A Man And His Grandfather

WORDS: Adrian Jones – Daphne, AL

SUBMITTED: June 30th, 2012

When I was 9, a man I knew bought his wife a Honda scooter. They were semi-retired and spent many months touring the U.S. in a Winnebago. His logic was she could use it in the motor parks to run around. Well she didn't like it, and so after much childish coaxing ----begging--- and promises of chores and improved school grades, I was allowed to put-put around the yard. Then the street in front of the house, and eventually the 5 mile ride to my house and back. Eventually the little Honda just took up permanent residence at my house. I have been riding every minute I can the 34 years since.

That man was my Grandfather. I contest to this day, he knew my Grandmother wouldn't like the scooter. She never rode a day in her life. However, this was his way of getting around Moms repeated "No" answer to the "Can I have a dirt bike?" question from me. Many bikes have followed, but that little Honda Express started it all.
He never road "recreationally" but had spent time riding a Harley in Europe during WWII. 
Pop "supported" my riding over the years, always showing much interest in my bikes, including my current '05 Triumph Tiger. He was the first to see her on my ride back to the Florida Keys from purchasing it in Orlando. I had to make a pit stop in Pompano Beach, Florida as I headed south, and show it off to him.

He never spoke of his time in the Army (where he received the Purple Heart) except to say he rode a Harley WLA, how he enjoyed the machine, and how it helped him through some bad situations. "It was quite a machine." he would say with a crooked smile and just a slight gleam in his eye.

This man who was so active, and driving till just 2 months ago, is now under Hospice care and his time is short. He taught me many, many things and opened up a world to me I never could have imagined. A better Grandfather no man could have asked for. 
Now living in Alabama, I may be making a trip soon to Pompano, and I think it would be most fitting to make that trip...on the Tiger. I know he would agree with that.

By the time this makes it to print (if it does) he will most certainly have passed. And my little trip will have concluded. As will one of his, however a new one will just be starting. Godspeed Pop, Godspeed.

We received word that he passed away recently. We thank him for his service and may he rest in peace...or even better...up in the sky, riding that WLA with his crooked smile and a gleam in his eye. MC