Monday was a great day, weather-wise. Brilliant sunshine, low humidity, temperature just right — 82F (28C) — when I was leaving work. As I was mounting my Harley in the parking garage, I was ticking off in my head a list of things that I had to do when I got home. Work on the patio. Call some senior pals to check in with them. Prepare dinner for my spouse and me. Pay some bills. Routine stuff — none of which included motorcycling.
As I was exiting the parking garage, I saw a guy on a Harley Ultra who seemed to be waiting for me. He gave me a big grin and said,
A few months ago, I was introduced to a young man who I will call Dan (not his real name). He is the son of a mutual friend. His uncle was killed in action in Afghanistan last year. Dan was given his uncle’s Honda Shadow motorcycle by his uncle’s wife. Dan loved that bike and often admired his uncle riding it. While he did not want to get a motorcycle the way that he got it, there it was. He wanted to learn how to ride it, both in memory of his uncle as well as to pursue his interest in motorcycling. He couldn’t afford a car and his Mom only had one, so he seldom had his own wheels. He was so tired of bumming rides from friends and using the bus.
Dan is much like me at his age — 20. He is a rising junior at our state’s university, my alma mater. Unlike most students, he declined on-campus housing and remained living at home. He has four younger siblings and a mother who works two jobs to provide for the family. His father died ten years ago and his Mom has not remarried. He felt an obligation to continue helping out at home, paying rent in-kind by mowing the lawn and doing household chores and maintenance. He also works full-time during the summer at a tough maintenance job that is physically demanding and exhausting.
But, he has weekends off… and he wanted to learn to ride that motorcycle. So he asked me for help and guidance. I recommended…
Where did those two days go?
As we call it in the United States — a vacation is the same as a holiday in other countries. Whatever you call it, I need one of those things. I was remarking to my boss, “I haven’t had a real vacation in a decade.”
As a “boot aficionado,” owning and wearing hundreds of pairs of boots, and also being an avid motorcyclist (aka “biker”), I see search queries and have received email from time to time from some guys who are looking for recommendations on boots with cowboy style yet are suitable for use when operating a motorcycle.
Most traditional cowboy boots have a smooth leather sole — totally wrong and unsafe for use while operating a motorcycle. Stop at a light where cars have dripped oil on the road… slip slip slip… or try to maneuver a heavyweight bike into a parking lot … slip slip slip… and sometimes, fall.
I am one of those guys who carefully selects his boots — right boots for the right job. Dress cowboy boots for the office — motorcycle boots with good soles for the bike — rugged work boots for construction. Seldom do the “boot functions” work in multiple applications.
I have been pleased to see, however, some boots that can work as a good motorcycle boot as well as a stylish cowboy boot to wear in an office. Here’s my latest discovery–
Hi, this is J, BHD’s twin brother. I have hijacked his blog again to write one of my occasional guest posts.
I am working on a volunteer project to assist people to re-establish their lives after living through social turmoil and political strife. I will not say where I am other than I am not on the continent of Africa. I guess I can also say I’m here because I speak the indigenous local language that I learned years ago on my “real job.”
I seldom have internet access, so that is why you have not seen comments on this blog’s posts since I began this assignment in May. I am now in a major city in this country for a series of meetings, and there is good internet access in the hotel — so here I am.
There is no reason for this post. Not really. It’s not about me, anyway. It is about how I got here. I credit that to my big lug of a brother (who you know as “BHD”) whose caring heart and actions to extend that caring to me and to others affected me deeply.
I am not the only man who has a disdain for those ugly, unsightly, dorky-looking things that some men choose to wear in summer months. I can’t call them footwear. They really aren’t. They are a symbol of a very poor choice made by men who don’t know how bad they look and how bad they are for the feet. Or to quote an article in a newspaper, “flip-flops connote a sort of half-dressed slatternliness, a sense that the wearer has forgotten to do anything at all with his or her body from the ankles down.”
A visitor to this blog, Craig, wrote a comment on an old post where my foot doctor said that he strongly disapproved of flip-flops. Because that post was so old, I doubt readers would see it, so I brought the comment forward to make this mid-40s man’s words about a new passion for wearing harness boots and disdain for flip-flops and sandals more evident.
Here is what Craig said:
It may be the phase of the moon or something else, but within the past ten days, I have received 14 messages from guys in the U.S. and Canada who are looking to meet other men who like boots and leather as I do.
I have been asked,
… “Do you know any guys in (city, state) who are into men into tall boots?”
… “What gay bars do you recommend in (location) where I can find a guy into leather?”
… “Where can I meet Mr. Right in (city, state) who also looks hot in leather and boots?”
My spouse and I worked on our backyard waterfall and patio project all day Saturday. Starting with buying another 800 pounds of rocks and sand (10 80-pound bags) first thing in the morning, we transported the materials to our back yard via wheelbarrow and prepared the foundation for the patio.
I took a few hours on Sunday to do something different…
Face it, we all do it. When we see someone we have not met before, we make observations and compare them with our past experiences. Examples:
…a man in a business suit carrying a briefcase and looking determined — he’s probably busy with something related to his work (and probably takes himself too seriously.)
…a woman pushing a child in a stroller on a sidewalk on a nice day — a happy Mom, Aunt, or child care provider.
…a man playing softball — someone who enjoys sports. Or at least, enjoys softball.
…a young man with spiked hair, metal chains, metal-band t-shirt, shorts, flip-flops, poking at a smartphone — kids these days.
…a woman wearing a motorcycle club vest (club colors) astride a Harley, leading a group of riders wearing similar club colors behind her — a road captain for an organized motorcycle riding club.
Question: are any of these people gay?