Howdy! Grab a chair an’ a beer! Well, the “FXR from hell” that’s lived in my shop for the last two years is almost done, an’ I now have a whole lot more respect for Johnny Cash’s “one piece at a time” Cadillac. This build started out as boxes of mismatched parts from different sources, years and models, an’ has gone through two owners already. It’s been cussed at more than any inanimate object in recorded history, an’ now it’s finally becoming a motorcycle, so for that I’m truly thankful! My amigo, Jimmy Ogawa of Ogawa Design, did the fantastic candy-red paint an’ graphics, an’ it’s definitely show worthy!
Speakin’ of thankful, this is Thanksgivin’ month, an’ we have a lot of other things to be thankful for. As I sit here at the computer, I’m thinkin’ about things that I’m particularly thankful for; things that have made my life easier an’ more enjoyable. First and foremost, I’m thankful for bacon. It’s nature’s perfect food an’, believe it or not, it’s illegal in some countries! Just plain uncivilized, if ya ask me! I read in the paper the other day that there’s gonna be a worldwide shortage of bacon caused by droughts, a shortage of corn, slop an’ other pig delicacies, but it’s not supposed to affect us here in the U.S.A. Come to think of it, maybe thankful isn’t a strong enough word. God bless America, an’ all those grinnin’ hog farmers out in Omaha! My ol’ grandpappy used ta say, “Boy, breakfast’s all in a day’s work for the chicken, but it’s a lifetime commitment for the pig!”
On a more serious note, there are more things that we, as Americans, should be thankful for; like bein’ able to vote. It’s election time here in the good ol’ U.S.A., an’ it’s kinda like feedin’ time at the zoo, but in a lot of other countries they don’t get to vote for the arrogant despots who rule them with an iron fist, take what they work for an’ ignore their plight—but we still do.
Since Al Gore invented the Internet, we have the unique ability to get smoke blown up our posterior orifices from so many directions it can get downright confusin’. An’ if it wasn’t for Facebook an’ Twitter, nobody would know what the hell to think! What I do is ignore all the rhetoric, bitter accusations, the “free beer an’ cell phone” promises an’ all the mud slingin’, an’ look at the laws that have taken our freedom piece by piece like the helmet law, laws against loud pipes, gun control laws, laws against 32-ounce sodas an’ all the other “for our own good” legislation that nibbles away at our liberty. I find out who sponsored those bills, who voted for ’em an’ who signed ’em into law, then I vote against ’em an’ anybody else who thinks like they do. All the information is right there for ya, and all ya have to do is look it up on Google. If you’ve voted without doin’ your homework, I think you’re in for a big surprise! Remember, our forefathers died to give us our liberty, so don’t let anybody take it away—no matter who they are!
Another thing I’m thankful for is our veterans. Most of the World War II veterans have either gone to glory or are well up in age. They fought against unspeakable evil with bravery an’ tenacity, from the beaches of Normandy to the South Pacific an’ Africa, an’ were victorious to the benefit of all mankind. When they came home, they missed the “action” an’ the excitement of battle, so they started formin’ the motorcycle clubs that still exist, foundin’ what would become the biker lifestyle we enjoy today! This was carried on by those who fought in Korea, (the Forgotten War) an’ ’Nam. The brave souls who fought in that lousy hellhole came back to a reception they should never have had to endure, an’ I’m damn glad that they’re now receivin’ the welcome home that they should have gotten back then! Welcome home, brothers an’ sisters, an’ thank you!
The veterans who fought in our Middle East conflicts are joinin’ our biker family in ever-increasin’ numbers, so when you see a veteran or an active-duty soldier, whether they ride or not, be sure you shake their hand an’ tell ’em that you’re thankful for ’em, because they deserve it! While we ride our bikes, sit down to a big Thanksgivin’ feast an’ then flop on the couch to watch some football, remember that somewhere there are enemy bullets findin’ their mark, bombs going off along rutted nameless roads, and people dyin’ so we have the freedoms we take for granted. As my brother Basic Bob always says, “Freedom ain’t free!”
I know what you’re thinkin’ an’, yeah, I’m thankful for family, good health, good friends, sunny days on windin’ roads an’ all the other usual stuff. Every time I open up the shop I’m thankful that I can build unique parts for my one-of-a-kind custom bikes an’ then send them off to new homes an’ adventures. I’m also thankful for all of you out there who email me an’ make me feel like an old friend when I meet you on the road. Have a great Thanksgivin’, y’all!