MY CONNECTION TO HARLEYS GOES WAY BACK!
Well, I have two cousins, Arthur and Jimmy, back in Minnesota. We were really “kissing” cousins. When I love a cousin, I love them!!! SEE THE PICTURES WHEN I WAS LITTLE…..that’s us!!! (Check out my PHOTO GALLERY and guess which one is ME???? Hard to tell, I know!) But these two boys were my inspiration for this song. I spent my whole child hood with these wonderful characters. Having holidays with them that were like fairy tales of adventures, and so much love. They lived in a gorgeous home in an area called Grey Cloud Island in South St. Paul, Minnesota that sat on the bank of the beautiful back waters of the Mississippi River with their Mom and Dad, Art and Zola.
MY childhood was a very special time for me!
My Uncle Art this year has been inaugurated into the Aviation Hall Of Fame in Minnesota for his contributions as a pilot in his life. And, Zola’s families owned a huge brewery for years back there and also have been circus people for many generations. I love these people. The whole family, still, all go to Sturgis, the Harley Rally each year. But what great times we had, swimming, ice skating, fishing and just being like little Tom Sawyers. Anyway, there actually were six of us little cousin monsters, me, Arthur, Jimmy, Nancy Jean, Elgie, Kristy, and little Tommy who was such a bugger. One time we tied him to a sled and sent him down a huge hill OOPS! That is why Tommy is not in the picture. He was recuperating from a broken arm. But I came out to California. And life went on.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A LITTLE SHOWOFF!!!
Arthur and Jimmy are real Harley guys. They are both married, to Renee and Cynthia, respectively. Jim has a Harley and Marine shop in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Arthur has worked with him for years, but has now moved up into the woods in Northern Minnesota. Every weekend they all either ride Harleys, snowmobiles or go to car shows. But as one guy told me at one of our many family funerals, “It is a good thing they are your cousins.”
But, when I wrote this song I thought I would write another fantasy tale, who would have thought, about how some guy just sort of shows up, and takes you away, making the guy this time, a Harley rider. Yeah. “He’s the baddest man in the west, He’s rode the range of life it’s true.” This epic composition I wanted to have a Janis Joplin, bluesy feel. I did do a video once, but the director ran off with all our tape. We had over 100 Harleys show up. Oh well! When I wrote the lyrics I was thinking of a story for a movie. I wanted these characters to be lost on their own but the union made them whole.
Anyway, I have played for many rallies, including one at Glendale Harley Davidson, and just love being a part of these people, the way they just let the wind blow on their spirits as the “ride the open road on a ton of steel, listening to the humming of the polished wheels.” It is a lifestyle to be envied!!! My love to Arthur and Jimmy, and all you riders out there!!!!
Photos arranged and taken by Michael Twamley