corner. Yes, It is someones opinion that you SHOULD take your family to Olive Garden and yer not a good person if you don't. Advertising is just an opinion. Marketing is a tool to push an agenda. Im not picking on Olive Garden. Im calling them all out.. We are marketed to in the hope that we would be swayed to increase their profits... I get that. I've been on both sides, as a consumer and as an advertiser. But its just an opinion. Not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.. Think about how many times the car manufacturers have told you that without "Their" product you aren't living up to your potential. YOU DESERVE,,,, that new truck.. Thats just their opinion. and this is just mine. They are motivated by profit.

Everyone has an opinion. but there was a time before social media when most of us kept our opinions to our selves.. Through the magic of facebook we can get the opinions of everyone. This past week a woman ductaped a dogs muzzle. Why.? I have no earthly idea. not something I would do but thats not my point.. my point is this, A gadzillion people took the time to give their opinion about it. So many gave an opinion about it that it became a global news story. I guess that everyone in the world now knows that this is unacceptable behavior. The South Daytona Police Dept. was so overwhelmed with calls and emails that it effected the level of service that they could provide. (side note. She doesnt live in South Daytona). A stupid mistake that has put her under the microscope of scrutiny. I hope she is strong enough to weather the storm. I don't know her. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. People concentrated on the dogs well being and gave no consideration to the human life that they were berating. one comment was, "she should be beat". well who the fuck are you to pass judgement.and promote a punishment? What kind of human are you.? You are common unfortunately. and then you continued scrolling.

Brown and her dog (in another Facebook picture) before Brown duct-taped the pooch's mouth

We have entered a time where everyone on this planet thinks that they have a news studio.
on their laptop and an audience that they wish to inform the masses.
We have broadcast capabilities. some push for a bigger audience and some achieve that 
goal. The part that is missing is the integrity of the broadcast. Checking facts and sources of 
information. Yes. when you share a link you are saying, "This is what I believe". Yes, there is
room for humor and satire but to desimenate false information is morally wrong.. We are 
creating a monster. The character of the beast is this. "I don't know who can be trusted 
anymore". 
PHOTO: Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina is seen in these undated photos provided by the El Paso County Sheriffs Office.
And then there is this guy...
killed three, wounded nine. Why.? "No more baby parts"... thats what he was quoted as 
saying.. Here is my version of the story.
HEADLINES. 
Three killed, Nine injured by crazed gunman.
A man born in America, who looks crazy, did some crazy shit.. After watching a Fox news 
story about Planned Parenthood being funded by the US government and selling baby 
body parts, this dude goes berserk. He drives 65miles from his home and opens fire on
a health clinic. He is quoted as saying, "no more baby parts". we also report that he enjoys 
freaky sex.. now to the weather..
WTF.?
I'm not saying what he did was right, far from it.. 
He believed Fox News and acted upon the news..
A few points to consider..
why is the federal government involved in supporting any social services? its a state issue 
that should be voted on by the people. If the people in your state don't agree with your 
opinions, you can move.. We are United States. Not identical states.
Is Planned Parenthood really selling body parts.? If so, Fox news should be showing video
of PP"s board of directors being hauled off in chains. I'm pretty sure that selling body parts
is illegal. 
can we actually trust that the news is truth and not just some corporate opinion.? 
there are 6  corporations that control almost all of the media..

here are a few headlines I've read today.. and I have no clue whether they are true or not.
you tell me.. 

California signs Law allowing Illegals to vote.
Marine Veteran tries to escape cold, wind and rain but Walmart refuses to let him in.
Man loses lawsuit claiming BMW motorcycle gave him an extended erection. 

 
    OPINION might be harmful to others.. Opinions are not necessarily based on
 facts or knowledge.
 Be kind to one another


until we meet again.
Peace&Grease










 
  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Timestamp. November 1995



Timestamp, November 1995
My world was steady spinning out of control. I had just spent the last few years up in Nashville working on an Artist development deal with Asylum Records. Four years of Playing guitar and entertaining at Tootsies while trying to work full time at Gibson Guitar, my days and nights were little more than a blur. I spent every waking moment working my craft. I was a performer and I was good at it. What I was learning was the business of the music industry. What I wanted was the creative side. A huge difference between the two. Long story short, Asylum would be making a decision about my future in the very near future. Either I would have a development deal or the other guy would. His name was Brian White. He got the deal. I got a handshake. He got an opportunity and I got a bottle of jack daniels. I had been weighed and measured and found wanting.. I could deal with the rejection side of the thing. I knew my chances were slim but that singular moment put me at a crossroad. "Where do I go from here".?.
So with a fifth of jack and an early 70s buick skylark, I headed south to figure out my future. No. I was loathing my own existence. feeling sorry for myself . The dealer of my cards had given me a shitty hand and I was about to fold. From Nashville to south Georgia. I was headed back to my roots and another beginning. I'm not sure when the bottle went dry but sunrise found me at my Aunt Mutt's river cabin south of Claxton. (yes, I have an Aunt named Mutt. Don't you.?) The Dead River gave me some peace. Solitude was my comfort and whiskey made it a bearable drink..

The Golden Birthday
I had never heard of such a thing. I had been writing songs with a guy from ASCAP and he told me the story of The golden birthday.. It happens but one time in a persons life. When your day of birth matches your years, Yer Golden. My 28th birthday would happen on the 28th of December. My friend asked me, "Where will you spend your Golden Birthday"? I had no clue.. The whole time I had known Tim we would drink and he would reminisce about his times "on the right coast of florida". From Daytona to Oak Hill was his stomping grounds. He was a true Wordsmith. When he spoke of this place he painted pictures of a place that looked wonderful to me. As I sat on the bank of the dead river holding a guitar that I no longer wanted to play, I decided that my Golden Birthday would be spent in Florida.

A new town was on my horizon. I had never been to New Smyrna Beach. I had no plans. I had no contacts. The only reason I was there was a friends drunken ramblings about a small town and that the town had NEW in its name.. Mornings alone on the beach beat me down. The horizon of the Atlantic kept reminding me how small and insignificant I truly was. Christmas, my Golden birthday and new years I celebrated with perfect strangers.. The Veil of anonymous was comforting. I could go and do as I wished. I was not constrained by expectations. It had been 6yrs sense I had been in a meaningful relationship. I had nothing that needed to be done. Until the money in my pocket started getting dangerously small. Work has seldom been hard for me to find. It has usually found me. Jimmy Buffett is not hard to play on a six string and it seemed that every bar had a tiki hut out back. Pub 44 was the first. an open guitar case for tips turned into 3 nights a week at $200 a night plus tips and an open bar tab had my financial needs covered. My nights off found me playing guitar and singing in clubs up and down the coast. life was good. Until I moved in with Her.

She was the Devils sister. it only lasted two weeks. the only reason she even gets mentioned is because of her demented and controlling ways, I found The Ledo Beach Hotel. A quaint little 1940s bungalow hotel with a swimming pool looking out over Daytona Beach and the Atlantic. For the small price of $200 a week, I had the perfect pad for me. Sleeping days and playing nights. I had all that I needed. food, clothing and shelter. Wine women and songs. Cocaine and weed was easier to get then a speeding ticket. The only thing I didn't have was,,,, a long term lease.. after two and a half months of paying my weekly rent on Mondays, I return to pay the man. That's when I am told that my $200 a week room is now $680 a week. "Welcome Race Fans". It was speedweek . Overnight my landlord had become a pirate.  A man devoid of any moral fiber and a cold stone where his heart once was. Its Monday around noon and I just found out that I'm homeless, again.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose"
                                                          Me and Bobbi Magee.

Timestamp. Today.

Its taken 20yrs of life to end up right back where I was. When my motor blew up a month ago something drastically changed in my life.  My ability to travel freely had come to a grinding halt, literally. My human right to pursue happiness had been taken from me by fate.. This wasn't my plan. After biketoberfest I had planned on the Galveston rally and then work the winter around the gulf coast.. I Had A Plan. and once again, I'm taught the frailty of a mans plan. Life can change in a moment. It always does. Ive spent the last month learning.. learning my options. evaluating my situation. exploring possibilities. And beating myself up because I allowed this to happen to me.. Then I beat myself up about beating myself up. "Who am I to complain about my situation?" I can't complain. I've been provided all that I need and most of what I want. I no longer have the belief that I "Deserve" anything. I have been taught the difference between Grace and Mercy and I feel that I am truly blessed. I am Thankful.
  
until we meet again...
Peace&Grease..

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It Was Bound To Happen..

Rest in Peace My old friend.
early morning 10 Apr. 2013 - late night 14 Oct, 2015

This is not an obituary as much it is a celebration of Life..

She was born, might I even say conceived of a singular purpose. FREEDOM.
Though she lived what some consider a short life, she was destined to LIVE Completely.
For less than three years, She travelled freely from town to town. Making new friends and inspiring thought in others. Some would even turn there nose up as if she were known to be the town gutterslut. I've seen the look in a mans eye. The envy. The wander. The understanding. The appreciation. She effected all who noticed.


Today I received word from S&S Cycles, (The engine manufacturer). Their diagnosis was that the only thing salvageable was her front jug. Old Glory's heart would beat no more. 91,000 + miles. We could speculate her demise but it would serve no good purpose. Either the lifter or a cam bearing went. no telling which went first..


Old Glory was conceived of as part of a TV show that failed. The bike was built to ride the Pan American Hwy. I named her Ole Glory. My goal was to build a 100% American Made MoterSickle . I did. Not to toot her horn, {she had no horn) I found FREEDOM on that dirty girl..

I say Dirty Girl.. She truly was.. Even when she did get a washdown. The State of Tennessee were dicks and wanted a ton of paper on her to make her legit. Old Glory agreed to my suggestion that we just use the tag off of my old chopper.. Only one cop questioned it.. Somehow he knew that he was not looking at a 1976 Honda CB550. After an amazing story validated by Manufactures statements of Origin for the motor and frame he wrote me a $200 ticket for an expired drivers license. and the warning that I couldn't ride the bike without a drivers license and that he would be patrolling to the north.. He originally pulled me over because I had a plastic, hand written in sharpie, license plate.. I had lost the metal plate in florida. That South Dakota Trooper saved the county taxpayers a lot of money that day.
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She never did complain much. and when she did It wasn't much to satisfy her. The biggest problems we had were the charging system and the connection between the engine and tranny.. Sure, we spent a lot of time together with tools in hand, but I never argued. I usually didn't have a schedule so we were able to meet new people. the old guy in texas that helped me half the day fixing my rear tire blowout. Them cool cats in western Carolina.. The Hooligans in Lexington KY that took me in like a full patch member when my charging system shit the bed.. Me and Old Glory have met a lot of people with a tool in hand.. The scheduled maintenance was another adventure all together.. I remember one time at an outside bar in florida. I rolled up and got a beer. my bike 10ft from the bar. that afternoon I changed all three sets of brake pads on my bike and partied with the bar crowd. after cleaning up, I proceeded to pull out my cook stove and cook dinner for the bartender and I. I cant make this shit up... we had clam chowder and shrimp ramen noodles.
.921081_10201079249169176_1150961878_o.jpg922117_10201077827373632_249236095_o.jpg
there was a lot of maintenance in 91,000 miles.. oil changes, tires, brakes, chains, sprockets, shocks, luggage mounts, wheel bearings, neck bearings, rebuilding brake calipers, batteries, charging systems, wiring, primary chains, clutch discs, wiring , cables and a few other little things.

She enjoyed all the roads and the occasional off road rides.. Riding the prairie north of Newell, SD was a most enjoyable time for her.. She seemed to enjoy the life of a tractor with low rpm torque and first/second gear. She would bound over the ruts and rises of the open range with the cattle and bison.  She has enjoyed the backwoods in almost all the states. She has a soft spot for the high country of Montana, Idaho and Colorado during the warmth of summer and fall. Her preference was the gulf coast or the Right coast of Florida during the winter. The mid southeast in the spring and then follow the frostline up to the border.
 but she had no problem setting out in the cold either. on 20 Feb, 2014 we left florida attempting to ride all 48 states in 14days.. that day was one of those weird days when it snows in all 50 states.. fact . That was the beginning of Winter Storm Thor.. the coldest that we were in was 4degrees in Walcott, Iowa. I had to push her into a wash bay to warm the oil enough to get her started.
Day 9 002.jpg
Day 8 001.jpg
She was sure of foot, a bit top heavy when fully loaded and she couldn't handle much likker but seldom did she leave me stranded. I usually had what I needed to get her fixed and us down the road.. she threw a chain one afternoon in the middle of nowhere north central Nebraska.. This is the same day that I'm limping down the highway to retrieve the chain that just whipped the shit out of me in the rain... After inspecting the chain I come to the realization that I have just walked an eighth of a mile to pick up a no good chain. Walking back to my bike and the rain stops.. I push the bike down the road to the next driveway and park the bike next to a stack of round hay bales.. I start walking back towards the last town I had left. I knew it to be about 6 miles.. I made it about a half a mile before farmer Joe picked me up. He said that the swinging chain in my hand was what told him that I needed help.. he took me to the tractor supply, I got my chain and he rode me back to my bike. There are still good people out there..  I had everything I needed to fix her.. try cutting a 530 chain to length with a 6in. mill bastard file.. But I got her fixed.  and we rode east with the sun setting in my mirrors across the Nebraska plains.
Day 2 005.jpg
I'm not sure what the future holds for the rest of Old Glory. Do I give her a new soul.? do I scrap her and start over.? do I change my mode of transport.? I'm still in mourning and really just at a loss of what direction to head. A motor swap would be the quickest and most cost effective solution but I don't want to react and then wonder what might have been. Life without two wheels isn't an option.

I do want to take this time to thank you all for your kind words and support. You have smoothed the road for me.

until next time
Peace&Grease.







Saturday, October 24, 2015

Greetings from the edge of the road..

In the background, Kid Rock is singing "Born Free". I'm shacked up in the garage apartment of a dear friend. Each morning I enjoy the sunrise over the Halifax river and I give thanks to my Creator.. Not because I'm a religious bloke but because I am thankful. Two months ago I was running a bike shop in the Dakota territory and planning for a cold winter. I had already dismissed the idea of being at biketoberfest. Things change and here I am.. From Deadwood to Omaha to check up on some friends. To the Ozarks for dinner and some awesome riding. To Ft. Campbell for a meeting of patriots and then on to NC. for a dinner date. I rolled South to meet up with a friend in north Georgia. We would leave in the morning. 435miles to Daytona.. 10hrs later I coasted my bike into Willies Tropical Tattoo.. The motor had quit two blocks before.. The motor had a huge hole in the rear cylinder rocker cover and broken metel was poking out of the hole..  Ben went for beer and I rolled out my bedroll under the stars.. We enjoyed the late evening  of cans and pipes. Music and conversation. We spoke of the day and what tomorrow had in store for us.. We talked about the last 80miles and how I had to press my knee against the carb to keep it from blowing off. The rear cylinder was exhausting through the carb because the exhaust valve wasn't exhausting anymore.. My motor was toast but she had gotten me to our destination.. Willie's Chopper time bike show would start in the morning..
I decided to not worry about the bike .. Let us enjoy the show. The people that I only get to see once a year. The motor would wait.. Willie's Chopper show is more than its name implies.. It is also a fundraiser for "The Veterans Support Fund". A non profit that I have worked with on several occasions.. Good people doing good things.. Check them out on the web.. A good time was had by all..
So, here I am in Daytona. Safe, warm, well fed and completely taken care of.. My motor is in Wisconsin being overhauled by its creator's at S&S Cycles.. I can't brag about that motor enough.. In 31months, she took me 91,000 miles on that 111 cubic inch beast.. It has been an amazing ride.. There isn't enough room here to tell you where she has taken me and I can't imagine the destinations that are yet to come..
Until next time,
Peace&Grease.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The B.R.O.A.D.'s Heavenly Hill Heals

Visiting The B.R.O.A.D. for Easter Weekend. What a peaceful area of the country and fresh mountain air with an old friend and new friends.





Tuesday, April 29, 2014

final report. Beyond the Bundy Ranch.

There are many different elements to this story. The small picture is about a defiant ranching family who has whittled out a life in the wilds of the American west. Bunkerville, Nv. is in the middle of nowhere. It is close to the borders of Arizona and Utah. 80miles North East of Las Vegas. This family has been on this land sense the 1870's. Their stand against the federal government has brought to light many different issues that in my opinion, are the reason for Americans to be concerned. Here are a few of them.

1) The federal government claims ownership of the land. This in and of itself is the biggest issue to me.. Our federal government has "Assumed" responsibility and authority over 89% of the land mass of the State of Nevada. Not only is this unconstitutional at the federal and state levels, it is also of detriment to the state. (no property tax paid to the state for that land). Nevada is not alone in this situation.. The federal government has be systematically claiming more and more land in all the States.. Yes, there is a need for our federal government to claim and manage land to benefit the Nations interests, i.e., military bases and state parks. This country was founded with the understanding that any land within the boundaries of a State were owned and managed by that state..

Our Federal government has overtime used its position to claim dominion over all the states.. In the 1970's the federal gov. mandated to the States that if the states did not limit their hi way speeds to 70mph the Federal Gov. would withhold their federal road funds.. In the 80's they did the same thing with drunk driving laws. In the 90's they started putting pressure on the states in regards to gun control laws and the list goes on and on.. Our federal gov. has assumed these responsibilities and in doing so have overstepped the bounds of their authority.

2)The Federal gov. used the plight of the desert tortoise to assert their authority and push their agenda. We need to look no further than the pacific northwest in the 1990's to see how our federal government used the Spotted owl to disrupt a local economy and then lay claim to hundreds of thousands of acres in Washington and Oregon. Every time this has happened it has been found out that the research was flawed but then it was too late, the damage to local economies had been done and the land was no longer free.. The desert Tortoise sanctuary has been closed down do to a lack of funding and some of the tortoises have been euthanized.. I hope that you and I never sold on the idea of being placed in a government run sanctuary. I'm sure that the outcome would be the same.

3) The Majority speaker, Senator Harry Reid, Nev. Has been tied to a land deal for 9000 acres of this "federal land" to be sold to a Chinese energy company for a solar farm and the manufacture of solar panels. The first question that entered my mind was, it will be a hell of a daily commute for the workers cause there aint no one that lives in the area.. It has come to light that Harry Reids son, a Clark county commissioner had been retained as legal council for the chinese energy company. At the very least, Senetor harry reid has once again used his family and his political position to benefit himself and his family. By stepping on the backs of the American people harry reid has once again lined his own pockets.. and why has there not been more public outrage in regards to this corruption ? Because the main stream media will not cover these issues.. Can you imagine The US attorney general bringing charges against the senate majority leader. ??

one of the issues that was voiced by locals while i was at the ranch was this.. The Department of the Interior and the BLM are federal entities. The people who are voting on these issues at the federal level have not been voted for or elected by the People of Nevada. They feel that they have no representation. This has become the norm here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I've said it before and here I will say it again.... The only solution is to get back to State Run Government.. The power and authority of the Federal Gov. should be limited. Currently there are 294 departments in the Federal Gov. Each state has a corresponding office for each department. We as a country were founded with the belief that each state as independent. each state chose to join the union  for the collective good of the States. Our Federal Gov. has turned our country into "The 50 identical states of America". Think about this.. State run government. WE THE PEOPLE.  Accountability.

In closing, I want to share with you one last story of Big Government abuse.
We have all heard about "The Americans With Disabilities Act". It makes sense to me. We as a people are better off for this kind of legislation BUT.... because it is run at the federal level it doesn't always work at the state level.
A friend of mine is a cattle rancher just north of Sturgis, SD. He is also on the local school board. One day we talked about The federal Gov. suing his school district $700,000 because the two story school building does not have an elevator. The law states that the public school has to be handicap accessible . The Federal law does not take into account that this public school building was built in 1890. But here is the kicker.. sense the doors opened in 1890 the school has never had a handicap student enrolled. The taxpayers in that district are being bullied by the federal government. Some people think its the responsibility of the federal government to address every issue in an Americans life.. I disagree completely..

We, as Americans need to redefine the purpose, responsibilities and authority of OUR federal Government. It is my opinion that the definition can be found in The Constitution of The United States of America (notice in the title of the document the words UNITED STATES).  The declaration of Independence  and The Bill of Rights..


Until next time,
Peace&Grease