“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – I Remember When

I Remember When
by Carmen D. Tom

Emily sitting on my lap.  She loved to take my glasses offas you can see.  the girls used to walk to our house often as they lived only a block and a half away.  They now live twenty-five miles away.  We miss seeing them everyday!(This story was written in 1991. It appeared in a local motorcycle publication. I just thought some would like reading the “story”.

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.

Chickee and Emily on my Harley. I had just returned from my yearly trip to Sturgis, S.D. My boots are still tied to my motorcycle.

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.

Our three year old all dressed for a party.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.

Gina and her dad Rick riding AngelI remember the first motorcycle race I entered. It was at the World famous Jolly Rogers track. I rode a H.D. 125 cc; really powerful: 3 HP. We called the races “Scrambles” in those days.

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.

Tony, Cory and Carissa.  They loved to jump in bed with Papa.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).

Cory and Carissa one warm day at Long Beach, WA.I remember the first NEW Indians I bought; Floyd Clymer specials, 500cc and 750cc. I sold the 750, but still have the 500cc. It is Velo powered. Only 87 were ever produced.

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 Donna and I on our Honda Gold Wing.  We've kept this bike in Arizona for over 10 years.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.

My two best buddies, Eeny and Chubby.  They loved to play together.  We lost Chubby in 2000.I remember the first side car outfit I had; 11958 BMW R150 with a new Stieb car. Donna and I won 1st place at the Gypsy Tour in Long Beach, Wa. Those were the “Good Ole Days.”

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.

Our Arizona homeI remember when my good old buddy Vic Ebbutt and I rode to Sturgis. That too, is another story.

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.”

My brothers and sisters and grandsons Tony and Cory

Friend for 50 years, Fred Lang enjoying a swim in Mesa, Arizona

Enjoying the Arizona sun with my buddy

One of my Hondas.  Did that $2 luggage box!

Carissa and papa at Canyon Lake, Ariznoa. We just got off the boat.

Tom's Cycle in the early 1960's. We sold many makes, most are out of business today. We were the first Suzuki dealer in Seattle in 1960.

I rode many different makes of sidecars for many years.  I loved this beauty.

My 65th birthday, a big day at Downtown Harley.

I rode from Sturgis to Eastern South Dakota in August, 1979 to see my mother.

The first Jawa 250" I sold in 1950.  Leonard had just returned from a 1600 mile trip.

We build many trikes and choppers in the early 1960's. This one had an all steel body.

July 1970.  Russ and other kids bury Papa in the hot sand at Long Beach.

My son Russ, now owner of Downtown Harley enjoyed riding at Long Beach, Washington, 1970.

November 11th, 1968, fire destroyed our store.  We closed for 90 days.  It was one of the saddest days of our lives.

November 11th, 1968, fire destroyed our store.  We closed for 90 days.  It was one of the saddest days of our lives.

Big day at Downtown Harley in 1983 or 1984

One of the early choppers we built

Sitting on the front loawn at Russ's home on Lake Tapps.  I learned to fly in a R-22 many years ago.

Our early years.  Space was very limited.

Christmas at Downtown Harley in early 1983.  Just some of the old bikes.

Shanghai, China in 1945

My buddy, J.D. Davis and I in the Caronline Islands in 1944 on the sub Chaser.

My crew: Ingles from new Hampshire, Charlie Burgess form Virginia, J.D. Davis from Mississippi and me, somewhere in the South Pacific in 1944.

On the ramp of my LCM.  J.D. Davis, Charlie and myself, somewhere in the South Pacific during WW II.

U.S.S. St. Paul anchored in the rivers.  A lot of the piers were badly damaged from the war.  We would haul cargo to these ships.  We also hauled sailors to shore.  Shanghai in October, 1945.

Charlie and I enjoying ourselves in a night spot in Shanghai.  Duty was good in China.  December, 1945.

Three beuatiful sunny days into the hills of Mt. Rainier ending up in Ellensburg, Wash.  Donna, Louis and myself.  Cindy is missing in this picture.

Love Run in California, November, 1995.  Dig that beautiful Sportster.  We built hundreds of these.

Tom's Cycle in the early 1960's.  We sold many makes, most are out of business today. We were the first Suzuki dealer in Seattle in 1960.

Tom's Cycle in the early 1960's.  We sold many makes, most are out of business today. We were the first Suzuki dealer in Seattle in 1960.

A side trip in August, 1975 outside of Sturgis

On the Ambassador Bridge between Michigan and Canada.  There was very little traffic in those days. (Donna took this picture).

Our Harley in Ann Arbor, Michigan in August 1949, a 7000 mile trip.

A stop in Puerto Rico on our way to South America in the winter of 1991

Donna having fun on one of our many trips into Mexico

In front of a cafe in Alaska (August 1949)

One of our many trips to see planet earth

Donna in Alaska (I took this picture).

Clarence Fitting, myself, LeRoy Skjonsberg, Sam Denton in old South Dakota.  All friends since childhood.  We all lived in the Seattle area for over 50 years.

Ron, Al, myself (missing Slimbo).  A beautiful sunny day in 2002.  We rode up to Mt. Baker, Wash. As you can see, there was till lots of snow in the month of May. We could ride in T-Shirts.  We have riden together for years all over the Northwest.

My buddies and I on a ride to Mt. Baker, Wash., May of 2002.

Myself and Clyde McIver. Clyde is now an attorney for the Seattle Mariners baseball team. He had just returned from the "Iron But" run. 11,000 miles of riding in 10 days.  I sold Clyde his first Harley in 1983. He still has the bike. We rode to Sturgis, S.D. many years.

This race was in the early 1960's at the Scrambles track in Shelton, Wash. It was a good fast track. I was riding my twin pipe 250cc CZ. Joe Donners was riding his 250cc Greeves.  The CZ was much faster and better handling. Joe was a better and faster rider. I oved racing against him. We stayed friends, even after we both quit racing. He lost his life scuba diving in Alaska many years ago.

Donna and I on our restored 1942 Shim-Sing. I bought it and had it restored in China years ago.

My beautiful 1961 JAWA Side-car

Just one of the signs I painted in the early 1960's

Just one of the hundres of trucks I have lettered at Walker Sign Co. Today most signs are done on a computer.  No computer will ever match the beautiful hand lettered signs of yesterday

A Chopper ready to ship (in early 1970's)

Some of my great bikes in one of our garages.

My barn, the way I love it.

My barn will hold 4 cars, 20 motorcycles and has two stalls for our horses. The upstairs is divided into two parts: one half is attic for storage and he other half is Donna's Doll Room. She has a big collection of all kinds. Also, our home is full of dolls. Her favorites are "The South Dakota Twins", Danny and Donna. She purchased them a Wahl Drug in South Dakota in the 1980's.

I learned to fly a R-22. This was taken on the lawn of Russel's home on Lake Tapps.

Rikou. The Japanese built this one and thousands more in Japan from 1929 to 1960. I bought this bike in Osaka, Japan in the early 1960's. My son Rick completely restored and painted it. A nice feature in our store, we did everything in-house except for the chroming. I sold this bike to the Harley Davidson Co. in 1988. YOu can see it on display at the Harlye Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

My 1965 Harley Pan Head. This was restored for me by my wonderful family for my 65th birthday.

The World's Greatest Stunt and Drill Team. Just one of the many stunts the Cossacks do.

Myself, Brock Wheaton and Donna, my wife of 56 years. We rode together for over 56 years.

Brock riding, no hands.  Brock could ride two bikes at one time and do many manuvers. Brock was our service manager at Downtown Harley for over 10 years. Cancer got him in 2002. He also restored motorcycles. He did my 1946 Harley "74" and my 1942 INdian Army bike. These bikes, with my 1926 JD are on display at Downtown Harley Davidson in Tukwila.  Also on display are Russ's many custom bikes and many dirt bikes.

The Seattle Cossacks

Brock Wheaton

Three on a bike, no hands on the handlebars

Delon Sandmier riding two bikes at once. As far as I know, only 3 members could do that, Brock, Delon and John Moser.

Devils Tower National Monument

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – The Last Chapter

The Last Chapter

Yesterday’s Memories, Tomorrow’s Dreams. I sure have plenty of both to write about.

Growing up on a farm in South Dakota, selling motorcycles for 40 years, many years in the Sign Business, working in the shoe repair and making all those handmade logging boots, riding my many motorcycles; both dirt bikes, racing and road bikes for over 58 years, driving those LCM’s (Landing Crafts) during World War II and in the South Pacific and China (I was discharged in ‘46), I sure would agree that I do have plenty of memories to write about. I’d like to share some with you.

At 79 years, I still ride. Unable to ride my big Harley this past year, my legs are too weak to hold up a heavy motorcycle. Plus, I am unable to throw my legs over a bike. In April of 2004, I purchased a big Suzuki 400cc Motor Scooter. It is easy to get on and off. It has all hand controls, so I don’t need the use of my legs. I managed to ride this scooter 8,000 miles from April to October; not to bad? I know a lot of big bike riders that don’t ride that many miles in that time span.

I was down to the Harley store (in Seattle) the other day and met an old customer who I hadn’t seen for many years. He reminded me that I had sold him a Triumph in the 1960’s and a Harley in the 80’s. It was nice to hear he was still riding and had purchased a couple new Harleys from my son Russ. We had a wonderful visit. I try to go down to Russ’ Harley store each for a couple of hours. It’s surprising how many old customers I meet. I like going to other cycle stores and one would be surprised at who you may run into. Not all riders own Harleys; so many have dirt bikes, etc.

Having spent 50 years in the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club, I have many memories from all the rides, races and hill climbs. I am also a member of the V.M.E. I get to see a lot of riders and their old motorcycles. This is a wonderful club. Over 600 members and they all own and ride old motorcycles.

Being in the motorcycle business for over 40 years, I met and got to know many dealers and distributors. I think of Johnny Coffee. I bought hundreds of JAWAS and CZ’s from him in the late 50’s and early 60’s. We became very good friends. He loved special built cars. He would drive up from L.A. just to show me some car he’d just bought. We’d have dinner that night and he’d drive back to L.A. One summer his son Leonard rode his 250cc JAWA up from L.A. just to see me. Wonderful memories.

How could I forget Frank Cooper? I bought Maicos and Royal Enfields from his company. He would drive up in his pick-up and pull into our driveway and blast his horn. He’d say he just drove up to show me this special bike and what a good price he had for me. If you buy 6 for cash, you could make a good profit. Frank spent many years both in retail and wholesale. He even built his own motorcycle, “The Cooper”. It is a collection bike now.

Floyd Clymen, a wonderful and very interesting man. He sold cars, motorcycles and books. His books are still being printed. He built motorcycles. Some were called Clymer Specials. I bought lots of them. I still have in my collection a 500cc Indian. It’s been in my barn since the 1960;s. I had a 750 Twin I bought from Floyd and like a dummy, I sold it years ago. I can only imagine what it is worth today. I have owned so many wonderful motorcycles in the last 60 years, it’s hard to remember them all. I owned some old German built bikes that would be worth a fortune today. Some were Italian, Japanese, English, etc. It’s hard to imagine their worth. I owned a Japanese built Harley I bought in Japan. I sold it to the Harley Davidson Company. They now have it in their museum. One can see it if you go to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My son Russ has a great collection of old dirt bikes and Mini bikes, all restored. Some are over 40 years old. You can see many of these at his store, Downtown Harley Davidson in Tukwila, Washington.

Speaking of small motorcycles, in the late 50’s and early 60’s, small bikes were popular. Riders rode them all over the USA. I would have rides from our store. On one ride we went to Eastern Washington. We rode to Grand Coulee Dam into Idaho and then across into Montana. I rode a 4-speed Mustang Thoroughbred. We could cruise along at 60-65 mph. We’d stop at all small towns. What wonderful memories.

In the early 90’s I sold a doctor a new FLST-C. He would ride down to our store quite often as he had just retired. One day he noticed I had a hard time walking. My lower back was killing me. He told me I should not have to suffer like that. He said he would make a call to a doctor whom he had worked with for years. I got to see this doctor the next day. He gave me two big shots in my back. He said, “Do you realize you got to see me in one day? It usually takes 5 to 6 weeks to get and appointment.” It’s nice to know the right people at the right times.

I have so many good friends (riders) the last 60 years, most of them gone, some for many years. I remember Lii Al. I rode and drove with Alto races all over the West. He kept the Seattle Motorcycle Club together for a long time. I remember one time we drove to Boise, Idaho. A big yearly race. Seemed as though everyone went to the races at Boise. We had spent a few days there. Al said he had left his pillow at the motel. I told him I would buy him a new pillow and he said, “You don’t understand. I’ve had this pillow for 40 years.” So I turned around and went to the motel. Al ran in and came back with his pillow, happy as a baby. He couldn’t thank me enough.

Vic Ebbutt was the best motorcycle photographer on the West Coast. For many years he rode to the races everywhere. We rode together for years. We rode back to Sturgis, S.D. in the 80’s, to the big race in Boise, Idaho, the Sacramento race, San Jose, and so many other places. Always having such a good time. But cancer got him a few years ago.

I have so many more stories to tell, but I will close for now and get this to my publisher. You ride down to the Harley store some day in Tukwila and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and we can shoot the bull.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – (Bob and Kenny) Harley – 74 Side Valve

(Bob and Kenny) Harley – 74 Side Valve

It was the 3rd week of August 1948; I’d heard about this 74” for sale up in North Dakota. This friend of my living in a real small town of Heckla. He rode a late model Harley and flew small planes. I always loved motorcycles and airplanes, so we became good friends. I asked Bunnerd if he was sure of this Harley, as I didn’t want to go on another wild goose chase. He assured me it was true, that his brother knew of the motorcycle and had actually seen it in North Dakota, when he was picking up a tractor and a farmer told him of the Harley for sale and if he knew anyone that might be interested. The owner had been killed in Italy during the war and it sounded like a real good deal. He said I could probably buy it for $200 or less. He said it was on a farm out of Gwinner, North Dakota, so I asked my two buddies if they would like to take a ride up into North Dakota and maybe over into Minnesota. Their eyes lit up when I said Minnesota, they had always wanted to go to Minnesota, they had read that it had over 10,000 lakes. I told my buddies this could be a 2-3, even 4-day trip so we had better take along extra clothes and a good jacket, as the weather is known to change fast up in the Mid-West. I told the boys to keep their clothes in bags so it would be easier to tie onto the cycle. I tied my bag onto the front fender and onto the Springer fork. Bob and Kenny tied theirs onto the side of the luggage rack on top the saddlebags. We looked like a bunch of gypsies!

Come Monday morning off we rode. North Dakota is only an easy 10 miles north of Britton, all gravel roads so you only ride 35 to 50 M.P.H. We stopped in Forman, filled up with gas, regular was 2 1 cents per gallon. There are always lots of men around gas stations, so I asked about the motorcycle, no one had seen any around for a long time or heard of any for sale. One guy said to try Gwinner, he saw a motorcycle there 2-3 months ago, while he was looking for a hay stacker. So off for Gwinner we rode.

All gravel road to Gwinner which isn’t much of a town. Talked to a man running the grain elevator, they usually know a lot of farmers and hear a lot of bull. The guy’s name was Jack; he was about 40 years old. He said he heard about a Harley a few months ago. The farmer who told him said the poor fellow who owned the bike was killed in Italy. When we heard this we all got excited and I asked where might we find the farmer?’ He said he was from around Wyndmere, that’s only 25 to 3 5 miles away, so off we rode. We got to Wyndmere, it’s a pretty good size town for North Dakota, 1,000 to 2,000 people I would guess. We stopped at a Phillips gas station to fill up, asked the attendant if he’d ever heard of an old Harley for sale, the man had been killed during the war. He said he could have but if 1 was looking for a motorcycle, to ride up to Wahpeton, it’s a good size town that has a couple of motorcycle shops. Also, there’s Breckenridge, Minnesota, across the Red River. I’d heard a lot about the Red River; it would almost flood in the spring, when all the snow started to melt. The road out of Wyndmere was black top, man was that nice to ride on, one could go 50-60 M.P.H. We rode into Wahpeton, it was only 25 miles, and almost in front of our eyes we see this Indian Shop, so we stopped there, all excited. We’d never seen anything like this in our part of South Dakota. The owner talked to us; a really nice guy named Milt Slenton. He gave us his business card, tried to sell us a new Indian Chief, only $795, saddle bags and all, it even had a good size windshield. But I told Mr. Slenton I’d loved to buy a new Indian from him but I didn’t even have a good job, let alone any money. I asked him about the old Harley 74”, said he never heard about this one, we might try John Bendon. I asked who is he? He said everyone knows John, told us how to get to his place, so off we rode, told him we’d come back someday. Little did I realize that Fall I would come back and go to school there, Wahpeton State.

We found John’s place with a big barn out behind his house. The shop was closed, had a sign on the door, “John’s at work, call tomorrow. I met John when I went to school there, we became good friends. We’d ride all the roads all over North Dakota and Minnesota. John would get his hair cut for 25 cents at the Barber College. On weekends, John had a real good job on the Railroad, he’d never give that job up. He sold English bikes, Triumph BSA, and Arials. He was one of the few dealers that sold foreign bikes. We rode back onto Main St. and saw the V.F.W. Hall. I said if anyone would know of a man who got killed during the war in Italy, they would know!

So we went inside, it was a big, dark bar, there were a few people drinking at the bar. Old Bartender asked what you kids want? I told him our story, I told him I’d been in the Navy during World War II. He said, kid when you get a little older come back and see us, we’ll get you into the V.F.W. I thanked him, but said can you tell me anything about the man killed in Italy that had a Harley and now his family wanted to sell it? I found out later he’d been shell shocked, so what he said might not be much use. We started to go outside, he ran out to us and said, try old man Denton in Breckenridge, he runs the Harley store there. So, off we rode, just across the Red River, stopped at a Conaco station, asked where the Harley shop was and a nice kid told us how to get there.

The town was not very large, 2 to 3 thousand or so. We found the store, no problem, we all went into the store. Nice place, they had 56 Harleys, few parts. A young man asked if he could help us, so I told him our story. God only knows how many times I told that story. The young man said, I’ll go ask my dad, he knows everyone within 100 miles. His dad came out from the back of the store, he’d been working on an engine, his hands were real oily. A nice man, he’d heard of the fellow, poor guy got killed in Italy. Told us how to get out to the farm, it was about 10 to 12 miles into Minnesota, about 12 to 15 miles from Fergus Falls.

We found the farm, it was getting late in the day, we were hungry and tired. The farmer was out by a big work shed, looked like he was working on a John Deere. I rode over to him turned my Harley off, we all got off. I went over to this farmer, told him old man Denton had told us about him and he may know about this Harley for sale. He was a real nice man, talked with a heavy brawl. Said sure, I heard of this guy being killed in Italy, said the farmer that would really know would be “Old Man Hanson”. His farm was down by Elbow Lake, he said, get on Highway 54 to 55 turn west a few miles then get on Highway 9 going south. I wrote the directions down on an old piece of paper I had in my jacket. I always wore bomber jackets, still do.

About this time I said, I’m real hungry and tired. I asked any chance you got some work we could do for a meal and place to bed down for the night? He said, you boys look okay, you can sleep in the barn, but no smoking and you leave that motorcycle outside. We assured him none of us smoked, he said he could tell, that none of you boys smelled of smoke, he said you boys want a shot of good ol White Lightning, I said no thanks. He said I thought you had been in the Navy, didn’t you drink there? I said yes, but that was beer, I could tell he expected us to drink with him so we all said we’d try some. I remember my dad telling me if you’re around some big shots and they offer you a drink, take it. Put your tongue on the bottle and tip it like you’re drinking, people will never know the difference, so that’s what I did. I played like I was really enjoying the White Lightning. My buddies actually drank it, they looked like a couple of old drunks and boy were they sorry the next day, both had big heads.

After about half an hour of drinking, this farmer’s wife comes out to the barn, said aren’t you ever coming in to eat? About this time she noticed us 3, she asked you boys eat yet? I said no, but we were all real hungry, we offered to do some work. Old Lars said, too late to work, come on in and eat with us. So we ate a real good meal, boiled potatoes, big hamburger steak, green peas, and that homemade bread, it was wonderful! We all ate like horses. Old man Lars said, you boys don’t look like you ate for a week. We assured him we had but not since this morning. Lars’s wife, said you know you got to eat to stay healthy. After supper we all went out to the barn to sleep. Lars was a nice guy, told us, you boys look like nice kids, come back someday and see me. We all said we would. We had a real good night’s sleep. We must have lay on that hay talking until 11:00, Kenny had the only watch. We all fell asleep.

In the morning we woke to see the sun out, it looked like it was going to be a nice day. We got up, went over to the water trough and washed up, and dried off with our bandanas. Almost everyone carried bandanas in those days. We all went out behind the barn and took a good crap. Lars was nowhere around and we didn’t want to go into the house.

We loaded up the Harley and went down the road. We rode for about 10 miles on Highway 59, saw a sign that said 55, so I turned onto road 55 just a few miles saw a sign, highway 9, turned south, rode just a few miles and saw another sign, Elbow Lake, rode a few blocks, the town was really small. One gas station, so I pulled up, filled up the Harley with good old regular, 21 cents a gallon. It was getting around 50 miles to the gallon, so we didn’t spend much on gas. Real easy on a 45” right side tank with a nice oil stick to check the oil. All bikes should be this easy! I paid the guy in the station for the gas, and asked were we could get something to eat? He said best and only place in town is Old Alma’s place. First I asked the fellow if he knew of a farmer named Hansen. He said there’s lots of Hansen’s around Elbow Lake, but ask in the cafe.

So we rode to Alma’s Cafe, all 3 of us went in and sat down in a really nice booth. A really beautiful girl came over and asked, you boys want to see a menu or just order off the board? We looked up at the board, a big sign said, ham and eggs, 55 cents. We all ordered ham and eggs, boy was it good! None of us drank coffee at that time, we always ordered milk. The pretty girl came over, gave us the bill and asked what you boys doing? Kenny told her our story, I think he liked her. But who wouldn’t, she was young and such a beautiful blonde, we could hardly talk!, she said, what’s the matter boys, cat got your tongue? I finally said no, we just haven’t seen someone as beautiful as you in a long time. (Liar) She said you boys should stay awhile, get a job on a farm. There’s a big barn dance Saturday night at Larsen’ s farm. We said we’d love to but first we have to find this Harley, so I told her the story of trying to find that 37. I asked if she knew of a farmer named Hansen? She said there must be 10 Hansen’s around here.

Just then a man in the next booth said, which Hansen you looking for? I got up and told him our story of trying to find the Harley. He asked where you boys from? We told him. He said, you’re a long ways from home, aren’t there any motorcycles in South Dakota? I said yes, but I wanted to find this one, 1937, 44” Flat Head. He told us there’s an old man Runi Hansen, he’s got a farm about 3 miles out on old road 63, he said he’d seen a motorcycle there a few years ago. He had gone over to pick up some apples, for his wife, she wanted to make some apple pies and Hansen’s apples are supposed to be the best for making pies. We all thanked him and off we rode again, it was getting close to noon.

I told my buddies, we have got to find that Harley and we should head home tomorrow. Little did I realize we would be gone a few more days. We found the Hansen fann’s old mailbox out by the road, it said Hansen’ s, so we rode up to the farm. There was a girl out by what looked like a chicken house, we got off the Harley, walked over to the girl, she turned around, said what you boys doing, are you lost? Kenny popped up, no. I said, are all the girls around here beautiful? She must have been 16 or 17, she blushed and said all Norwegian girls are pretty. I said you’re right, all the girls we’ve seen last 40 to 50 miles are just beautiful! She talked with us for 15 minutes or so then I said, we just have to find the Harley, she said you already have a Harley, why don’t you just buy a car? Look at all the girls you could pick up if you had a car. I said lots of girls love to ride on motorcycles. She said I’d love to go for a ride. Just then a lady came out of the house, headed right for us. She was an old crab and said what are you boys doing bothering my girl? We told her we just stopped for some information. The girl’s name was Abc, she said mother, these boys seem like nice boys, they are only being nice to me. I tried to tell the lady our story of the Harley, she said I don’t like those old motorcycles or anyone that rides them. I’m sorry you feel that way, I said. But did you ever hear of a man having a Harley? He went off to war and was killed in Italy. She popped up, oh for heaven’s sake that’s Jim Larson, he was such a nice boy and those Germans killed him! Her daughter popped up mother, you don’t know if it was the Germans. Her mom said, well who else would do that to such a nice boy? She said to go see Bert Hansen, his farm is only 2 minutes up the road. We thanked her, told the girl thanks and hope we see her again someday, we never did.

We rode off for Bert Hansen’s farm about 2 miles, found the right mailbox that said Bert Hansen Farm. We rode up to the farm about half a mile off the road. I saw a man driving a Farmal Tractor over by the barn. So I rode over toward him. He stopped his tractor when he saw us and asked what you boys doing? I said we were looking for an old Harley. He got down from the tractor, said now what you looking for? I told him again. He said that old Harley had been his boy’s motorcycle and he was killed in Italy. I said yes we know, we were just looking to see if we can find it. He said I don’t like to talk about the war. I said I understood, I’d just like to find the Harley. I had on a t-shirt he could see my tattoos, come over closer he said you were in the Navy? You must have been real young, I said 17 when I went in. He said you don’t look much older now! Remember that was the summer of “49” I assured him I was 23, I don’t think he believed me. I asked again, can you tell me of the Harley? He said I probably could, just don’t know if 1 want to talk about it. I assured him I meant no harm or hard feelings. He said follow me.

As we walked over to a big old shed, he noticed I walked with a limp, said you got hurt in the war? I said no. He said then how did you hurt your leg? I said I’m sorry but that’s something I never talk about. He opened the shed door, it had a big lock on it and it looked rusty. He said you will be the only one in this shed since I found out my son was killed. I locked the shed up and told myself I’d never open that shed again. But you seem like a nice boy, then told my two buddies to stay outside, at least for now. I followed him into the shed, he reached up and pulled a cord, a light came on, now maybe I could see. He then reached over on the wall flipped a big light switch, the whole shed lit up. Mr. Hanson said, young man that’s the first time those lights have been on since I found out Jim had been killed. I told myself and everyone else, as long as I’m alive, I’d never open that shed again. He told me, I like you young man. What I’m about to show you, no one else will ever see. He pulled some heavy blankets off the motorcycle, must have had 4 or 5 blankets, see he said this is what you came to see. I almost passed out, what I saw was on of the most beautiful Harley’s in the worlds It was bright Fire Engine Red and the side of the fenders were painted a beautiful cream color. Also, on the side of the gas tank was a beautiful blue pin stripe. I said Mr. Hanson, that bike didn’t come from the factory with that paint job. He told me the red did but Jim had worked in a body and fender shop before going into the army. he painted the cram and a buddy of his pin stripped it. I looked the bike over real good, it had a beautiful Buddy seat on it, no windshield or bags. In a box covered up was a new windshield and a beautiful set of tan saddle bags. Mr. Hanson told me Jim was always going to put the shield and bags on, but he just loved that bike the way it was. he said Jim was about to put them on when he got his draft notice and a week later he was off to Texas for basic training. Then he was shipped overseas almost at once. He never had leave he told me Jim had been overseas little over 2 years and was due to come home on leave. Then I got word he had been killed. Mr. Hanson said, I’ve never been the same since. I told him maybe now that you showed me his motorcycle, thins will start to get better for you. we covered that beautiful Harley up. I didn’t even ask him if he would sell it. we walked out of the shed, he turned out the lights and locked that shed up. My buddies were waiting outside, they asked if they could see the Harley. Mr. Hanson said – NO-, this is the only man ever to see the Harley, as long as I’m alive no one will ever see it again. I asked Mr. Hanson what will become of it when you and your family pass on, I said not soon maybe 30 or 40 years down the road? He laughed and said I’m 76 now and if 1 can make another 10 years I’ll be happy. I said you’re a wonderful man, God will continue to take care of you and your family. I told him maybe you should think about leaving Jim’s Harley to a good Museum. He said maybe that sounds like a good idea. It was getting late, my buddies said let’s head for home, that sounds good I told them. We bid Mr. Hanson goodbye and I thanked him again. As I was walking over to my motorcycle, He could see I was limping. He shouted, I still say you got hurt in the Navy. I said nothing, we all got on my Harley and headed down the driveway. As I looked back, I could see Mr. Hanson wiping tears from his eyes. I thought to myself, what a wonderful old man.

We drove down the driveway in silence as I turned on to Highway 9 heading south, it was 6:00. We were all hungry so we stopped in a small town called Morris. We saw a small cafe, parked the Harley, and went inside. We had a wonderful meal of pork chops, mashed potatoes and ye, green peas, all for 65 cents each! I told my buddies we had better find a place to bed down for the night, tomorrow we can ride home. We went down by the stockyards, found an old barn with no one around, lots of hay and water nearby. I parked the Harley inside the barn, and made our beds in the hay, boy I was all tired out. I kept thinking of Mr. Hanson, what a wonderful old man. There are so many good people in this world. Why do we have just a few really bad people that cause all the big problems of the world? We fell asleep fast. Wasn’t long the sun was out, we all got up, went over to the water faucet and washed up. I always like to run a lot of water on my face, seems to wake me up fast.

We rode out of town, found Highway 25 going to Browns Valley. We stopped and ate, yes, at a small cafe with a big sign on the wall that read, bacon and eggs, 50 cents. Boy did we eat good, that milk tasted so good too!

I knew Browns Valley to Sisseton wasn’t very far and we’d be back on Highway 10, back to Britton before too long. We pulled into Britton at one o’clock, we had almost a whole day ahead of us. I took my buddies home then I rode down to the Drugstore to see my Sweetie Pie, Donna. Boy was I glad to see her! I had been gone three and a half days and it seemed like weeks, Donna was happy to see me too. I tried to talk to her but I could see she was real busy, her boss stuck his head out from the back room, he was an old crab. I don’t think he liked me, I know he did not like motorcycles. He always said I think they should outlaw them, I asked why? He replied, you’re dumb kid, they’re dangerous, don’t you know anything? I never said anything and I didn’t want Donna to lose her job.

The next day I went to work, crop spraying for Dan Augustine. he was a good pilot, I flew with him a lot. He had been in the Air Force, was a pilot. I heard years later he was killed while spraying. He flew under high line wires, hit an up draft that took him into the wire, his plane burned up. He always told me never, never fly under any wires, it’s dangerous! He made one big mistake and it cost him his life.

After working that day I went home and Donna asked me if I was going to tell her about my trip and did you find the Harley you were looking for? I said I just didn’t want to talk about it for a while, I’m sure she understood. In time I did tell her of our trip and the Harley. She also felt sorry for Mr. Hanson and said he must have really liked you to let just me see the Harley and no one else. I had found my dream. but I’d never have that beautiful Harley, and maybe no one else will either. It was truly a piece of art.

In September, Donna and I moved to Wapeton where I went to school and she worked in a Dry Cleaners for sixty-five cents an hour. I got one hundred and five dollars a month on the G.I. Bill. I loved that school!

We rode my “45” Harley home a couple times a month. One hundred miles of gravel roads and twenty-five miles of blacktop. We had planned on riding home for Thanksgiving. When we woke up a day before we were to leave and looked out the window of our small apartment, it had snowed, that killed our riding for the winter. We road to Britton with a couple who lived in a town by Aberdeen, I can’t remember the name of the town.. We had a week or two off and the fellow picked up up on his way back to school. Our Harley sat outside in the back yard all winter long. I did find an old cover to put over it, took out the battery and put it in our apartment.

It is now fifty-three years later, our four boys are grownup and have children of their own. I spent forty wonderful years in the Motorcycle business, mad many wonderful friends, I wouldn’t trade my last fifty-three years for anything else! I’m happy living out my life in Maple Valley with my wonderful wife Donna, our grandchildren, six girls and two boys. Our youngest grandchild is nineteen months old as I write this on January 24, two thousand and three, 1/24/03. Donna and I get to see her almost every day, Emily and Chickie, Russ’ girls live down the street two blocks away. We have a home in Arizona and we go down there a couple weeks each month from October to May. I am happy, have a motorcycle at both homes and life couldn’t be any better.

I was always going to go up into Minnesota and see Mr. Hanson, but I never made it. Oh, I still dream of that 1937, 74 inch side valve Harley in Minnesota and that beautiful young girl in the Cafe.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Something New — Something Old

Something New — Something Old

Wilber had started work on his V-2 diesel engine over four years ago. He wanted the engine to look like a Harley engine, sound like a Harley and fit into the Harley frame same as a stock engine. Wilber had a real good friend back in Wisconsin, his friend had agreed to cast the lower cases. In two months he got the cases, they really looked good, now he would do all the machine work on the cases Wilber built his own heavy-duty rods. He bought the flywheel and crank pin s+s out of Wisconsin. He did all the machine work on the pistons that he got out of Kansas. As most of you know, diesel runs real high compression. All ports must be extra heavy duty. We all remember the diesel cars that general motors tried to build in the late 1970s, early 1980s, these were complete flops, like alot of cars they made just junk. Wilber always tried to build things right the first time, he did not believe in doing it over. He worked on this engine most of the winter. February 1 it was finished, it looked good just liked a Harley. He had been working on the special exhaust pipes all winter, and also the turbo.

Wilber bought a beautiful new Harley FLH from a junkyard and he completely rebuilt it, he had removed the Harley engine the first day that he bought the bike, he installed the engine in one day. He had the exhaust on, but the turbo gave him some problems, but he worked them out. He had installed a new heavy-duty electric starter, those stock starters were just junk. We all remember those early Harley starters. Wilber had filled the tank with #2 diesel, same as he used in all his tractors. He sat on the saddle, turned the key, hit the starter. The engine started right off’. It sounded good, not like a Harley. He let the engine warm up, he slipped the Harley in gear let the clutch out and off he went. He first rode it around the farm and then said, Hell I am going to ride over and show Alfred and Albert his latest. So off he rode. He noticed that the power, the turbo worked well. He cranked the throttle open, he looked down on the speed-o-meter, it said 100, he backed off down to 50 and rode to his friends farm, Old Albert was in the yard working on his Ford. He could hear the diesel, and he asked Wilber if he could try it, Wilber said sure, just don’t go over 100, as I still want to do some work on the Carb. He rode down the road and came back with a big smile on his face and told Wilber that he had something special here, and said someday I will build me a diesel. Wilber tested that bike for a week, he tested the mileage, speed, and power. After changing the jets a couple times he found the right size. He filled the tanks (old Harleys use two), wrote the mileage down. He had Alfred follow in a truck. He rode 100 miles and checked the tank, it looked fill, so he drained the tank, installed 1 quart of fuel. Him and Alfred got back on the road and rode and rode until the bike ran out of gas. He was tired by then and wondered to himself how far he had gone. He checked the speed-o-meter and he had gone 110 miles on one quart, this means he was getting 440 miles to the gallon. He rode and fine-tuned the engine for two weeks. He also reworked the exhaust. It started to sound like a Harley. He said it would never sound just like a Harley, but I will fool most riders. He had a radio on the bike and it also played tapes. He made a tape of a Harley sound, and turned it on real loud, and drove over to Albert and Alfred’s farm, they came running out of the house and said Oh my goodness, how did you get it to sound like that? He just smiled and said, want to try it? Sure do, Alfred rode down the road and back, and came back with a big smile on his face. He said, man Wilber I got to have me one of these. Alfred also tried it out, he really liked the power. That bike has got as much power as some tractors. He said, I think I could pull a two-bottom plow with that bike. Wilber spent the rest of the winter testing that Diesel powered Harley. By April 1st he not only had it running like a jewel, it also looked like a new bike. He had pulled the tanks and fenders off. He was going to paint them himself, but he always liked the paint jobs old Alfred did, so he had Alfred do the painting. He got it all back together. There was a big motorcycle rally coming up in Neb. He asked his old friends Alfred and Albert if they would like to take a couple days off and ride down to Neb. They were always ready to go for a ride, so Alfred got his old Indian four ready. Albert said he was going to try out his old 80” flat head, this was no ordinary side valve. He had spent over 4 years of spare time building this bike. As most riders know, the Flathead is about the most reliable engine made, it was real simple and never any problems with oil leaks. The engine was really a big piece of art. He had built special aluminum heads and cylinders. He had installed thin aluminum sleeves in the cylinder. He had painted the heads and cylinder block, then polished the ends of the fins to chrome like finish. He had also built a special 5-speed gear box for this bike.

All three friends had heard about this big rally in Nebraska for years, they had wanted to go, but it always seemed like something else was more important. But all three had made up their mind, they were going to go on this rally. It was 3 days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They checked the map, it looked to be about four hundred miles. They left on a Thursday morning early, about 7 o’clock. All three agreed that there would be no camping out this trip. They would stay in motels and eat in cafes, live it up. They had spent most of the long winter on the farm, it was time to have some fun. Wilber took the lead with Alfred and Albert just behind. They got on highway 83 going south, they rode to Valentine, turned west on 20. Roads were good and weather was real nice. They stopped at Chadron, Nebraska, they notices a small café and big service station, lots of motor cycles around. They pulled up as close as they could to the café, shut the engines off walked over to the café and went inside. There was one empty all of the rest were full of bikers. A beautiful blond girl came over, and said what will it be boys. The house special is really good, old Wilber said ok, bring us three and three coffees, and waters of course. Albert could see their bikes from where he sat, he noticed a good sized crowd around their three bikes. The diesel powered Harley really caught their eye, but the Indian four was also getting plenty of looks, the flat head was the one that was really attracting the most attention. The waitress brought their food and boy did it look good, they dug in. Albert said boy, this coffee is sure something special. The waitress came over and asked if they cared for anymore coffee. Albert said sure, and asked what kind of coffee it was. The beautiful little blonde said that it was Starbucks, Wilber piped up and said, well it is Starbucks for us from now on. The three of them finished eating and got up, left a good tip and went over to the cashier and paid their bill, thanked the girl, and left. They went over to their bikes, got on and said, lets fill up here. Wilber said, you guys fill up, I checked my tanks and they still looked full.

They started their bikes, said let’s roll. They left on their way to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. They noticed a large pack of bikes and riders by a Phillips 66 station, so they pulled up to where the other bikes were. One rider piped up, you boys know that the rally has been changed to Cheyenne, WY. It is being held at the Big city Park. Old Alfred said ok, thanks. We haven’t been to WY. for a few years. So off they rode, the highway was full of motor cycles, that got Wilber’s blood boiling, he always liked seeing a lot of motorcycles on the road. It was only about 50 miles to Cheyenne. Soon they pulled into town and followed the other bikers to the park, they rode over to the sign-up stand. Albert said let’s sign in and go back to town and get us a motel before they are all gone. So all three signed up, and rode into town, they stopped at 6 or more motels and all were full. Old Wilber said, now what? We have no camping gear, just then an older lady came over, asked, you men need a place to stay? Wilber said we sure do. She said, I have a large house, 6 bedrooms, $30 a night for one room. Alfred said, we will follow you to your house and look the rooms over. So they checked the house and 3 rooms over. There was also a 3-stall garage. Wilber said ok let’s take them, so they signed in. The lady said cash only and Alfred said ok, no problem, we have cash, we made sure we had plenty before we left South Dakota. They went to their rooms and really liked them, they put their gear away and then decided to go check the town and rally headquarters out. So off they rode and their bikes getting plenty of attention everywhere they rode. They loved everything they saw, there was a big motorcycle show in the city park. So they looked the park and bikes over, Albert said to Wilber, why don’t you enter the most interesting bike contest? Wilber said, I think I will, so he signed in and paid the small entry fee. He parked his bike next to a lot of fancy choppers, some of the chopper riders didn’t like that but said nothing. When he turned off his bike it made a little noise and let out a trace of smoke, it smelled like diesel. One young punk said, what is with the smell, old timers? You boys from South Dakota so cheap you burn diesel in your bikes? Old Wilber said, no young man, my buddies burn gas, but I tried burning diesel just to see if it would work, it has been running good for over 400 miles, the young punk said sure old timer and I use Coke in my Harley. Wilber said, really how does it run on Coke? The punk said, it gets 200 miles to the gallon. Old Wilber said wow that’s good but my bike will get 440 miles to the gallon. The punk said sure it will and pigs fly at night. Wilber was starting to get fed up with the punk. He said you got one hundred dollars you want to bet that it doesn’t get 400 to 440 miles to the gallon. The punk said, if 1 had $100 then I would bet you but that young blonde I picked up last night took me to the cleaners, Wilber dropped it, and the three of them rode off to see the sights, the bike show would not start till three. They rode all over town and saw lots of bikes and lots of young pretty girls. Albert said, we should see if we can import three of these lovelies to South Dakota. Albert said we probably could but the duty on those girls would be real high. Alfred said, sure would but it would be worth it, look at all the work we could get them to do. Wilber said the only work I would want some of them to do would be in my bed.

They rode back to the park, Wilber signed up for the show, and he entered his bike in the most unusual bike class. Came time to judge the bike, the judges looked all the bikes over, then it was time to start them. When Wilber started his it gave of that diesel sound and the judges couldn’t believe what they heard, one judge asked him if he had diesel in his bike, he said I sure do. One judge asked where he got the engine, he said I built it. All the judges got together and couldn’t believe this old hayseed built this bike. One older judge said could I try it out? Old Wilber said sure no problem. He threw the keys to the old fellow. The judge sat on the cycle and started it. Old Wilber said listen to this, he turned on his tape and now the engine sounded like a gas powered Harley. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, old Wilber told him to go ride it, you won’t believe what you’re riding. The man took off and came back ten minutes later with a big smile on his face. He Said to Wilber, I just can’t believe it, he asked what size engine it was and Wilber told him it was 1000 which is only 61 cu. Inches. The old man asked how in the world did you get all that power and speed out of 61 Cu. Inches? Wilber said, now my good friend that is my secret. The show went on and there were lots of beautiful bikes, but none so different as Wilber’s. They did the judging, came time to announce the winners, they called one bike out after another and then the last one, Wilber thought what now? The old man who had rode the diesel said number one bike at the show goes to Wilber with his Diesel. He won a big trophy and a $300 cash prize. He said thank you gentlemen, I will be back next year with something that you will not believe. All the judges thanked him for coming all the way from South Dakota, wished him luck and told him to come back again. Old Wilber really surprised all the riders. The three guys enjoyed two good days, had lots of fun and saw lots of pretty girls. All in all Wilber, Alfred, and Alfred had a good three days and now it was time to ride home to their farms in South Dakota. They had met a lot of new riders, surprised a lot of riders with their bikes. They left at 6 o’clock in the morning. Albert said that he would like to take another route home, all three agreed and told Albert to be the road captain, so he laid out a new course home. They rode on freeway 25-North, stopped in Casper, and had a really good breakfast. Ham and eggs only $1.90, that was a good price, they couldn’t get ham and eggs in South Dakota for that price.

They rode out of Casper and turned east at Buffalo, got on 90 going east, this is a good freeway, one can ride 85 M.P.H. all day. They rode right past Gillette and stopped in Spearfish. Alfred and Albert filled up with gas and Wilber pulled over to the diesel pump and started filling his tank. A young man ran over and said, hey that is diesel you’re using, your bike won’t run on diesel you had better drain it out, but Wilber kept filling his tank, the young man said what is wrong with you? Your bike will never run on diesel. Old Wilber played dumb and said, well I will try a tank of it. He told him a trucker had said he could get twice the mileage with diesel. The young man said hell with you, if you are that dumb, suit yourself Wilber paid him and got on his bike, Alfred and Albert had already mounted their bikes. Wilber turned his radio up real loud so that the engine sounded like a Harley, he rode off, the young man watching not believing what he was seeing. Wilber really got a kick out of playing dumb. All three rode out of Spearfish feeling good. Now they were headed home and they would be there on their farms in just a few hours. They turned south at Rapid City on 16, got on a road going south. Soon they were home. Now what, Wilber said. I guess I will have a beer, he took his beer over to his patio, sat down on his favorite chair, turned the radio on and started drinking that beer. It wasn’t long before he was asleep. Alfred and Albert rode to their farms. Wilber dreamed of riding up to Montana. It had been some time since he had been up riding in Montana. When he woke up it was dark and his beer was gone. He had slept 4 or 5 hours, he told himself, well I guess I will just go inside and hit the hay. Tomorrow should be another good day. So Wilber went to sleep and dreamed of riding that Diesel all over the U.S.A.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Skid Road Drunks

Skid Road Drunks

Alfred and Albert were bored to death, they wanted to have some fun, they had been working hard all year on the farm and had built many new parts. They along with old Wilber had been working on a new formula for their homemade beer, one that would knock your socks off after only one bottle. But for now they took some of their home brew and poured it into regular beer bottles. They had saved these bottles from the many parties they had in the year’s prior. So many people could not drink the home made beer they would bring their store bottled beer to the parties. They used these beer bottles to make the drunks think it was just regular beer.

They loaded all the beer into Wilber’s sidecar and packed some of their old overalls in their saddlebags. Alfred said to Albert and Wilber “Let’s move out” so they headed for the Big City. Their plan was to go the Skid Row part of the city, they knew they would see plenty of old drunks there. When they got to the Big City they headed right to the Skid Row. They noticed all of the drunks, some on the sidewalks, some on old benches, some leaning against the wall and some of them in the alleys. They noticed this one fellow didn’t look to drunk so they pulled their bikes and side car over into the alley where he was. They took some of the beer and pretended like they were drinking. It wasn’t long before the old fellow came over and asked if he could have some beer. Alfred gave the man three beer bottles, his eyes lit up like a kid getting candy. He sat down against the wall in the alley and it wasn’t long before he had drunk all the beer.

He went over to Wilber and said could I have just two more? So Wilber gave him two more but told him this was all he was going to get. He drank one bottle and said this has got to be the best beer in the world. It says Harts Beer made in Tacoma WA. This supposed to be the cheapest beer made, but it tasted so good. He was tired and real drunk by now. He noticed a dumpster in the alley and climbed into it, taking his last bottle of beer with him. It wasn’t long and he had fallen asleep and started farting. The smell was really bad you would of thought you were in stockyard. About that time another drunk went by, he was smoking. He threw his cigarette butt into the dumpster, just then the old drunk sleeping in the dumpster gave off a big fart. You could hear it from the next county. The cigarette lit off the fart and there was a big explosion, the side of the dumpster blew out and the lid went flying through the air. It flew so high Alfred could hardly see it. About this time a small plane flew by the lid and hit it. The pilot scrambled to control the plane, he finally landed it in a city park. The dumpster lid was still imbedded in the side of the plane. It wasn’t long after the plane had landed before a large crowd had formed. The police and reporters with all their cameras had come to take pictures. It was the headline story in both local papers.

To this day they’re still wondering how the dumpster lid got imbedded in the side of the plane. Meanwhile old Alfred and Albert were having lots of fun passing out free beer and to all the old drunks. They were all farting so bad Wilber, Alfred and Albert had to put on gas masks, the smell was that bad. After a couple of hours a police officer came over to see what the horrible smell was. He then noticed all the drunks passed out on the sidewalk and saw Alfred and Albert next to the sidecar. The officer walked over and asked them what was going on. He demanded that they give him the beer before he took them to the station. At the same time one of the old drunks let off a huge fart that could have been heard a block away. The cop thought a bomb had gone off. Old Alfred told Albert and Wilber lets get out of here while we still can. They rode off headed for home in old South Dakota. All the papers reported the smell was so bad it lasted for three days. It was a good thing a big rainstorm blew into the city as the mayor was planning on abandoning the city, as the smell was so bad. The tabloid papers got word of their story and really blew it up. They blamed the Russians, claiming they had special gas that would kill us all. Wasn’t long the story died, all went back to normal. All the drunks wanted some more of that beer, but they would get no more Wilber, Alfred and Albert would never go back to the Big City.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Wilbur’s Big Stories

Wilbur’s Big Stories

Wilbur being a genius can dream up new products to build any time he pleases, he can almost see into the future, He has plans to build so many new machines he would have to live to be 200 to get them all made. One project he has been working on for over 20 years is a time machine. He really believes he can build one. When he comes close to getting it finished, he starts on more products. Alfred and Albert are also building a time machine. They really believe they could go back to the day Adam and Eve were born. They get to drinking that powerful beer they make and it seems easier each day to build. We’ll just have to wait and see who gets their machine built first.

One of the NEW Products Wilber will come out with next is a machine to do injection molding. He says his machine will make ten times as many parts as the fastest machine in service today. One machine will injection mold aluminum. He has talked to many other inventers over the internet. They all think he’s crazy. But, knowing Wilber he will build it. He claims he has the machine almost finished. The machine that will really get the world thinking is the way to weld two pieces of metal, steel or aluminum together only it’s not really welding. Take aluminum put two pieces together, you brush or spray this liquid aluminum on the two pieces your about to weld together. You now use an electric charge to the metal. It automatically molds together. It’s impossible to pull or break the piece apart. This will really be fast. Just imagine how fast you could build an airplane. No more rivets or welds. Automobiles could be put together fast. You would not have seams to smooth over. The cost of building autos, airplanes will drop in half. Wilber says this method of so called welding is almost ready to go on the market.

Another product that could be on the market soon is the way you resurface roads. We all know how the freeways are wearing out. Laying down asphalt is the fastest way now. But, in heavy traffic it just will not stand up. Tearing the concrete up and putting down new concrete is very costly and slow going. Wilber has solved this. He has invented this material that comes in large rolls, very lightweight. You actually roll the material, which is only 3/4” thick down on the old road. A truck comes along side, sprays water, yes water. The material turns steel hard in less than 1/2 hour. One could refinish a road at nite while the traffic is slow by morning one could drive on the road. Wilber has covered his road leading to his farm. He has driven on it for 5 years with no wear. Of course, we all know his road doesn’t get the traffic as freeways do. Wilber says this method of resurfacing roads would save billions of dollars. He’s waiting for some state or city to let him prove his way of resurfacing roads. Let’s pray someone will take him up on the offer soon. Those freeways are getting worse each day.

Albert and Alfred have been working with a Dr. in California to build a machine that will reprogram a person’s brain. They have built the machine that will change a mad-dog into a gentle puppy. They have tried it on one of their most dangerous bulls. The bull is now as tame as a puppy. They went to a large zoo. They reprogrammed a lion that was a really dangerous lion to be as gentle as a kitty. The keeper just couldn’t believe what had happened to their lion. Alfred said he would like to travel to Africa. He would like to change some of those savages into good people. Old Albert said what’s wrong with you; you’re too old to travel that far. In order to try it on people in our country, the red tape would take years. We got lots of other projects to get out now.

Albert said he had heard of the HAARD-program that is in Alaska. Not too much is known about HAARD. He said he heard of well-informed man tell about it on the Art Bell talk show. Some say it’s about ultra sound. Some say its extreme low frequency “Elf’ radio wave transmission sound. That could control the minds of humans. Others say it is to change the weather pattern. Albert said he is determined to find out. Those of you with computers can find more information. I tried but was unable to really find much. Other than the project is “TRUE” Albert is determined to find out before he kicks the bucket. Which he prays won’t be soon. He also said he will find out about AREA 51 before he leaves this old world. Alfred Albert Wilber have been working together on one project for years. This is a machine that gives off a sound similar to ultra-sound. They have the machine done, now to try it out on humans. They have tried it on their farm it keeps all rats away. It cannot be heard by humans.

Wilbur got to thinking on how to end all wars. Build a sound machine that will give out a sound that will put everyone to sleep. Wilber and his friend in California have been working on the project for 8-10 years. They built one small machine, the size of a suitcase. It works real good.

His friend in California took this machine to Asia. It looked like a suitcase. He traveled to a city of about 35,000 people. He placed the suit case which held the machine in the center of the city in a park. He set the timer to go off at 12 noon. He then left the city. He kept 10-15 miles away. The timer set the machine off and every one fell asleep. He has special ear plugs so he cannot hear the sound. The reason he left the city was he was not sure it would not put him to sleep. This was the first time he had tried it out on this large of a crowd. He stayed in the city until everyone he could see was awake. He then picked the suitcase up and left the city. Before he left he talked to a lot of people. No one seemed to have noticed they had been asleep for 24 hours. He boarded an airline and came back to the U.S. as fast as he could. He checked a lot of papers to see if anyone had noticed anything. In a few days people began complaining of something weird had happened in the last week. No one could come up with any answers. They felt something had happened, but what. He read no more news about this event. He knew it would work. Can our government use this machine? Take IRAQ for instance, we could have anny personnel traveling as tourist they could place these suit cases in place throughout the city. Set the timer, place their special ear plugs on and wait till everyone was asleep. They could call the army in take over the city. The people would wake up to see they had been taken over by another government. No one would ever know what happened. If our government could keep this a big secret, they would never find out what had happened., Can you imagine OLD Sadam waking up and finding out he no longer was in power. He would probably go mad trying to find out what had happened. Of course he would no longer be in power. A new government would be set up. You can get the picture. The government who had this machine could change the world as long as they keep it a secret. But knowing out government someone would have to blab this out so the whole world would know.

People have asked me for years just where is Wilber’s, Alfred and Albert’s farms. About 15-20 years ago I made a mistake of telling someone. Soon their farms were being overrun with people coming from all over. They put up electric fences, set the dogs on many. I then traveled to South Dakota I took down all signs leading to their farms. I’d install signs saying for instance: Wilber’s farm down the road. I had arrows pointing out into the badlands. The signs would take the people so far away some would run out of gas. People were going crazy trying to find the farms. I also ran ads in many papers saying Wilber, Alfred and Alfred had moved to Montana. I keep them crazy trying to find them. All three stayed out of sight for a year. They had plenty projects to work on. Once in a while, they told me they would leave the farms 2-3 in the morning and travel to Nebraska coming back to their farms late at night a day or two later. After a time people gave up trying to find their fanns. Today they still live on their farms. No address on any gates, etc. They pick their mail up in town miles away. They now live a low profile life. They have their special friends who come to their farms. The dogs and the electric fence will keep away strangers.

All three are working on a machine that will take us from one dimension to another. Some scientists believe there are as many as 13 dimensions. Wilber asked Pastor Larson, how did Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus on the high mountain mentioned in _? They had been dead four many years. They most likely had been in heaven. But how could they appear and leave again so fast. Also, when Jesus was on earth he would appear in many places miles away in seconds. He was God, but also man, how could he do this? Some think he passed from on dimension to another. Many believe that is where heaven is, just next door in another dimension. Think about it. Also, what happened to the many airplanes that disappeared in the area called Bermuda Triangle many planes disappeared right in the front of other planes. No one ever knew what happened. Just maybe they went from one dimension into another.

Just maybe some year we will find the answer. Wilber says, he could have the machine done in a year or two, but with so many other products to build he can’t find time to do them all. After all he is in the 80’s, not a young man any more. Wilber built this one spray machine; you could spray paint a house or barn in no time at all. The paint gave out no fumes, no smells, etc. It’s a powder like. After it dries in 10-15 minutes the paint dries to a beautiful gloss and hard as a rock. He painted one of his old Ford Trucks over 10 years ago. It still looks new. He stopped painting his cars, trucks, motorcycles as he wants them to look old and worn out. Wilber tried selling the paint formula and the special sprayer to a large company in Chicago. But they want him to bring it to their Chicago factory and show them just how it works. He told them no. He never intends to go to a large city again. We will just have to wait and see. This could become really big. Imagine painting houses, cars etc. No overspray, no dust, no smells, etc. Minutes after you painted the car-house-whatever it would be done and ready to use.

Wilber has been working on a Gravity Machine for 15-16 years. He got the idea watching Discovery Channel on the Pyramids in Egypt. They told and showed men pulling 3-70 tom blocks with rope on the sand. Then how did they lift the heavy blocks 100 to 20 feet in the air. He just refused to believe this. Also how did they cut these blocks so precise? We could not do this today without our modem machines. Wilber read about so many things done years ago. Like the stone hedge in England how did they move these heavy stones 5-20 tons each from miles away.

He studied the large statues on Easter Island. These are 5 to 20 ton all facing one direction, they had to be moved from miles away. How did they do it? He thought about it for days on end. He came to the conclusion that lots of people thousands of years ago, had to have found the secret of gravity, if you knew this you could move and place large objects with ease. He read and listened to many scientists he came to the conclusion they knew the secret of gravity so he got to work on building his machine. After 15 years he now has a small machine real small size of a loaf of bread with this he is able to lift 500 lbs with ease. He proved this one day while selling 100lbs sacks of grain to a grain dealer. He had his truck loaded with 80 sacks. He was carrying 5-100 lobs sacks of grain from his truck to the ware house. Some men were standing there watching this old man carry 500lbs with ease. They watched till he had unloaded his old truck. One young man went over to the sacks. He tried to carry one. He had all he could do to lift if off the ground. He then took a cart and took a sack over to the scales. They weighed 100 lbs. He said to Wilber, he did not know Wilber. How in the world could you carry 500 lbs with ease? He said easy I ate a big box of Wheaties this morning. All the men watching said Wheaties? We could all eat 10 boxes each and still not lift the sacks. Wilber told no one of his secret. He just smiled and said, “You men start eating Wheaties. He drove away leaving those men dazed. One other time while driving his old Model A Ford back from the big city of Rapid a car had ran off the road. It rolled over trapping 2 young men in the car. There were 6-7 men trying to lift the car. One even had a jack trying. Old Wilber left his machine in his car pointed toward the over turned car. He then walked over to the car, said to the men, you all having trouble. He took a hold of the car, lifted it up. He told the men standing around; now get those boys out of there. This car is heavy; I can’t stand here holding it up all day. They pulled the two boys out of the car. By this time the wrecker and police had arrived. Wilber let the car drop to the ground. All the men said how in the world did you lift that car? Old Wilber smiled and said your boys start eating Wheaties. He then got in his old truck and left. All the men stood there. The word got out it even made the news and the papers. This old man had lifted this car off all by himself Most of the people would not believe the story. Wilber believes he will have a larger machine built soon one that will lift 5-10 tons. It has to be quite large, but his is dreaming of a way to make the machine smaller. He told Alfred and Albert what he was doing. They said old buddy we have our own machine. Wilber said tell me about yours. They said not till you tell us about yours first. They all said let’s go home drink some beer. Alfred said to Wilber we’ll drink my beer, it’s much better tasting than yours old Wilber said ok I’ll save mine for myself. Wilber, Alfred and Albert continue to work on many new machines.

Wilber said to Alfred and Albert one day while working on his old John Deere. I wonder if the aliens will ever visit us again. We could use some new ideas. Wilber said I’d like to find out if moving from one dimension to another is really the way they travel thru space. Alfred said you know what they told us the last time they were here. When we humans stop killing each other and end all wars they will be back to see us. Wilber said yes but I can’t wait much longer I’m getting old. Alfred said I’m close to finding the secret of living to be 120 and longer. The bible says man’s year shall be 120 we all believe the bible let’s study it more. We have to find the way to live 120 years. It’s in the bible. We just have to find it. All three went to see old Pastor Larson there old Pastor and good friend. They talked to Larson he just smiled and said boys were all getting old soon we’ll find the answer when we get to heaven. Wilber said yes, but I got to find the answer soon. I have lots of machines to build before I leave this old world. Pastor Larson said good friends, go home leave that beer alone. Study your bible the truth is in the bible. So they all left. They all went to their homes and re-read their bibles over and over. After 1 year had passed Wilber said to his buddies, I had a dream last night. It seemed like to last all night. I dreamed of living to be 120 years. I think I now know how. Wilber said I dreamed I was 150 years old. The world had changed so much. I don’t believe I want to live to be 150. I’m going to stop at 120 just like the bible says. So old buddies, let’s get to work. Alfred said why can’t I dream like you do? Wilber smiled and said Old friend someday I’ll tell you how when we find the way to pass from one dimension to another. We’ll be able to go from planet to planet in seconds. This is the only way we’ll be able to travel thru space. God did not build man’s body to travel into outer space from one planet to the other. Our bodies are not designed to stand the pressure of moving at such high speed you would have to travel to get from planet to planet. The only way to do it is from one dimension to another. Let’s get to work and find the way. So all went home and started on this project.

Wilber told his buddies one day while drinking a beer, “I’ve been working on a product maybe one or both of you could help me with. They said sure old friend, what is it? He said find the secret of the poles. Sooner than later some one will come up with a way to capture the power of the poles. Alfred said remember when we rode our motorcycles to Alaska in the 60’s, Wilber said I sure do that was a trip we’ll never forget. Alfred said remember when we were way up north as far one can go by motorcycle. You had a flat tire. We were all sitting on the side of the trail. You were taking the tire off the rim, the tire wrench flew right out of your hand. It went flying thru the air headed north; we got the tire fixed on the way back. We stopped by a campsite those two old timers told us to stay away from the poles. The pull the poles have is fantastic. It will pull the tools right out of our hands. We were lucky to get back even here the power of the poles is super powerful. Those old timers told us to get out while we still could. Those old timers had been looking for gold at least that is what they told us. Albert said we got to find a way to magnify the pull so we can us its power. There is no end to the many uses one could do with the power of the pull. Wilber said we could use this power to power our generators on our farms when the wind is not blowing. We now have to use our back-up solar power. We sure could find many ways to use this. So old Wilber the genius his is said well get to work soon or both the power of the poles and better ways to use out gravity machine. Wilber has this machine now that will lift over 5,000 lbs. but it is just too large and bulky. This is what he had in his truck when he lifted the car off so the two boys could get out of the car. Wilber says there is so many ways to use gravity its mind boggling. Wilber told Alfred I got to stop working so much on gravity and pole power. I have to get working on my new diesel engine that will get 150 miles to the gallon and put out 150 HP over 120 lobs of tongue. The engine is much too large now. He wants to get it down to the size of VW’s 1900 cc diesel. He wants to build the engine that size so he could put it in almost any small front wheel drive cars. imagine getting 150 mpg. The gas companies would go crazy. I’m sure they would try every way possible to keep this engine from going on the market. Old Wilber has a plan no politician could stop. We all know the politicians are owned by super big Corporations. Oil companies included. As I have said before out government is not really interested in people getting good gas mileage out of their cars. The oil companies have the politicians in their pockets. I just read Dodge is coming out with a new pick-up 500 HP so luxurious it will be used as a sport car. Now that 500 HP truck will be lucky to get 10 miles to a gallon. Now that’s really saving gas. Who the hell are they trying to fool?

Wilber has built many types of engines, he knows this really good. He will have this small diesel ready to be put into production within a year. Now he has put the larger version in one of his old tractors he has used it in the fields for 8 hours on only 3 gallons. Wilber has built a turbo charger, but his is much different than those on cars and trucks today. There’s no turbo lag it turns twice as fast as any turbo on the market today. He refuses to say too much more about his diesel other than the turbo, its injectors are different than those found on diesel today. That is just on reason for the good mileage. Wilber says he will build a diesel engine that will look like a Harley engine. It could be a replacement for the Harley engine that is a very good gas mileage engine. My 2001 Road King will get 50 MPG just cruising along. Can you imagine getting 200 to 250 miles to the gallon? Wilber says his cycle diesel engine will be built to sound almost like a Harley or he can build it so quiet one can hardly hear it. He says the Germans and Japanese build some of the best diesels in the world. The US could do this also but their more interested in making money. Use the old designs as long as you can fool the public. Well Wilber doesn’t believe this way. He says he was put on earth to help build a better place to live. Try and make it good for all people. Not just the cream of the crop. Wilber’ s old friend Alfred and Albert, have converted a John Deere Diesel tractor to get twice the torque and twice the mileage. They use this on their farm. They keep it well locked up in one of their sheds. When not using it if someone tried getting on their farm. They have so many alarms it could wake the devil up. They have set up more booby traps around their farm than the US Army rangers could set up.

Old Alfred pops up and says to Wilber, “when are you going to get the machine done so we can go from on dimension to another?” Wilber says, “Old buddy it should be done within 2 years. Alfred said, yes but I’d like to visit the moon, mars, maybe even farther out in space eve some other galaxy. Wilber said just be patient we’ll all travel there together some day.

He could sell the engine to some large tractor or truck company now, but he wants to get the small engine done. So he can surprise the world. He has heard from many large companies both in Europe and Japan. The Chinese want this engine really bad. But old Wilber says you can’t trust the Commies. They would steal his ideas and think nothing of it. He would be out in the cold, it would take years to fight this in the courts and the money the lawyers would charge is crazy. I’ll just wait for the right time then watch out. I’ll shock up the whole world.

Bubu Destiny Machine

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – The “Four Corners” Run

The “Four Corners” Run

This is the ride I have been wanting to take for many years. It is a long way from Seattle to the: FOUR CORNERS” and you can only ride there in comfort a few months out of the year. It seems like the summers in Seattle are taken up riding to Sturgis, California and other beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest.

A good friend of mine, Tom Lea, flew down from Seattle to our home in Apache Junction, Arizona. We had planned on going for a good ride in the Southwest. We have ridden to Sturgis many times, but had never toured the Southwest other than the Valley of the Sun.

Tom Lee and myself at Four Corners in May of 2002. It was real cold out, next morning it was 28 above. We rode sourth fast into New Mexico then west into Arizona. When we got home it was 87 above. It felt real good! Tom and I tried to rent big Harleys, but one must reserve these months in advance. We ended up renting two big VTX 1800cc Hondas (V-twin). We left our home in Apache Junction at seven in the morning. Road on Hwy 60 up through Globe, Az. It is over 5,000 ft. high. It was only 58 Above when we got there. We figured we were in for some cool riding. The big Hondas ran beautifully; what power. They will shoot up to 100 miles per hour — NOW. Will cruise all day long at 90 MPH, if one wants to go that fast on two lane mountain roads. 60 is fast enough. We kept on Hwy 60 to Sholow, Az. Over 7000 ft. high. It was really getting cold. The roads are beautiful. Arizona has some of the best roads in the nation. We took a road to St. Johns, Az. where we picked up Hwy 191. This is a very lonely road. We stopped Ganado. It is just an old tavern out in the middle of nowhere. They have no electricity. They use an old diesel generator. And they have two deep wells for water.

A young Indian girl ran the place. She was very nice to us. The place looked so gruesome to us to eat or drink anything, so we had some orange juice in the can. We rode thru Chinie, thru Canyon Valley. This reminds me of parts of Wyoming. Like around Devils Tower; only everything is red; the rocks, the ground, big towers, all red stone. Rode on thru Monumental Valley, a very beautiful place. Reminds one of being on the moon. We rode to the end of Hwy 191; took 160 to Four Corners. Not much there. Took a few pictures. It was getting late and cooler, so we rode until we found a nice motel in Cortez, Colorado. Parts of Colorado and New Mexico consist mostly of Indians. One gets the feeling that we were the minority.

We got up fairly early the following morning. Boy, it was cold. 38 above. We put on all the clothes we had. I put my rain gear on to keep out the cold. Before we left we had to buy some heavy farmer gloves. The leather ones were cold. We had wanted to go further into Colorado, but not in this cold. We took Hwy 666 out of town. Could not ride over 50 MPH; we finally got to Shiprock. A nice town and it was a little warmer. The road to Gallup, New Mexico was in very good condition; straight as an arrow. We arrived in Gallup; about 100 miles away.

While filling the Honda with Premium, I talked to a nice man who had rode to Laughlin, Nevada for the big River Run. He said he would not be going back next year after all the problems they had this year. There are so many other places to go where there are no gangs, etc. It was 27 above that morning. We took the Freeway #40 going West. Stopped at a big truck stop in Holbrook, Az. They had a Burger King so we both ate chicken sandwiches. We took #377 out of Holbrook. Stopped at Hebon, shedding clothes. We took Hwy 87 out of Payson; four lane highway all the way to Phoenix. We took a cut-off near Lake Saquaro. It’s called the Bush Highway. I have ridden on this road for many years. We had to stop on the side of the road and shed more cloths, now down to pants and t-shirt. Rode on to Apache Junction, and we were home before we knew it. 3:45 P.M. and it was 88 above.

We had a beautiful ride. Had the big Hondas for three days. Cost was $501.00. Put over 1100 miles on the bike. The cost was well worth it. I would rather have been riding on my Road King, but no complaints with the Hondas. Tom kept his bike for the rest of the week. I have a smaller bike in Arizona, a 600cc Honda, which is ideal for down there.

So, until our next trip, GOD SPEED,

Carmen Tom
May 2, 3, and 4, 2002

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Lost in a Parking Lot

Lost in a Parking Lot

Old Wilber really did it this time. It was September of 1991 and Wilber had to go to Seattle. He had not been to the West for many years. He just hated the thought of going to a big city. Seattle had tripled in size sense the last time Wilber was there. He knew of all the traffic and bad freeways. The last time Wilber went to Minnesota it all most drove him mad. They had a big auction on surplus parts and he needed lots of them, so he rode his old Indian with the sidecar. That is a story all in itself. Wilber had bought a lot of property just after WWII when he worked in eastern Washington. That also is a story in itself.

A large corporation had got wind of this one piece of land, 3000 acres. They offered Wilber such a good price, at his age he just had to sale. There was one catch he had to be in Seattle to sign all the papers and pick up his check. It was a big one at $60,000 an acre. It was more money than Wilber could ever dream of. He thought to himself! could quit farming just lay around and drink beer. He knew he really could not do this, he’d worked since he was a small boy. That’s all he really ever knew, but it was nice to dream.

Wilber fixed up his old Indian chief for this trip with no sidecar. This was going to be a fast trip. He packed the saddlebags put his luggage and camping gear on the large rack. He put some of Alfred and Albert’s special fuel in four big jugs then put them in the saddlebags. He would use the special fuel mix. When he got to the high mountains of Montana he loved to go fast. He loved to cruise eighty to ninety miles per hour on the freeways. He knew riding through Montana if he got caught speeding it would only cost him five dollars. Ticket, so, he had just put a twenty five-dollar bills in his wallet. Even if he did get a ticket it would only cost him five dollars. He knew he could pay the officer right then and there so he wasn’t too concerned.

It took Wilber two days to get to Seattle. He checked around for some cheap motels, but the prices he found were crazy. He told one of the owners he didn’t want to buy his motel he just wanted to stay there a few days. He remembered a beautiful park called Seward Park it was down on Lake Washington. He rode down there to see if it was as beautiful as he remembered. He rode back off the road into the woods fifty or seventy-five feet and set up his camp. Then he decided to fix something to eat. Old buffalo steak tasted really good. He was about to go to sleep when he remembered all the stories he had heard about getting robbed in the woods. He had learned how to set up traps in the army so he set up all kinds of traps. No one could come within fifty feet of his camp. All the bells and lights would wake him up, he was a light sleeper. He could hear a bird fifty feet away.

He had a real good night’s sleep. He packed up all his gear on the bike; it was really loaded down. He rode his bike back onto the road, he had not gone a hundred feet before the cops had pulled him over. When the cop asked Wilber what was going on he told him he was looking for a place to camp. The cop told Wilber to look around and read all the signs that say no overnight parking and no camping. You have to be out of the park by ten said the cop. Wilber apologized and told the cop he would find another place to set up camp. The cop asked Wilber what in the world he was doing riding an old Indian so far from home? He told them he wanted to see Seattle one more time. He told them of shipping out of Seattle during WWII. Wilber said after this trip he would go back to old South Dakota and live out the rest of his life in peace on his farm.

All of a sudden they smelled something terrible and the cop asked Wilber what it was. What do you have in those jugs? He thought about it for a while and decided he’d better tell the truth. He said it’s skunk oil, I use it to keep away the bugs and out laws. The cops looked at one another and said you have a good trip home. It was now nine-o’ clock and he had to be at the lawyers at nine-thirty. He road into town and found the building, but no place to park. He told himself hell I’ll just pay for parking. He had never paid to park is life. There was a large underground parking lot under the building. He went round and round as you do in those big parking lots. He finally found a place at the end of a row so he parked the old Indian. He found the elevator got in pushed the fourth floor button. There was a man in the elevator with him, and Wilber told him that that was the fastest elevator ride he had ever taken. The well-dressed men just looked at Wilber and shuck his head.

Wilber may have been just an old hick but one thing about old Wilber was he loved to tell people about Jesus. He did this as often as he could. Most people thought he was an old hick that believed in fairy tales, but it never bothered Wilber. He would always tell the story of Jesus.

Well old Wilber found the office he was looking for so he went in. The office girl looked up at old Wilber and said no bums allowed in this office or this building. He said I’m no bum I came here to sign some papers and pick up a check. He told her he was Wilber from South Dakota. She said yeah and I’m an angel from heaven. He told her your no angel and if you don’t change your ways and believe in god you’ll go to hell when you die and bum forever.

Just then the lawyer stepped in and Wilber asked him if he had the check ready for him. The lawyer felt real sheepish but he tried to talk to Wilber. He asked him to come into his office. All the papers were ready to sign. Wilber wanted to see the check as he demanded it be certified. It was signed so he did the paper work and put the check in his pocket. He told the lawyer thanks and said good bye. He told the girl as he was leaving not to forget about Jesus and he showed her the check see I’m no bum he said.

Wilber got into the elevator and went to parking garage. He got off the elevator but then realized he didn’t remember what floor he had parked his bike on. He tried the third, fourth and second floors with no luck in finding it. He was dead tired by this time so he lay down by the wall out of the way of cars and went to sleep. He had been sleeping for five or six hours when he felt a kick in his side. He looked up and saw a security guard. The guard told him to get the hell out, there was no bums allowed in this building. Wilber told the guy he was no bum and showed him the check and told the guy the story. The old man could not believe it. He told Wilber the only way to find his Indian was to start at the first floor and work his way down. Wilber knew this would take hours, but he had to do it.

He found his Indian and was glad to see that no one had bothered it. It was now dark outside. He got on his bike and road off. He looked at his watch it was eight o’ clock and really dark. He had spent almost eight hours in the building. He said to himself one has to be crazy to live in a large city like this. He stopped and asked a cop the way to 1-90 east. The cop gave him the directions and Wilber thanked him. He could see the cop shaking his head in his rear view mirror.

Wilber found his way out of town. He had planned on staying in Seattle a few days because he knew this would be his last trip back. He just didn’t like the traffic, fast cars and so many people. He told himself I’ll just find a place to camp out and head for home tomorrow. He was real tired and hungry because he had not had anything to eat sense early that morning. He always carried food and water with him so it was no problem. He pulled into the first parking lot he saw and got out his food and water. Then he remembered how good old Seattle water was. He tasted the water and realized it was the best water ever. He sat down, pulled out his old burner and cooked himself a Dakota buffalo stack. He did this right there in the parking lot. Just as he finished up the cops drove up. They asked Wilber what he was doing.

Wilber told them his story and they looked at his old Indian. They just couldn’t believe that he had ridden that old thing so far. One cop told him he wouldn’t even ride the bike to Renton. They wished him luck and he told them good bye. He headed east. He felt really tired; it had been a long day. He rode about seventy-five miles when he noticed a clearing in the trees. He road into the area and set up camp along with his traps to keep himself safe. He drank some of that good Seattle water and rolled out his sleeping bag, soon he was in la la land. During the night he dreamed of his farm and his good friends Alfred and Albert.

Soon the sun woke him up; he packed up and was on his way. He road across the mountain pass, it was beautiful up there. He pulled into the town of Ellensburg and stopped. He pulled out a jug of the stuff he called skunk oil and poured it into his gas tank. The boy at the station noticed what he was doing. He told him Indians run really well on skunk oil. The boy smelled the oil told old Wilber he must be crazy. Wilber told him no and road off. Soon he was on his way, he road through Washington into Idaho and crossed the Lookout Pass. The old Indian went over in high gear. In Montana he had a few problems with the law. He was riding along at ninety miles per hour or more. The state police tried to catch him, soon he had three cop cars after him. He just turned that throttle; he was up to 140 miles per hour. Almost lost his cop cap, the cops were no were in sight. He pulled off the freeway and filled up with some more gas. He took a drink of water, it was hot out. Soon he was home, he was so glad he bent down and kissed the soil. He called his friends up and they came over to his ranch. He showed them the check, when they saw how big it was they told him he should have a barn dance. They all started planning for a big party. He missed his best friend Jumper. He talked to him like he was human. Jumper licked Wilber’s hands and face. Little did Wilber know this would be Jumpers last year. Jumper was old and tired and could no longer jump. He walked slowly like he was on his last leg. Jumper had been the best pet Wilber had ever had. In a few days he passed away. Wilber, Alfred and Albert buried him on the farm. They put a large marker over his grave. You can see this if you ever visit Wilber’s farm. All Wilber’s friends came over they had a barn dance; they all had so much fun. Drinking that old home brew could make anyone have a good time.

Old Wilber was home he told himself no more long trips, he was now into his seventies. He enjoyed life though he knew he would miss Jumper, but god would help him through these sad times.

Be sure you read the story of old Jumper the World’s most Famous Mule. Wilber is still living on his farm; he works very little these days. He still rides his old motorcycles and enjoys life to the fullest. Still working on his many inventions.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – The Big Cattle Drive

It was in the middle of the 1930’s our families were living in a small town in eastern South Dakota. We had moved to Briton from our farm east of Pierpent South Dakota. We had lost our farm due to the big depression of the thirties.

One summer I watched the big cattle drive, there were real cowboys headed by their trail boss Star Buck Jones. I remember seeing him in Western Movies at our local theater. You must remember it was during the 1930’s big depression, times were really bad, so bad that unemployment was over twenty- seven percent, there was no real way of knowing who was working and who was not. With no unemployment checks, no well fair, and no social security. If you had a job you were one of the lucky ones, most people would do most anything just to work. Buck Jones and his cowboys drove this large herd of cattle all the way from eastern Montana about five hundred miles.

Britton had a real good stock yard and cattle auction every Wednesday. This was a big sale; people from all over eastern South Dakota came. Briton became a very busy town. As kids we would all go down to the stock yards and as kids today say “Hang Out.” I can’t remember hearing if the cowboys got a good price for their cattle or not. I’m sure they took whatever price they could as they sure wouldn’t want to drive those cattle all the way back to Montana.

As a kid growing up in Old South Dakota we were real poor, we called it dirt poor. As I look back at it now being poor was a real blessing in many ways. The Stadlers, Warwicks, Fittings, Umbergers, the Bentons and so many more. We all learned more about what real life is all about in one summer, than I would say kids today learn in their twelve years of schooling. We had the best teachers, the cattlemen, farmer’s etc.

We spent so much of our time at the stock yards, train depot watching the trains come in and out each day, the grain elevators, pool halls, and yes the taverns. Back then it was OK for kids to go into taverns, this was especially nice in the wintertime, they were one of the warmest places to go. It was so fun to hear all the bull from the farmers and workers it could be educational all in itself. We really learned from the PRO’S. We learned what real life is all about.

I heard a contractor tell his workmen one day “you can read hundred books, or listen to a teacher, but until you have actually built a house, barn or whatever you really do not know how to do it.” I remember when I first went into the Motorcycle business; I would work on almost any make or model. I had all kinds of books and manuals, but until I’d actually torn apart the engine, gearbox or some other part I had no clue how to do it. Many times I would have to do the job more than once before I got it right. But I did learn.

I’m seventy- five now looking back at how really poor we were as kids, our parents, the hardships they had, things in old South Dakota were really tuff but we learned about life the way it really is. I see how kids today have an easy life, many not working till their out of school. Most have there own cars, live in beautiful homes and have more clothes then all us kids put together had. They all own more than one pair of shoes, they go on vacation once or twice a year and many even have their own cell phones, computers, they have so much one can’t list it all. But you know that all of us poor kids of the 1930’s knew more about what real life was all about be the time we were ten or twelve than most kids today that are eighteen and twenty years old. But one must ask whose fault (if any) is it?

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Jumper and the War Years

Jumper and the War Years

World’s most famous MULE-ARI-4 11 old Wilber’s best friends Alfred and Albert lived on a farm three to four miles down the road from Wilber. They all grew up together on the farms all three were drafted into the U.S. Army at the start of World War II. Alfred and Albert were brothers; they all three took their boot training in Texas. During the early part of World War lithe army still used horses and mules, they bought their mules in the state of MO. All three were taking special training to fight in the mountains little did they know they would be going to Italy. The army had them training with mules, the time came that all three had to leave for overseas, at first they were told nothing. But they got word it was Italy. It was real rugged with high mountains, that’s where the horses and mules would come in. Wilber, Alfred and Albert had mules that hauled supplies high into the mountains. They had all been fighters for a long time and had all been injured along with their mules.

They really took a liking to one mule ARI-41 1 this was the number the army gave him. This mule had been wounded three times but they were never serious injuries. After a few years the war ended in Europe. They all three were shipped home together, with their mules. The army had no further use for the mules or horses so they sold them at a big auction. Alfred and Albert loved their miles so much the paid the army ten dollars for him and bought an old Ford truck to carry him in. They loaded ARI-41 1 into the back with a lot of other surplus goods, including three old Harley 45” motorcycles. They drove to their farms in Western South Dakota, the drive was hard and they were happy to be home. It wasn’t long before they began farming again. Everything was going good family and all. The mule had become a real pet; he pulled them around the farm like a dog.

In just a few years the Korean War broke out and the U.S. got involved, things were getting bad. One day all three got special orders, you have been called back into the army. The army knew of the mule and was having a hard time getting horses and mules. The called ARI-41 1 back to be part of the team. Alfred and Albert stayed with their mule. They were all shipped to Japan and then onto Korea. It wasn’t long before all three of the boys and their mule were fighting a war. The North Koreans were high in the mountains and the mule could go were horses couldn’t, so they were keeping busy hauling supplies up front to the soldiers. The North Korean’s had mined the trail and roads and many other places so this was always a worry. One day as Alfred and Albert were on their way down the mountain someone stepped on a mine. It knocked everyone down, including the mule. It threw the men high into the air. When everyone had landed and settled they shook the dust and dirt off and checked their supplies. They looked all over for their mule, when they finally found him he was laying on the ground covered in dirt and rocks. He had stepped on the mine with his left front leg. It had blown it off with the force. The mule looked like he was in really bad shape, they knew they would have to shoot him to put him out of his misery. They checked him over real well; they got the medical kit out and cleaned off the wound. They knew they had to do something fast, so they cleaned the stump off and cut the hanging skin and flesh off. They put some good bandages on and then checked the mule over again. They found nothing and figured he was in good condition other than his leg.

They both just loved the mule and one could see he loved them too. They had been together in two wars; they looked at the mule and asked if they should put him to sleep forever? He looked at them with the saddest look in his eyes. They set up camp for the night and decided that they would wait tell morning to make a decision. They all had a pretty good night sleep and awoke in the morning to a very beautiful day. Alfred and Albert decided to get off the mountain. They looked around and noticed the mule was standing up on the three legs he had left. They feed him and gave him some water. Now they knew they had to find a way to get their mule off the mountain. The mule tried walking and then jumping, when they saw this they decided to start calling him Jumper.

They remembered during the 1930’s when the big depression was going on and everyone was really poor Mr. Jones cow had lost a front leg, in an accident on the farm. Mr. Jones was so poor he just could not afford to lose the cow so he took some 2X4 wood and made a wooden leg for it. They hooked it on with straps, it worked and in just a few days the cow was walking all over the farm. This gave them an idea; they cut a piece of tree 16-18” long and put some heavy padding on it. They took straps off some of their packs and used them to fasten the wooden leg to Jumper. They got all ready to leave and told Jumper come on lets get back to camp. They could tell Jumper was hurting so they took some of their old white lightning and gave it to him. They mixed it with a little water; it seemed to take some of the pain away. Alfred, Albert and Wilber had been making white lightning for years right along with their home made beer. Even in the army they always made their own brew. After one and a half days they reached their company base. They both checked in and also to the medic’s office. The medics bandaged their wounds and they told the Dr. of Jumper to patch up the leg. At first the Dr. said he had to report this and have the mule put to sleep. They both reminded the doctor of the time they had saved his life on the front line. He had told them if ever they needed something to just ask and he would do it for them. So the good doctor fixed Jumpers leg up and in a few weeks it was looking real nice. They built a new wooden leg for Jumper, one that fit a little better.

Alfred and Albert had been in Korea for a number of years with no leave and no R&R. They were due for a good rest and a ship was leaving for Australia in a few days so the doctor arranged for them to go. The doctor said one more thing we got this pet mule, he told him the story of Jumper and the soldiers. All had served in World War II and in the Korean War. He asked the commanding officer to please help, he reminded the man that he had helped him out several times and that he had promised to pay him back. After some fancy paper work he had Alfred and Albert and their mule on the ship headed for Australia. They spent three or four weeks on the ship but finally arrived at their destination. They all left the ship and were assigned to stay on a big farm way back in the hills. They could all three get the needed rest. On the farm they noticed all the Kangaroos that were always jumping on their rear legs. Jumper was watched them for a long time. He was talking to himself and he kept saying he could never do that. One day he decided to try jumping on his back legs, at first he fell down but he got right back up and tried again. He could walk well on his wooden leg but he really preferred to jump. After a few months of rest all three were getting itchy and needed something to do. They had been making their home brew and white lightning and caring for the fann. The word came that in a few days the Korean War would be ending. They were praying that they could go home soon and take old Jumper with. The army told them that in a few days they would be put on a troop ship and sent back home. They had told their story to the commanding officer and they told him they wanted to take Jumper home with them.

They docked in California from there it was only a few days before they were completely out of the army. They got word of a big government surplus sale. They bought Jumper for ten dollars a two and a half-ton Ford truck a welding machine and some shop tools. Prices were so good they couldn’t pass them up. They had lots of money saved up so it was no problem. They got Jumper loaded and all their goods and headed for home. In a few days they were home it was hard to believe they had served their country again. They prayed they would not be called back. Old Jumper was out running all day with the other farm animals. Alfred and Albert went back to making the best been and homemade White Lightning in the world. They were enjoying themselves again and had called their friends up. Wilber had been wounded quite bad in Korea and was discharged. He came home to South Dakota and was happy to be back. It had been eight months since he had seen Alfred and Albert, he just couldn’t wait. He called them and they all got together and had a big party. Wilber was glad to see old Jumper, he was surprised to see him jumping and getting along so good on three legs.

One day they took old Jumpers wooden leg off, he just jumped around like a rabbit. He didn’t look like he would need the wooden leg anymore. Wilber, Alfred and Albert loved having parties so they arranged for a big barn dance at Wilber’s on Saturday night. They got their musical instruments out and started playing. Drinking as if there was no end. Everyone was having a real good time giving Jumper beer. He could drink a pale full in no time at all. He really loved beer, he would start jumping around and dancing. You would have to it to believe it. Jumper put on a real show. He could get around on three legs better than some animals that have all four. All three and Jumper were beginning to be a bunch of drinkers. One day Alfred got on Jumper and to his surprise Jumper loved it, he gave Alfred a ride he would never forget.

Soon all three were riding Jumper and he just loved it. Old Jumper was jumping just like the Kangaroos. They fitted him with a saddle and they would ride him into town. He would jump around and really put on a show. As long as they fed him that homemade beer. He was happy he could get around so good on three legs. A few months after he got home Alfred got word from the army that they were awarding all three and Jumper their purple hearts and other awards. The army wanted to present these metals to them at a big event. So the V.F.W. in Wounded Knee arranged a big party. People from all over western South Dakota came, word had gotten out about Jumper. Thousands showed up, the small village just could not provide for all the people. The story made the headlines in the big city of Rapid City. All three and Jumper were now famous.

One day old Alfred’s cigar fell into a pale of beer and blew up. It reminded them off the mines in Korea but lucky for them no one was hurt. Jumper was drinking at least a pale a day and he could drink more but they didn’t want to make him a drunk. There was one thing really bad about the beer they made, it made you have really bad gas. If Jumper let on off you could smell it in the next county. The cattle and horses were starting to stay away from him because he smelled so bad. It had been raining for days and the little river was starting to look like the Missouri River. Luckily Alfred and Albert had built their farm up high in the hills. The water would not bother them, but they couldn’t get off the farm. If Jumper could only jump the river they could, but it was too wide.

With all the rain the river was really wide, Jumper drank from it all morning but it was still too wide. Alfred and Albert smoked cigars. He had four or five jugs of beer on his saddle, if he needed a drink he would reach back and get one. His cigar got to close to Jumpers tail and Jumper had just let off a big winder, one you could really smell. Alfred heard a big bang, Jumper took one big jump and he jumped the river like it was just a creek. Alfred had now found out how to really make Jumper jump. Just be sure Jumper drank that homemade beer. That beer was so powerful if the army knew about it they would buy it and use it to make bombs out of. When Alfred got to town all the people were surprised to see him. They couldn’t figure out how he had crossed the river.

Alfred told Albert and Wilber about Jumper and how he could jump so far. They all made sure Jumper had his supply of beer. All they needed was beer and cigars to get him to jump. It wasn’t long before Jumper was jumping over cars; he’d put on a real show. They took him to the county fair and he jumped over three tractors. People went crazy. The three-legged mule was now known all over western South Dakota and Nebraska. Alfred and Albert got calls from as far away as Minnesota. They wanted to see Jumper jump over cars, tractors, they had planned on taking him to a big fair in Nebraska to jump over thirty Hells Angels Motorcycles but at the last minute they got word the Angles would not be in the city. Jumper continued to jump at fairs and just how he could jump so far remained a secret with Alfred, Albert and Wilber. Just feeding Jumper his beer and smoking a cigar remains a secret to this day.