Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
On the road again.
I currently live in a building that looks like a barn. Built two generations before the current owner, carpenter and close friend of mine, Big Joe, became the caretaker. Next to the barn, is a little shack, built by Joe, complete with workbench two vises, out of place kitchen cabinetry and a few strewn tools. Also occupying the shack is Joe's precarious collection of old motorcycle parts and me, for the last two months.
When I returned from Japan, I became the owner of a bike that looked like my friend Chauncey had craned it out of the Coosa River. Before leaving for Japan I had helped assemble it in the basement below my apt., a learning experience for both of us, but the real learning would come more than a year later, when I became the owner.
Chauncey grew tired of the cranky nature of the bike, and the tendency of my welds to crack. He bought a stock ironhead, chucked this one in his dad's garage in Locust Fort AL and put it on craig's list until I got it out of him that it was for sale during an intercontinental skype conversation. It was sold back to me within days and destined to sit in the dark, with gas in the carbs, until I returned 8 months later.
It took me more than two months in Joe's shack to right our collective wrongs on the bike. Yesterday I quintuple kicked the hesitant twin to life. Grumble, pur and little spit. I crossed town to Nick's house where a random old timer, Keith, showed up with a framed piece of history: a black and white picture of his older brother astride his panhead, with something like a 14 over front end, wearing his captain's hat. Perfect. Keith claimed that his brother used to put him on the fender and take him to school. Living it in elementary.
I tuned my ignition sitting on Nick's gravel drive and waited for the sun to go down. When it did I had the ride I had been waiting for more than a year. Small dark forested roads, not a sputter out of the bike. The long way home. She still looks like she was pulled out of a river, but I think she's dialed in now.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Had I gone looking for some particular place rather than any place, I’d never have found this spring under the sycamores. Since leaving home, I felt for the first time at rest. Sitting full in the moment, I practiced on the god-awful difficulty of just paying attention. It’s a contention of Heat Moon’s-leaving as he does any traveler who misses the journey misses about all he’s going to get-that a man becomes his attentions. His observations and curiosity, they make and remake him.
William Least Heat-Moon from Blue Highways
photo: brandon smith
Monday, September 5, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
When Alabama Joe threw a welcome home BBQ for my wife and I this guy reintroduced himself. I didn't really know him before moving to Japan, but I now have the pleasure of getting to know him. Got a passion for riding and a positive attitude all around. Some people are uplifting, Justin Moon is one of those people.
photos: brandon smith