Thoughts about motorcycles, tools that work (or don't), travel, and occasionally politics. Places I've gone, routes that were special, and food I've found along the way.
And, thankfully, not too much of any of it.
This is a note from my friend Bob who is on a month long trip along the east coast:
This is a story of unforeseen circumstances, of serendipity.
I ended up in Bedford VA last night. As chance would have it, the National D-Day memorial is located in Bedford, a small town in the Blue Ridge mountains of VA. I spent the morning at the memorial park. It was a powerful experience
Why Bedford? It’s because of The Bedford Boys. The town of 4,000 sent 35 young men off to war with a parade and much fanfare in early 1941. 23 never returned. They were part of the initial assault wave to hit Omaha beach. 19 were killed in the first 10 minutes. 4 more in the ensuing inland invasion. Bedford had the highest proportional losses of any town in the country. Hence the decision to built the memorial in this small town. The story of the Bedford Boys is tragic.
There are forces active in our country today that seek to erase and rewrite history, destroying memorials as they go. They are misguided, evil or both. I hope they don’t come for the D-Day memorial. There have been regimes in the modern era that have, to varying degrees of success, took action to erase and rewrite history, destroying buildings and artifacts of their history along the way. The Russian Communists, the Chinese Communists, the Khmer Rouge, are examples.
Our country’s history has been both glorious and uplifting as well as sad and tragic. But it is our history. Our history. It can not be undone. It should not be erased and rewritten. What happened to the Indians was tragic. Slavery was very bad. It when against our founding and fundamental principles of Liberty and Justice for all. “All men are created equal”. The southern “Lost Cause” movement was a specious narrative. There is no moral justification for slavery. But we need not allow our history to be erased and rewritten, and our memorials destroyed. If the south wants to honor the brave men that fought for what they wrongly thought was a righteous cause, we should let them. Unfortunately, the misguided and evil forces of active today have had some success. And governments of all levels have kowtowed to them in many cases. It’s sad. Our history happened. It can not be undone. We should remember the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A few months back a woman in a Mercedes was riding on my back bumper maybe 2' away. I kept slowing down but she didn't get the message. Finally as she roared around me I pointed the way to heaven with my middle finger.
At the very next light we were sitting next to each other. She rolled down her window and yelled, "You didn't have to be so rude about it!"
I replied, "Since you were driving like you were from Boston, I wanted to let you know that I'm from Boston too!"
Once a month I take the neighborhood kids to the town swimming pool. It gives them a break from their parents and their parents a break from the kids. It's fun for me and we have pizza afterwards to celebrate that nobody drowned.
Yesterday I took 7 kids (aged 4 - 11 years) for the usual fun and games. This time it was a little different. The kids had to stand next to a line on the wall and the ones that weren't tall enough got a white wrist band to signify that they were limited to the Kiddie Pool.
Then the woman turned to me and wanted to put a blue band on my wrist.
"What is this for?" I asked.
"This shows that you are a responsible adult."
What? Wait! Me? A Responsible Adult!?!?!? - Never in my life has it ever been suggested that I was either Adult or Responsible. This was a whole new chapter in my life. There must be some major shift in the cosmos for this to take place.
Despite this life changing event we all had fun and nobody drowned. The double pepperoni pizza went first followed by the Hawaiian pineapple/ham. Stomach aches are not counted as a casualty.
Today is that glorious day when I reach into the back of my closet for the shorts I put away last fall. 72F today so I'm loving it. I know all of you in Arizona and California would be grabbing your fleece sweaters but here in the land of big mountains we're celebrating!
I had to go to the store so I donned shorts and a t-shirt. I'm so pasty white that people were grabbing their sunglasses as I walked by. What can I say? At least I wasn't like one person who was as white as I was and at least 250 pounds! Do they make super-duty flip-flops for people like that?