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...

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.

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.
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

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,

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,

Friday, April 25, 2014

part two... Beyond the Bundy ranch.

there has been so much mid information that we as Americans, don't know what to believe anymore..
I talked with a local woman and her mother. They were bringing water in 200gallon tanks for cooking and cleaning..we were talking about the $1.1mil fine that the government says the Bundys owe.. Here is her explanation.
when the BLM counts the cattle on an alotment, the count from the air and they count them all.. About half the cattle in the Bundy herd are not Bundys. She called them slick ears. Cattle with no brand, no ear tags no ownership. These cows have been wild on the open range. The state of Nevada has claimed ownership of the wild animals. A rancher cannot sell cattle that they do not own. The federal government is including the wild cows into the Bundy count and charging them fines for the tresspass cattle...
there are people who feel that they should pay their fines to the Federal government. I disagree. This family has seen the federal government systematically put ALL the other ranchers out of business.. A total of 53 ranching operations closed down. The ranchers of this area are a hearty lot.. They have whittled out a life in the middle of nowhere. The Bundys raise cows, horses, lamb, chickens, melons and 6-8 cuttings of alfalfa a year. And they raise kids.. 14 in all. Cliven married a second time after his first wife past from cancer. A family of the Mormon faith, a teatotaler and a man who is well respected by the community.
I witnessed a group of over 100 men armed and dedicated to the cause. These men and women belonged to The Oathkeepers and different malitias from all across America.. These people are resolute in their mission.. that mission is this, protect the Bundys from assassination and to protect the sovereignty of The State. No one that I talked to came across as the crazy who wants to send the first bullet.. These people have studied the generational disolve of our State rights.. I heard this quote several times. " if there be trouble let it be in my day that my children will know peace". Tomas Payne, A Revolutionist.... This is not just a Nevada issue.. It is happening all over the country. Look at the red river area of texas/Oklahoma. There is no better Stewart of the land than the man who lives on it...

more to follow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Beyond the Bundy Ranch.

like most things in my life, the idea of me going to Bunkerville, NV. was a spur of the moment thing. It was my opinion that the situation there was a pivotal time in American history. When people made contributions to get me there to report what I found, I knew that it was important to them as well. So I left Ashville NC and headed west. 2250miles west.. I wasn't in a huge hurry to get there for several reasons. One, I knew that this would be a long term situation and two, I didn't want to be there with thousands of "kooky Lou's.
As I approached exit 112 on interstate 15, I was anticipating law enforcement, cameras and traffic counting devices.. I found none of that. What I did find was a new $2million interstate interchange in the middle of nowhere. There is currently no good reason for that interchange to be there. I can only speculate as to why that interchange was built but you can bet that someone convinced the state DOT that it was needed to develop the area... Three miles south of I-15 on state route 170. As I rounded a downhill curve I knew I had arrived at the protest site. American flags, caution tape, traffic cones, six large RVs, 20 portable toilets and 15 people milling about. I pulled in and the first person I encountered was quite the Dude. A jovial Californian of about 75 yrs young. His wardrobe choice told me that he had never bothered with reading a fashion magazine. He wore a colt 1911 on his hip and a badge on his chest. The badge read "Brothel Inspector. Nevada City, California". An intelligent character who gave me the lay of the land and his life story.. I used the excuse of needing to set up my camp to separate myself from this man. I made camp on the bank of the Virgin river under the highway bridge.
the next morning as I took a stroll along the river, I came upon the tent camp of Buddy Cox and his 16yr old son, Chris.. More Californians. they had been there sense the day of the standoff with the Feds. They told me of everything that they recalled and we discussed, at length, the misinformation that the media was putting out.. We spent the rest of the day and well into the night together.. Good people. We went to town shopping and I saw him buy the dinner meal for 100 people. We were unloading the food supplies at the improvised kitchen when I started meeting all the people on location.. The man in charge of the kitchen had to tend to his son who was suffering from a heat stroke so I became the camp cook. This allowed me to talk with everyone. And this is what I learned.....