I met with Tina, an old friend of mine yesterday. She is a Lady Biker who rides with the Chrome Divas. They are raising money for Cedars Home, and we brain-stormed about donors in Havelock. They are a unique group of biker chicks and I am for them and their cause.
However, as Tina and I talked we both started dropping names: Mother Moses, Gypsy, Animal, the Tribesman, the Association, the Bandits, the Screaming Eagles, the Devils Fly High, and the Brothers not Forgotten. Yes, Lincoln has had its share of bikers over the years. It reminded me of how far I’ve come from the days of my kid-hood when I wore an American flag on my cut-off jean jacket. Talk about drama!
One day, that flag on my back got me crossways with Big Mike Shade and five Screaming Eagles. There I was a scrawny, long-haired 14-year-old kid standing up to Shade who threatened to cut that flag off my jacket. I put Big Mike at a loss when I told him Johnny Bradford would hunt him down if he even touched me. I am sure Mike would laugh at the memory. I am sure he would laugh even more if he knew I didn’t even know Johnny Bradford at that moment in time. But still, my ruse worked and I smugly walked away from him and those five Eagles, still wearing my flag.
Yes, those were the days. I wanted nothing more than to grow up to be a biker. But then, one night two of my childhood friends got into motorcycle crash on 37th and Saint Paul Avenue, and Dennis Grant was killed, hitting a parked truck head-on. After that night, I had a change of heart and I eventually removed that flag from my jacket. I took the flag and all my motorcycle patches out to Stephen’s Creek where I burned them in a fire beneath the old railroad bridge.
Into that fire also went a 900 page story I’d written about bikers. That story, Wings like Eagles, was my training for later books to come, but it was time I set my sights on helping kids. I have never forgotten those earlier dreams of becoming a bad-ass biker, and while I would love to ride a Harley one day before I pass from this earth, I think this writer-role is a better fit, and I am sure those who have read my books would have to agree.