Donna tells me the household budget is tight, so I’ve been staying home. As long as I avoid Amazon, it’s the best way to not spend money. Yesterday, though, I decided to get out on the scooter and do some window shopping. I wanted to see the redesigned 2018 Goldwing, so I rode to a local dealership and sat on one. I like everything about it save its smallness. The dealership had old and new models sitting side by side, and the difference is striking:
While out & about I looked at Bluetooth motorcycle helmet intercom systems and dropped by a car show at a local H-D dealership, where I saw two things I really liked:
Oh, okay, four things. Top left is an overhead-valve Chevrolet four-cylinder engine introduced in the late 1920s. I’ve seen lots of old Chevys with OHV sixes, but this was my first four. I didn’t even realize they offered a four-banger, but it only makes sense they did, with the Depression and all. Top right is one of the timeless Raymond Loewy Studebaker Champions from the early 1950s. I recently wrote about Loewy, who designed the famous Air Force One paint scheme.
Bottom left is a perennial favorite of ours, the classic VW bus, and these 21-window jobs were the top of the line. Donna and I owned a few VW buses in our day, though never one as nice as this. Bottom right is a 1946 Harley-Davidson ES, a sidecar model with a 61 cubic-inch knucklehead engine. Apart from the sidecar, it was very like the 1948 FL I learned to ride as a teenager in Laramie, Wyoming. But when I looked at the shift gate on the left side of the tank, I noticed it had three forward speeds and a reverse gear (which you can see if you view the original full sized photo on Flickr). The owner explained that only sidecar models came with three speeds and a reverse. The one I rode as a kid had the same side shifter and foot clutch, but with four forward gears and no reverse.
I had the radio on during my ride, alternating between rock stations whenever ads came on, wondering how people in the 1960s and 70s would have reacted to music from the 80s and 90s if through some space/time wormhole FM broadcasts from the future had started coming out of their radios. In William Gibson’s “The Peripheral,” people 70 to 80 years in the future find a way to communicate with people in the early 21st Century through a child’s electronic robot toy. So something like that, is what I was thinking. Some of that future music would have gone over huge back then, but we’d have hated some of it, and if we could have figured out who would become those future artists, we’d have gone and killed their parents to keep them from being born.
Our son Gregory turned 52 yesterday. Our daughter Polly turns 43 next Saturday. Greg has some use-or-lose air miles, so he’s flying down Friday. We’ll celebrate both birthdays that night, and Saturday Greg and I will ride to Bisbee and back (he’s renting a bike locally for the trip). Donna may come with us.
They’re all good dogs, but these two are the best: