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    Herman Gets a Harley

    After years of driving a Honda motorcycle, which Herman tells me he bought new 20 years ago, he’s finally broken down and gone for a Harley-Davidson. We’re still keeping the bike with the sidecar so I can go. In fact, I recently did a fall foliage tour with Herman in the Ural, a Russian made BMW look-a-like with a side car. But he got that used. The Harley’s the first new vehicle he’s bought since the Honda in 1983.

    Herman tells me that he’s been on the Harley-Davidson Website after I go to bed in the evening. So the thought’s been brewing for several weeks. Add to this Harley’s 100th anniversary edition for 2003 and the year end specials as the 2004 bikes came out and he had all the excuses lined up to justify his purchase.

    I’m not a bike person, but even I have to admit that it’s a beautiful machine. I’ve even got used to the sound of the machine so I can hear Herman as he’s coming up the road. My aide Terry, swears each Harley has it’s own distinctive sound. And I would always ask Herman as bikes were going by our house, "Is that a Harley going by?"

    Once his mind was completely made up, off to Van’s Harley-Davidson he went. There was one machine on the showroom floor that Herman fell in love with. That is the machine he has today. I even got into the spirit of things and bought a brand new Harley-Davidson sweatshirt (in fashion conscious gray on gray muted tones, of course.)

    Herman broke way down and even went back a week or two later to purchase some leather chaps which he wears on cool days over his jeans. He even got caught in a rainstorm one day last week, but he had his sturdy Harley and he was dressed in leather, so he didn’t fare too badly.

    I’ve noticed that bikers are in a group all their own. They love to ride no matter what the temperature and generally wave at each other as they pass each other on the road. Our next door neighbor, Joe Hilton, was so excited that Herman got a Harley that he called all the way from Albany to see if it was true. Herman had emailed him at work telling him about the bike and Joe wanted to know all the details. So he called.

    The first thing he said when I answered the phone was, "Is it true? Did he really do it?" My response was swift. "Yes, Joe, he did it. In fact, he’s on the bike right now." As far as I can tell, every day is a bike day as long as it’s not raining.

    He’s going to get what’s called a "sissy bar" for the back of the seat, so if he does have a passenger, they won’t fall off the back when he accelerates. Herman tells me that when he’s on the bike, it feels like it just wants to go. For now I’ll stay in the sidecar and enjoy the view from there.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"