Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

Middle Age Nostalgia - Or How A Biker Is Born

My post this past weekend about the old pickup truck and my father had both myself and my younger brother Gordon walking down memory lane these last few days.  He said when he saw the truck in the parking lot (and we've confirmed it isn't our old truck), his heart skipped a little like "seeing or thinking you are seeing an old friend from a long time ago."   My brother is an amazing musician and his band plays in bars, so he's a night owl and is home during the day.  It gives him a lot of time to surf the net and get nostalgic.  A few weeks ago he sent me this picture of the type of motorcycle we owned when I was a kid that he found online somewhere. 
It sure is different than what I ride today!  It's an old, I think 1970 model year, Yamaha.  it had a whopping 100cc engine (my smallest Harley has a 1450cc engine).  This is NOT our bike either -- just one Gordon found that looked like it.  It's what happens when you get nostalgic and search the Internet.  Dad bought it for about $25 my mother thinks, and it ran fairly well.  We would carry it on the front of the old Ford truck in a rack when we went camping, and I would ride it on the dirt roads in the campgrounds and forests where you didn't need a license.   It fits as perfectly with Alan Jackson's "Drive" as does the old truck, as I remember Dad sitting behind me as I learned to drive it, holding onto the handle bars with me while I got used to it, and telling me how to throttle up and slow down.   I think I was about 12 at the time, and just like today I loved getting out on it and would ride for miles in the woods and not come back for hours, causing much concern to my mother I'm sure.  The bike would also occasionally break down and I'd have to walk back, and Dad and I, we'd hop in the truck to go get it.  Occasionally I'd even sneak it out on the roads in our neighborhood in full violation of the law, and endure the further wrath of my Mother when she found out.  She always hated motorcycles, it's a wonder she let Dad buy this one!  Yet I recall her riding it and even driving it a few times.  And yes, this is me at about 12 or 13 on it in our driveway back in Salt Lake City.  Just like the truck, it's remarkable how the bike Gordon found on line looks like the real one.
My brother is very profound at times, and he and I always enjoy reminiscing about growing up.  I'm a little ticked though that he thinks I'm "middle aged",   but as Gordon said:  "Old stuff is kind of a drug that is sometimes euphoric, and other times disturbing, but still addicting.  I like looking at my old record albums.  I get a little wisp of air from 1977 out of an old album cover and it takes me back for a minute.  I go to Snowbird and get memories and see ghosts from the times I spent up there as a kid and working there for those 6 years in the 80s.  Sometimes those memories don't seem very real...I remember them more like a book I once read, then something I was actually involved in.  I think I am so different and far removed from those years that I have a difficult time making the connection.  Middle age nostalgia is hell, and someday these will be the good old days.  Anyhow, that old truck..'.'ya never know, yaw, we could buy it, fix it up, and go moose huntin' in Alaska you betcha!'" 

Maybe we should...maybe we should.  

Thanks to Gordon for the pictures...and I'm still ticked to be called "middle aged" by someone younger than me.

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