Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Part One
Wade’s Story

Chapter One

Wade Brolin was born in a little dust bowl town deep in the heart of Oklahoma back in 1964. His daddy ran off just before he was born. His Mama who was much too young for motherhood hated her life from that moment on ever. As Wade remembered it they’d lived hand to mouth until his Mama remarried when he was about three. Life should have improved for them but it didn’t. Sadly his mother’s new groom was a full-blown, mean to the bone, raging alcoholic. He was loud, foul tempered and he always smelled like whiskey. He beat Wade and his mama regularly. Life was hard, empty, scary and very lonely for him as a young boy. He wished his daddy would come back and take him away from all this but that never happened.

Early on it was apparent to Wade that no one much cared for him. Mostly he was ignored by both the adults in the house. As he grew he learned to make his own way doing odd jobs in the area. He was willing to do anything a young boy could. Wade had a kind heart and he shared what little he earned with his Mama. That’s not to say that she seemed to care one way or the other. She never thanked him or said anything at all her indifference was all consuming.

When Wade hit his teens he was mad at the world and began running wild. Some of his anger was directed at his long lost daddy for running off. Yet he knew that deep down he was mostly angry with his Mama for simply not caring. He started getting into trouble. Finally he managed to channel the bulk of his rage onto his step-daddy for being the rotten bastard that he was.

One too many beatings caused Wade to snap. He’d finally had enough. By then he was sixteen years old. He was big for his age standing nearly six feet tall and weighing almost two hundred pounds. He was strong and fit and mad as hell which is never a good combination when mixed in with all that testosterone. Wade made a decision that there would be no more of the old bastard’s beatings.

So on a dry dusty April evening his drunken step-daddy took a swing at Wade as he walked past him on his way to the kitchen. That was all it took. Wade beat his step daddy within inches of his worthless life. He left him lying face down on the front room floor in a pool of blood and vomit. Although his mother had seen what took place she said nothing and as usual did nothing.

Looking around his small bedroom he calmly packed the few things he owned then went to say his final good-bye to his Mama. Although he hugged her arms hung limply at her side. He found no comfort there. Taking one last look at her knowing he would never see her again he felt even more alone. The paint weathered front door squeaked before it slammed shut behind him.

He marched deliberately across the dirt driveway towards the old bastards beat up old Chevy pick-up truck. Wade climbed in turning the key liberating her while taking charge of his life. They sat there idling as he looked at the place where he’d grown up and couldn’t remember one single happy memory. Pushing down on the accelerator the gravel spun beneath the tires as he drove away. As the Chevy tore down the narrow dirt road as Wade seemed to come to life.

Chapter Two

Because of the sheer size and strength of him it was easy to pick up work on construction sites along the way. He had no plan, no real idea of where he wanted to go but he knew he needed money. The days were long, hot and dusty. The nights in the old Chevy were uncomfortable but he was determined to make it through. Usually he was the youngest guy on the job site because of it he took his fair share of crap from the older guys. Yet over time he proved himself by working hard and listening to what they said. The older men began to take him more seriously. They could see the raw determination soon after they began teaching him the trade that would sustain him for his entire life.

Wade continues drifting from place to place working as he went. In that first year he’d worked his way all the way to Arizona. Phoenix was booming building was going on everywhere. It was easy to get a job. He soon learned that it was cheap to live there so he decided to stick around for awhile. The pay was good while the hours were long and hot. Not that he cared he’d never really known anything else.

In his spare time Wade spotted a motorcycle shop on a side street near where he’d been parking the truck to sleep at night. Sometimes he could hear the bikes going in and out until the wee hours of the morning. He found he liked the sound. Working up his nerve he went inside one day after work and had a look around.

No one said a word when h began showing up there on a regular basis. He stayed in the background making certain not to get into anyone’s way. The place was terribly disorganized and dirty. Wade took it upon himself to start cleaning up still no one said a word. The men mostly ignored him. He soon found that he enjoyed hearing the bikers tell their stories. Especially the outlaw club members that came in. He was smart enough to stay quiet fading into the woodwork. In doing so he learned a lot about their lifestyle.

It was then that he discovered his first real passion. He wanted a bike of his own more than he’d ever wanted anything. It bordered on obsession. He read all the magazines he could get his hands on learning everything he could about Harley Davidson motorcycles. He listened and watched everything said and done as the bikes were worked on at the shop.

The bike shop was known as Nastys Garage. He learned it was named after the owner and for good reason. Nasty was a small man standing just five foot two inches tall. His foul mouth and bad temper more than made up for his size. Men a foot taller than him dared not mess with Nasty. Pissing him off didn’t take much either he had a hair trigger. Nasty took a shine to the big kid that kept his mouth shut, took out the trash and swept the place up without being asked. Most importantly the kid hadn’t asked for a thing. He’d come to respect his patience and perseverance. Nasty didn’t really know anything about the kid yet he believed he knew enough trusting his own judgment. There was a part of him that believed that what ever this kid’s story turned out to be it was going to be some damn fairytale.

In the back room of Nastys shop tucked away in the far corner Wade discovered a basket case lying under a dirty tarp. A basket case is what bikers call a motorcycle that had been taken completely apart. It appeared from the amount of dust that had accumulated it must have been hanging around for a very long time. He was intrigued by the dismantled mess trying to figure out what model it was. He didn’t dare ask but he kept his eye on the old wreck. After talking to Nasty about the parts and frame under the tarp he learned it was a panhead.

Wade continued to show up after work and on his days off doing anything and everything he was asked to do. It didn’t matter if it was running errands to mopping the head. After more free hours of hard work and some old fashioned wheeling and dealing he was finally able to get ole Nasty to at least think about selling it to him.
Somehow Wade sensed that lying under that dusty old tarp was something more than just simply an old bike. It didn’t matter to him that the thing was in a million pieces or that it hadn't run in fifteen years. The only thing that mattered to him was the fact that he was very close to owning his first Harley.

He ate slept and dreamed about rebuilding that bike. He talked to everyone that came by the shop that had a custom bike. He asked questions and listened intently to their answers. No matter what anyone said he believed that she would once again be the beautiful 1956, panhead that she was meant to be. On the last day of that month in June, Nasty told him the panhead was complete with the exception of the tires. Then told him the bike was now his. For the first time in his entire life Wade felt like life was worth living.

Chapter Three

It took him a full six months spending every cent and all his free time until she was finished. The motorcycle had never looked so good her engine purred. Of course to Wade she represented more than just some motorcycle rebuild. In apply him self to this task he had grown more confident and for the first time in his life felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. This was something new for Wade. He was especially proud of rebuilding the original motor. He’d accomplished it under the guidance of Nasty and Dago Red.
Red was one of the outlaw biker’s that had taken a liking to him after he started hanging around the shop. When he began the project Red had first taken an interest. It was also true that it was Dago Red who discovered Wade had been sleeping in his pickup truck all this time. Red offered Wade a room to rent. With a nod from Nasty Wade accepted. He had no way of knowing at the time what a deep friendship would be forged between them. Dago Red was not quite old enough to be Wade’s father however over time they treated one another accordingly.

The bike was a painted a bright shade of yellow with lots of sparkling chrome. He loved the high ape hanger handle bars. The twisted spoke wheels front and back glistened in the sunlight. There was a narrow fender on the front and a short wider fender on the rear. All the bikers teased him relentlessly as they watched him bolt a tiny black pee pad onto the beautifully painted rear fender for the occasional passenger. He added a short twisted chrome sissy bar and a set of outrageous fishtail pipes. The bike had exceeded everyone’s expectations including Wade’s. He received his share of compliments wherever he rode her. It proved to Wade that he had a good eye for detail just like Nasty said.

With a little coaching and a few embarrassing moments Wade was riding like a professional in short order. He trailed behind Dago Red and his friends riding from one end of Arizona to the other. They camped up near the Grand Canyon taking in all its beauty. Wade had never seen anything quit as beautiful. On another trip they spent a weekend in Flagstaff enjoying some of Red’s friends. They trekked to Havasu in the August heat because Wade accused them of lying to him about the London Bridge. He found it hard to believe that an entire bridge was shipped from England to America but found he was wrong.

Next they road south headed for Tucson. They planned to party with another club over the Labor Day weekend. It would be three days of non stop fun and partying. During that first year Wade put on more than three thousand miles. He learned to feel comfortable in his own skin. More surprising was the fact that he had come to feel at home and at peace among these men who had taken him in no questions asked.
To be Continued...