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?