We had many different types of people come into our bar.
A select few were decent, hard working men and women who simply enjoyed a glass of beer now and then and liked to have someone to talk to. I suppose this fellow fits into that category.
My two brothers and myself were impressed by him when he pulled into our parking lot on his pink Harley Davidson Motorcycle. It had the big leather saddle bags on each side and was as clean as a whistle. The chrome glistened in the sun. As with most riders, this machine was his pride and joy.
He came a few times and paid myself and my next oldest brother to watch over it while he went inside for a quick beer. My oldest brother who loved motorcycles and looked like Clark Kent, even in his white apron, was the cook along with my mother and had little time for our foolishness.
My other brother and I thought this man was an interesting fellow.
He was not very tall and a bit stout and with a very short neck. He might have had a weight lifters body under his leathers, but it was hard to tell. His face was the remarkable thing about him, however. It seemed to me that he was the “missing link,” that we talked about in school.
He had a round face and his skin was wrinkled deeply. He had the look of a Shar Pei dog. He had far more skin on his face than he needed. Perhaps it was from the wind blowing against it all day for years on end as he rode his motorcycle. I thought so at the time, anyway.
In any event, he reminded us of a pink chimpanzee with deep set blue eyes and a short neck. I can still see him in my minds eye. I had seen those trained chimps on the T.V. that could ride a motorcycle. That was what came to my mind when I saw him.
For some reason on that day, we decided to try something a little different.
As he left us to watch over the bike and his helmet for a quick beer, an idea came into our collective mind. That is to say that I cannot remember who’s idea it was, but I went along with it, so I share a portion of the blame.
We wrestled the bike ever so slowly into an upright position and some how managed to push it around to the back of our bar. We then rushed in to where he was seated and told him that “his baby” had been stolen. His reaction was immediate and overwhelming.
“Call the police!” he yelled as he jumped up from the red stool that he had been seated on ran outside. The frosty beer mug slid across the bar as it left his hand. He looked for his bike while he was running around in all directions wringing his hands and looking at us with suspicion.
My father gave us a hard look and we knew that he understood what we had done. We were in deep trouble if he was right. Sadly, he was. We understood the look on his face and we scrambled to bring the bike back to its owner, as quickly as we could.
It was a large bike and very heavy. We were innocent young children, after all. It had clearly been a bad idea from the start. The owner of the bike was not happy, to say the least.
He put his gloves back on, climbed back onto his Road King and settled back into its deep, wide, leather seat.
He may have mentioned to my father what he thought about us and what our punishment should be, but I don’t remember. It was a very long time ago. I was just around seven or eight, I think. This event is shrouded in the deep fog of a distant memory.
He gave us a final look of disgust as he quickly kicked his beautiful bike back to life, slowly turned it around and rode off, never to be seen again. That was the last time I ever saw him. I think his beer was on the house that day.
That was a small price to pay for a very foolish act by the both of us. My childhood seemed like a long one in some ways and full of interesting events. I went to work early in life, but still found time to do some stupid things. Thank goodness for that. I learned a little from each silly mistake and by the time I was a young adult I was nearly perfect.
If you believe that, I have a bridge back east that I am interesting in selling.