First off, hello from Leeds, AL during the Hotter Deeper Stupider Tour. Today we went to the The Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum. Mr. Man and I have been trying to get to this museum for several years. We finally did it today and it was everything I could have hoped for. I got a lot of pictures today but one really stood out for me today. The museum had a replica of Captain America from Easy Rider. It was one of the first bikes you see as you come into the museum. Mr Man walked in and looked up and maybe got a little teary.
I’ll make a confession here, I’ve never actually seen Easy Rider. It came out before my time and was not something I would have watched on video. We own it now…and still I haven’t seen it. While it is an important movie for Mr. Man, it’s a very difficult movie for him to watch. The ending, with its nihilistic and meaninglesss demise is hard for him. The lifestyle of the men depicted in the movie is, as far as I can tell, close enough to the lifestyle of the men he first rode with that he feels the movie is representative of his early riding experience. The senseless close-minding bigotry of the ending is too painful for him. As he realizes that many of the men he rode with have passed on, I think it gets even harder for him to watch. So the movie sits in our house unopened and un-watched and will likely remain so for some time.
Towards the end of the day, I came upon him standing in front of that bike. He was just looking at it like the rest of the world had disappeared. Like all the years between now and when he first threw a leg over a Harley were gone and he was nineteen again. He stood there with the replicated relic of his easy and misspent youth in front of him like it was a boyhood crush he was finally getting a chance to ask out on a date. He turned towards me as I brought my camera up but still…his sillouette against the bike that shaped his early riding career so much made me fall in love with him and motorcycles all over again.