My old man used to tell me, “Life is a game of craps.” He was a Navy SEAL and he loved God, his country, and Harleys more than anything. He also liked the number 8 and used to tell me, “There are only 3 ways to get an 8 on the dice- the easy ways or the hard way.” The easy way was by rolling a 6 and 2 or a 3 and 5- but it was far better to roll it the hard way: 4 and 4.” The hard way could be said of his life, our relationship, and his career, so it didn't surprise me when he started to rebuild the 1970 C-10 pickup in our modest garage back home.
Home for the summer I took a gamble of my own and asked dad if I could rebuild the old Harley race bike. It was his first Harley- one he said he would fix up one day, but that day never seemed to come. Reluctantly, he gave it to me, but only on the condition that I would stay true to the legacy, power, and respect that only the Harley-Davidson name deserved.
I told him, “Absolutely.”
With raised eyebrows he watched as I tinkered with an old fuel tank from a softail deuce, a bullet shaped LED fog lamp, and two front wheels off a 2019 Low Rider.
Out of money and out of time, I thought I had failed my project and worse yet my dad. He never said a word to me while I worked, but just showed up one afternoon with a brand new Milwaukee Eight engine. “8’s a great number”, he said to me. We stayed up all night putting that engine in, and then we roared as loud as it did the following morning when we woke the neighborhood up with the greatest sound I’d ever heard.
Just like that, she was finished.
The paint represents the colors of a soldier and my favorite color orange. It’s the blending of generations and tribute to the rebuilding of a bike and a relationship