August 5, 2014



  I know this is probably a repeat of a story I told a couple years ago, but I can’t get it out of my mind.
  The big bike rally in Sturgis started this past weekend. I guess they’ll get around half a million guests over the next few days. And next year, as the 75th anniversary, is expected to be ever larger!
  I wrote about the rally a couple decades ago. How Shirley and I hopped on my Honda Super 90 and headed down from the ranch. We didn’t get too far. Shirley got her sweat pants tangled in the spokes as we headed down that long hill leading to the Lost Bridge. That’s back when we were younger and two of us fit on a little 90cc bike better.
 Now, I only look on enviously as bikes roar past our place on the way to the Hills. I’ve gone through Sturgis, usually pulling a trailer with a horse in it, rather than hauling or riding a bike. You see a lot of strange sights. A great big tattooed guy with a parrot on his shoulder. Skinny old guys that look like they must have gotten a kitchen pass from the nursing home. Big old beer bellies that should not see the light of day. You see a lot of tattoos on girls that have kind of stretched out of shape over the years.
  But, back to the story that I wanted to repeat. It always brings a smile to my face as I hear that roar of a Harley and see a couple headed down Highway 22 to the Rally.
 A couple of years ago, our son Will had to haul a horse to one of the good horse doctors in South Dakota. And the clinic is in Sturgis. This mare had pawed over a barbed wire fence and dang near cut a foot off.
 We normally shy away from Sturgis during the rally. It’s not a real easy place to get through with a horse trailer in the middle of bike week. But this was an emergency.
  Will had his two boys strapped in their car seats and headed through Sturgis. Now, from here to Sturgis, you head down 22 and 79. You go through Newell and past Bear Butte. You take a right and head into Sturgis. By this time, during Rally Week, you are in hog heaven. Campgrounds, parking lots, lawns, streets…Everything is covered with bikes and bikers. Some clad in leather. Some clad in camo. Some not clad.
 As Will pulled up to the stoplight to turn south to the Interstate, a biker and his passenger pulled right up alongside. As RJ, who was probably around four at the time, looked out the window from his car seat, a couple pulled up on this big old rumbling Harley.
 Much to Will’s shock, the lady passenger was topless! Not only topless, but this rather well-endowed lady was painted up in red, white, and blue, with stars where her…Well, she was painted up!
 It was kind of like that old Ray Stevens song, “Ethel, don’t look, But it was too late!” You remember that?
 Before Will could do anything, RJ hollered, “Dad! Look! They make the girls ride on the back!”
  Oh, the innocence of youth!
      Later, I’m headed to Sturgis!