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Rubberside Down: Flashback memories

By Ken Weingart

At night, while plagued with reminders of an unremarkable daily existence, flashes of light flicker in the blackness of those regions in my uncluttered mind, I recalled notable memories of good times, great rides and remarkable friendships.
The greater majority of these recollections involve transport by two wheels. Three wheels if you include the sidecar rigs we passionately enjoyed in the early ’50s and then reignited starting in 2005, and four wheels when you toss in the trailer used to carry our dirt bikes behind our truck-mounted camper for the extended weekend outings that we so relished.We joined the Cross Island MC in 1950, at a time that predates the club gaining its charter membership with the AMA. We were also a part of the South East Trail Riders and were viable members in both the New York City and Long Island H.O.G. chapters. We also regularly attended sister clubs’ meetings—the Queensboro MC, South Shore, Yonkers; anything involving motorcycles, we did our very best to be involved. I even served as the AMA NYC District 34 chairman for many moons.

Later we found time for other clubs like The Star of David and the Wings of Gold right here in Ft. Lauderdale. Bob Amchir, Wings of Gold founder, was instrumental in convincing us to relocate to Florida at a time when we were just snow birds from up north.

Before my affiliation with Thunder Press, an earlier publishing endeavor was launched when I joined forces with two dear riding buddies, Ray August and Roy Morsch, and for several years in the early ’70s we churned out a motorcycle newspaper called the Motorcycle Mirror. Ray was a skilled commercial artist and Roy a professional photographer. I faked it as writer and editor (and actually faked it pretty well). We churned out some 40 pages a month, folded into a tabloid-size book with one color page. We all contributed articles and acted as staff photographers. We hawked the paper with our wives’ assistance at various half-mile dirt tracks and where ever bikers gathered. The paper took off immediately with 10,000 copies a month being sold. (No doubt our association with the various clubs and related contacts helped the project succeed.) After a 10-hour shift at our normal day jobs, we’d often work until dawn; editing, collating and designing layouts. But it was all fun. Alas, when the economy dropped three years later, our  growing advertising base fell and so did our dreams. But I still have few issues stashed away.

These are some of the random thoughts my mind churns out as sleep gains the upper hand. And I don’t mind at all!

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