My debate over emblems and honesty. - Kimber Forum

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Old 09-15-2017, 12:05 PM   #1
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My debate over emblems and honesty.

As most of you know, my eye surgery has encouraged me to get out of motorcycling, and both bikes were sold last week. I went to the Harley shop to try and find a plain jean jacket vest, but they all had logos on them. I finally found a plain one in gray at the mall.

I went inactive from the MC in 1974, and by vote, allowed to keep my colors. As was the custom of the time, you needed to have an operational motorcycle. If not, some clubs demanded their colors back, as they belong to the MC, not the individual member.

(I also felt odd about wearing the Harley logo now).

My concern dates back to a story I heard about a decorated soldier. Two of his medals had the letter "V" on them for 'valor.' Years later he received correspondence from the army validating the medals, but not mentioning the "V."

Fearing people would consider him a fraud, he took a pistol and shot himself. Research later showed the form he saw was a misprint, and he had actually earned the "valor" status.

Now, my participation in the MC essentially introduced me to mentors. Guys who taught me honesty, punctuality and brotherhood. I've used many of those lessons over the years.

However, several of my friends objected to the concept of "not being a biker." They gave me a grandiose tale that the definition was something inside the man, etc. I disagreed. Most of the mentors are long since dead, and I wish Tiny and Mickey Foster were still here many times.

I contacted an enforcer of my status, and I guess it's up to our new prez on what happens to my rags. The club has every right to come and take them.

As I type this our country is destroying Confederate icons. I believe symbols matter, as does supporting the truth they represent. If you cannot believe a word I say, then what good is any guarantee I make?

Tomorrow I leave the house in a plain gray vest and brown boots. I was a biker, and I'm still proud of the work my club did/does on repealing the helmet law and donating blood to the Red Cross.

But I no longer ride, and I'm not going to dress up as something I am not. It's not the emblem that bothers me, it's the meaning. Tell me to my face, what do you think?

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Old 09-15-2017, 12:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by The Tourist View Post
It's not the emblem that bothers me, it's the meaning. Tell me to my face, what do you think?

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I think it's all about the emblem, if you need it to feel good about yourself then wear it. If you're at peace with yourself and proud of your accomplishments then that's all that's all that should matter, lose it.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:45 PM   #3
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Oh, I'm proud I was a member, just an executive can be proud of his company after he retires.

But every association has rules, and the bi-laws during my days stated that your rags belonged to the club, they had to be voted upon when going inactive, and they could be pulled at any time.

I took all the good things from the club, I think it's fair that some of the decisions might be hard to take.
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:29 PM   #4
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I don't know you, but here's my opinion.

An adult knows there are rules and lives by them. Sounds like that's what you're doing. Good man.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:28 PM   #5
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I understand what you are saying and you must do what you think is right for you. I've been riding for over 55 years and would find it hard to sell the bikes, but not sure I could stop being a biker after age and health meant I couldn't ride anymore. It sounds like you have given to your club all that is expected and more and you have benefited from your membership. Even if you ultimately have to turn-in your rags, you are still the same guy. Take that down the road with pride!
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:31 PM   #6
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Speaking clearly as an outsider of the concept of a motorcycle club member (was never a member), your colors are what defined you. I spent 26 years in the military so I understand your thought process. I do not wear any type of uniform (I still have them) and never will again.That's just my personal preference. If I wanted to and someone said something to me, I would kindly tell them to go piss up a rope. The only thing that I will wear is my old green cover (BDU hat).

I know in my heart what it took to earn everything (uniforms, medals, ribbons,etc) and the hell with everyone else! If you choose to wear your colors, wear them proudly and the hell with everyone else! Just understand what you'll have to go through. The question you have to ask yourself "Is it worth it to personally?" If you answer yes, which I think you will, just do it. Who cares what anybody else thinks....
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by The Tourist View Post
Oh, I'm proud I was a member, just an executive can be proud of his company after he retires.

But every association has rules, and the bi-laws during my days stated that your rags belonged to the club, they had to be voted upon when going inactive, and they could be pulled at any time.

I took all the good things from the club, I think it's fair that some of the decisions might be hard to take.
It sounds like you'll be cool with what ever the outcome winds up being??? The main thing is that you'll be able to look in the mirror and know you did what you felt you needed to do. I hope they tell you not to worry about it and keep the stuff. If not, it doesn't mean anything more than guys without bikes don't keep the colors in your club. Either way, this isn't a case of you being booted out of the club. You could wear one of those Hawaiian "tourist" shirts, cargo shorts and sandals. The full Jimmy Buffet parrot head deal, what a thought :-) You'll still be you and have good redhead stories :-)
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:37 AM   #8
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Thanks, guys, I think I made the right decision.

Life is full of transitions. And as a Christian, I feel that there might be another facet of life waiting for me around the corner.

I enjoyed every day of MC life, but I was 19 or 20 at the time. I came home from the shop after selling the bikes and handed the check to my wife. There have been things she wants to update in the house, and now she can complete her plans.

I can still hit the gym, I still polish, and reading has become important to me again. I cannot remember the last sip of tequila I had, and even that says something about an ever-changing life.

The last time I saw the guys as a group it was at Tiny's funeral. I was welcomed warmly, and because it was a club event, I got to wear my rags, which was the last time.

The confirmation of the decision is seeking in. I still have all the memories, it's just the hardware and the emblem that are gone. I think I did the right and honest thing.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:44 PM   #9
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You have a good heart and your heart is in the right place for this time in your life. Peace and blessings.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Tourist View Post
I still have all the memories, it's just the hardware and the emblem that are gone. I think I did the right and honest thing.
Glad it has worked out for you. For some reason, we humans like to identify with a group and let it define us. I'm not sure Jesus would be all that keen on that, and I think Buddha would caution us regarding our attachment to such things of this world that are transitory. Have fun being your new self.
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