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If you see Kay: September, 2012

By Kay Cardwell

Last month I let you know that Tom Watson sold his repair shop in Vacaville, so this month let me tell you who bought it. Father and son Steve and Sam Johnson started talking to Tom about 18 months ago, they made a deal and the Johnsons moved in on June 1. Steve is a retired motor cop from Petaluma and Sam is a factory-trained Harley mechanic. Steve said that Sam has always wanted to own his own shop. Sam worked as a mechanic at Iron Steed Harley-Davidson, and then he went to Napa Valley Classics to gain more varied experience. With the responsibility of a growing family, Sam returned to Iron Steed H-D, but he still had his dreams of owning his own place. After another few years, Sam moved his business to his garage and worked part time in Sonoma. When Tom’s shop came on the market, Sam put in a call to his dad. Steve said that when he met Tom, he was sold. He is a real fan of Tom’s. He said, “That guy is so honest and open, you never have to wonder what he thinks or doubt what he says.” It looks to me as if Sam and Steve are a winning combination. Sam graduated from Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in 2003, and Steve was there at the same time learning to service the nuances of police bikes. Steve said it was great because he “got to hang out with my kid.” Getting ready to open under the new ownership and name of Vacaville V-Twin was exhausting. They were closed for only one week while Sam, Steve and about five of their friends worked 18-hour days to remodel the entire shop. The day after they opened they were swamped with work, and it has continued to increase ever since. Right now the waiting list is about three weeks. But do go by the place and check them out. You will be impressed. They are planning a grand opening the weekend before Street Vibrations, but be sure to give them a call to confirm the date. Their phone number is 707.449.8364… Let’s give a big shout out to Earnie McGlauchlen in Solano County. I recently met Earnie at a high school reunion picnic. He rode up on a 1992 Heritage that looks a lot like mine, so, naturally, we had to talk about the benefits and rewards of riding a Heritage. Earnie’s bike is on its second engine and has over 450,000 miles on it. He said his Heritage has been to Sturgis over a dozen times and it is still going strong. Once upon a time, Ernie owned a 2003 Road Glide anniversary model. After putting thousands of dollars into customizing bells and whistles, he rode it to the California State Fair where it was stolen. Don’t you just hate motorcycle thieves?! Aside from his trip to the fair, Earnie has some terrific road-trip stories. My favorite story was Earnie’s ride to Daytona. He was riding alone and it was raining when he left Fairfield. He crossed the California border; it was still raining. It rained without letting up across the next several states. It was still raining when he pulled into Oklahoma City. After he gassed up he pulled the bike under a covered area, and even though he had quit smoking, he fished a pack of cigarettes out of his saddlebags and lit up. The longer he sat there, the more miserable he got. He just couldn’t take it anymore, so he called his brother in California and said, “You might have to come get me.” His brother asked, “Where are you?” Earnie said, “Oklahoma City.” His brother said, “I ain’t going to no Oklahoma. If you really can’t take it anymore, you’d best turn yourself around and head home.” Well, Earnie knew what was between him and home, so he turned east when he left the gas station. The rain still came down. It rained on him all the way to and through Georgia. The very minute he crossed the state line into Florida, it quit. He had a good time in Daytona and the rest of the trip was uneventful, but he will never forget the “getting there.” Earnie generally rides alone. His wife, Laura, rode with him for years until her back gave out and now he has a friend he rides with occasionally. He also belongs to the 208 chapter of American Legion Riders, and he will ride with them on some local events, but when he takes off for a road trip, he rides solo… Happy birthday to all Harley riders who celebrate in September. Happy birthday to my hero, Terry Roorda, THUNDER PRESS editor-in-chief, and happy birthday to Marjorie “Shadow” Kleiman, THUNDER PRESS North editor. In Santa Cruz, happy birthday to Peter Crowell and to E Linderman in Watsonville. Happy birthday to Paula Machen of ABATE #17, to Robert Allen in Glendale and to Kellen Yee back in California from Portland, Oregon. Happy birthday to Karen Aldridge, co-manager of Jamestown Harley-Davidson, and to the Millers, David and Ann, of the American Legion Riders and Auxiliary chapter 50 in Paso Robles. Happy birthday to celebrity riders Bill Murray, Michael Madsen and Larry Hagman… I missed Charlie Brechtel’s birthday in July, so happy belated birthday, Charlie! How many of you saw Charlie’s band at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis?… You know anyone can send me a birthday. Send in your own or send in your friend’s. I especially want to hear from December 4 birthday riders.

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