Old folks, moonshine, hillbillies, tombstones, cheap beer, punk rockers, purple Ducatis, monkeys but no danged banjos. Maybe I should talk about Perth instead.
I ditched out of my busy work schedule a few weeks ago after I got a 1972 Ducati 350cc single off of eBay. It was out in Wisconsin, so I figured I'd drive out there in my beat to hell '86 Toyota truck. The 22R motor is the slant six of 4 cylinders if you're wondering.
My "busy work schedule" is mostly me thinking, I should get off my lazy ass and find a couple of full-time jobs to work. Two days a week at a music warehouse and random construction work is nice. Maybe I could get a job at Folsom Prison. That'd fit nicely into my sarcastic job history. "Well, you see, after I was farming monkeys, I worked at Folsom Prison shooting men from Reno who were there for shooting men from Reno.
Which is to say, I was just trying to bid up the price of the Ducati since it was so cheap but ended getting it for $885. Probably because it's purple.
The purple won't last long. Especially because it's the colors off the Sacramento Kings basketball team. Oh, and the Monarchs, I think. I'm going to strip it apart, clean off the freshly painted purple, and ask my brother in law to paint it. I might as well bring it into the living room for that. My new roommates haven't seen any Italian motorcycles inside. Yet. Although if there's a bike in the living room, it'll be hard to complain about my roommate's cat puking on the floor.
I'm pretty sure my living room is meant for bikes. Right before I left for Australia there was a Ducati square Sebring and a Moto Guzzi 125cc single.
So, I drove out to Denver, picked up a narrowcase frame for Jim Franzen. Jim's site is mostly down right now but it should be up and running again soon.
I'll link to him since for some reason, my site ranks high on google. There's hardly any shit talking about Phil Hitchcock's Ducati work, but I still rank high on google. Once again, just like the Aussies know, buy parts from him, even though you have to return them half the time. Just don't let him work on anything.
Since I turned down the biker who offered to kick Phil's ass, I reckon karma will catch up with him. He'll probably have a heart attack and die quietly in his sleep when he's 96. That'll show him!
Here's some pictures of my bike at Bob Brown's shop. The crankshaft & piston had some problems. Tony Hanagan, another fine kook, took some pictures of the wreckage. I've gotten some crap about letting Bob Brown and Ian Gowanloch fix my bike for free when Phil Hitchcock should be footing the bill. I've offered Bob & Ian both money but they both said fuck off.
All I can do is plug their work, unless anyone has any suggestions. It'd be worth it to send an engine to Bob from the US for work. Better than the wait at Syd's Cycles and Syd didn't come up with the 4 valve head for the Ducati twin.
Bob Brown at Melbourne Desmo Centre. 9372 2113
62 Stubbs, Kensington, Melbourne
I emailed a friend in Milwaukee who posts under Rumblelizard and asked if I could crash on her couch. She says sure, but she's got a big house and I could sleep in the guest room. I forget that outside of California houses are affordable.
She paid $94,000 for a 2 story, finished basement, house with a garage and a backyard in Milwaukee. In Sacramento, that'd be $450,000. At least when I compared it to the house next to my sister. I don't know if the Sacramento house has a basement though.
Rumblelizard went with me to pick up the bike. TJ, the guy who sold it, has a friggin ton of nifty Brit Bikes. Which only reminds me that I need to get one with a sidecar. Or find a lightweight sidecar for the Duc 350 and deal with it. If you've read the stuff I've written, I'm not in any speed race and a small bike with a sidecar would be fine by me. Like I've said a brazilian times, I'm an idiot. If you don't get the "brazilian" joke, look up Bush and brazilian.
After Milwaukee, I made my way to Chicago to check on Misha's monkeys. All are doing fine, if you're wondering.
Which of course, led me to Southern Ohio and Kentucky to check on Pop and his girlfriend. Pop is my grandfather who's turning 90 on November 5. He's been shacked up with Ruth -- a much younger lady (she's 87!). Pop is a cradle robber.
Pop has some sort of black spot a growin' in his lungs. The doc started to explain the lengthy methods on how to check it, and Pop basically said, "I'm almost 90, the hell with it". Where does my orneryness come from?
Pop got the local mortuary guy to take us out past Flat Hollow (pronounced "holler") Kentucky and out to Cousin Ernie's farm. I asked my dad who we were related to out there and he said "everybody". I thought he was kidding, but nope, all hillbillies are related. Everyone we'd see, Pop would say, "Oh, so you're Jed Damron. Your dad is Fred ain't he?" Jed would say, "My dad is Richard, Fred's my grandfather" and Pop says something like, "Fred's married to my 2nd cousin Billy".
That worked with 90% of the people we'd meet. Pop is talkative and he'd figure out how related everyone is.
Cousin Ernie doesn't talk much, and most of what he says is "yup" and "nope" with a nice Kentucky drawl. Ernie has the family graveyard because out there, you plant your relatives on your land.
Pop wants to get planted between his parents and his sister. We're supposed to wait for him to croak, then mix his ashes with my Granny's ashes and stuff 'em in a hole in the ground.
I wish I had a videocamera with me but some Kiwi swiped my cameras 4 hours before I left Auckland for Tokyo. I asked Pop how come he didn't dig his own hole and Ernie said we could just shove him in. Hopefully, when I get around to digging my own grave, I can make fun of death like Pop.
I figured I'd find some moonshine, but no luck. If anyone is reading this from the Portsmouth area and knows where I can find some moonshine, let me know. I have some of the store bought Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey (tm) that's going out to some Aussies and Kiwis who really helped me out on my trip.
Better plug them too:
Bob & Jenn Dumma. Hopefully they'll share it with Romeo (who has a green frame Ducati he bought new). Nothing like corn likker to wash back good Scotch with. They'll also get some US Coca Cola so Brock, their son, can add it to his Coke collection.
Ian & Col McPhee (since Perth Tony doesn't drink, I'll send something else along for him & his kids), Ian & Georgia Gowanloch, Bob Brown, Mark Plummer and the kiwis Brendan Kelly & Dave Lockhead are also getting some. Hopefully Bob will poison Tony Hanagan with it. I probably shouldn't torture friendly people with corn whiskey.
I should send them Pabst Blue Ribbon which is going to Pat Hawke. Pat, his wife and his kids were friendly and put me up. They mostly put up with me but Pat thought I was picking on him and wrote some kooky comment about it. So, I'll send him Pabst. America's finest canoe beer.
Canoe beer, you ask? Why is American beer like having sex in a canoe? It's fucking close to water.
And finally, speaking of Drunken Monkeys, here's a link that Doug sent me.
I'm off to Kentucky later today, and next weekend up to Oregon. I need to pick up the NSU Sport Prinz I bought and possibly deliver a Fuji Scooter. Oh, and Doug has set aside a BSA basketcase for Skip. Hey Doug, did I tell you Skip said he'd make a site for you?
I tried several times to volunteer for New Orleans but the local Red Cross didn't (doesn't?) have their shit together. Frustrating.
I did read that a lot of the Horrors of the Superdome (see my last entry), were overinflated. People always need to give a story even when they don't know nuthin'.
And for the guy who thought I was personally calling him an asshole with the fascist asshole rant. I didn't write the rant. "Fascist" seems like a high school term. I probably would've written "doody head" instead.