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Northeast Passages: March, 2017

By Loretta Jackson

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Julius Caesar should have paid the fortune teller more money. The soothsayer warned the Roman emperor to beware the Ides of March, a holiday celebrated March 15. Instead, the cheapskate drew some bad hoodoo. He was assassinated by dagger on that day in 44 BC. I hereby rename the day the Rides of March. And dedicate it to the gods of fun… Don’t pay your fortune teller with counterfeit money. Such was the case with Jaquan Rosado, 24, of Connecticut, except that it was his bail he paid with $700 in fake hundreds. First, he stole a motorcycle in upstate New York. Then, he did some reckless driving, some property damage and led a police chase. Leaving the scene and crashing into a police car added more ink to his already colorful jacket. So, too, did racing the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway, smashing up a stolen van and counterfeiting charges. The Poughkeepsie Journal of January 5 notes he racked up six felonies. Worst of all, he showed bad judgment. The bike he stole was a Kawasaki… On other fronts, folks with great tats and guys with ample bristles on the chin might want to compete in a Beard & Tattoo Contest on Saturday, March 18, at Granite State Harley-Davidson, 351 Miracle Mile in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Josh Collins, service advisor there, confirmed during a recent phone call that the event, previously slated for Saturday, January 21, was re-calendared due to a scheduling conflict… It’s time to think spring training. And if you’re training to ride safe this summer, maybe it’s time to take a motorcycle safety course, beginner or advanced. Winter classes began in January at Brian’s Harley-Davidson, 600 S. Flowers Mill Road in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Dealership owner Brian Bentley now claims some 400 offspring populating the dealership’s Bucks County H.O.G. Chapter. A 100-percent safety course graduation rate might be newsworthy… The motorcycle safety course saved my life three times. Most memorable: I’m flying along the Schuylkill Expressway, better known as the Sure-Kill Expressway, in Philadelphia. I’m on “Excalibur,” my 1988 Sporty XLH. I roll over an oil slick. I smell the oil. Don’t brake. Don’t steer. Don’t even blink. My tires finally scrabbled onto dry road but whirled around for another rotation or two, flinging off the black goop like dogs sling water. I was OK but the adrenaline spike kept me wired for about a hundred years… Speaking of getting religion really quick, there are two biker priests on Staten Island, New York, who are taking the Word on the road. They are the Terror of Demons Motorcycle Ministry, a club they launched in 2014. The Rev. Angelo Micciulla, a longtime Victory rider and pastor of Holy Family parish there, told me on the phone that he and club co-founder Jean-Paul “Father Jack” Soler, pastor of St. Clement and St. Michael parish, will be first-time attendees at Rolling Thunder XXX on Sunday, May 28. I’d seen the pair, patched out and garbed in full biker duds, featured in January on WCBS Newsradio 880. The station was heralding 50 years of New York news coverage. The segment was titled, “50 People You Should Know: Motorcycle Ministers.” Father Soler later told me more clergy are welcome to become terrorists—against demons… That’s all for now, friends. See you down the road.

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