I Remember When
by Carmen D. Tom
I remember when I bought my first motorcycle; a time I will never forget. It was in the spring of 1946. I had just been discharged from the U.S. Navy. I had just returned from China, where I rode my first motorcycle. That story will keep for another time.
In 1946 it was almost impossible to buy a new Harley or Indian; the waiting list was as long as it is today to get a new HOG. I bought a good used 1937 “45” for $325.00. It ran beautifully. I rode it back to the Dakotas to see family & friends. I remember the roads in those days were narrow and went through all the towns; big and small. It was the way to see the USA and how the people really live.
I remember when Archie Bunkers’ War ended. I was in Leyte Gulf in the Phillipines. Thousands and thousands of ships waiting to go somewhere. The war ended. Some of us went to China; some to Japan and Korea.
I remember the first long motorcycle trip I and Donna went on. We had a new 1948 H.D. “45”. We rode back to the Harley factory in Milwaukee, Wisc. Took the big USS Clipper across Lake Michigan from Milwaukke to Muskegon. Then up through Canada and back East and all over. That too, could be a story in itself.
I remember the first Indian I bought; a 1942 war model 846. I pushed it more than I rode it.
I remember the first parade I rode in. It was SeaFair in the early 50’s. I rode with the Jolly Rogers Drill Team. We all had white Harleys and black and white uniforms (really sharp). Ask me sometime and I’ll share some pictures with you.
I remember the first NEW motorcycle I sold. It was a 1959 JAWA 250cc.
I remember when my first son was born; and the second son; and the third son; and the fourth son. I remember the first race John rode at the short track in Woodinville Rodeo Grounds; a 50cc Tohatsu. He and 10-12 others crashed. Donna cried; thought I had killed her son, but he got up and went on to become a real good mot-cross rider. Rick and Russ also did very well in moto-cross. Lots of trophies (and hurts & bruises).
I remember the first car I bought; a 1936 Olds convertible; beautiful blue. This was in 1946. I paid $650. for it. Today it is worth at least $10,000. I also remember the first NEW carl bought; a 1956 FORD V-8, 4 door for $2500.00. We drove back to the Dakotas just to pick it up!
I DON’T remember the first time I left the farm, but it was in the early 30’s. It was about this time I tried to ride a motorcycle. The guy at the Phillips 66 station had an old ID. Said that me and my buddy Virgil could ride it if we could get it started. We pushed and pushed up and down the old Court House road a hundred times and not even a POP.
I remember in 1968 our motorcycle store burned to the ground. Over 56 New bikes went to their early glory.
I remember how hard it was to start all over again. With a lot of hard work and prayers, Donna and I did it.
No, I can’t remember the first Harley I sold, but I do remember still, loving to sell them.
I remember the first time I rode to Sturgis; in 1972 on my 1971 Moto-Guzzi. A 750 cc. I rode this machine 26,000 miles and no problems.
I remember the first long trip I took with my two grandsons. It was this summer in my beautiful white side car rig. We went to Sturgis, Devils Tower, Dinosaur Park and all over. The best side car made; the Liberty.
And yes, Don Dorsey is right, I don’t always ride what! sell. But, I happen to love all motorcycles. It just so happens, I now sell the worlds best; HARLEY DAVIDSON.
Yes, I remember the first race I seen old buddy Dorsey race in Woodinville’s short track …. And Don, “You don’t wear Cowboy boots when flat tracking and you are much too big for a 250cc.”