.. After the dust- bowl town with the Angel (woodruff key), the boys were on Route 66 and westward bound. Gas was cheap back then the slim wallets still had enough to get to ‘the city’ in California.
The bar up ahead looked promising after all that desert in Nevada. It appeared to have just been dropped into place. A small parking lot with two cars, one of them with California plates. There was literally, nothing visible from horizon to horizon. Just the endless highway. A few dust devils and actual sagebrush.
Out of the saddles and into the bar they strode, awkwardly as riding a bit can do things to your body that don’t relate to standing and walking. It’s just the odd feeling from all that vibration that your hands are on opposite arms. Weird. Akin to Gator’s illusions at sea when land would not be visible. After a few weeks in the ‘middle’ if the ocean, it appears the ship is standing still and the water is flowing by.
Any way, most motorcycle riders get the upside down hands thing after 100 miles or so, no one talks about it. Perhaps Gator and Franks bikes were a little rougher on the road than today’s huge highway cruisers. Franks Beemer was a little smoother than the Indian Tomahawk/Enfield. Gator shudders even now thinking how it would have been on the 600cc Matchless single.
So after the boys shook off the muscle memories and went in, the bar had two women patrons and the barkeep. The two women were a ‘bit’ older and looked at those two young men like coyotes gazing upon a nice jack rabbit nearby. Smiles and almost immediately, an offer to cool down with a few cold ones. ‘Sure’! After a few (the women were drinking hard stuff) it was revealed that one of them was a California Senator and the other woman was the Senator’s aide. Lot’s laughs and some mild flirtation ensued and it was time for the gals to hop into their Buick ragtop and the boys to kick start the bikes and weave down the highway. Blood alcohol content, who cares? Not a car in sight and road hazards were an occasional sign and a few lizards or ruckchucks.1.
Class act meets Brando and his pal and no one knew what to do except drink and laugh. Much later, a decade or two, Gator catches a name on some senate bill and it’s the same last name of the Senator’s. Family business Perhaps. There was a photo and she looked very trim and self assured. Good gene’s
Onward to Northern California and the back entrance to Berkeley on Shasta Road. Frank was confident, Jack was just stunned. The place they wheeled up to had several chimneys, a tile roof and a pretty good view of the flat lands. More class and style than either of them had ever experienced.
An old friend of Frank’s, John, lived there with about six other people. John was a luthier and built guitars out of exotic wood. So he was broke too. John also had a massive Malamute that shed hair at a bodacious rate. John had a big sack full of the hair and stated someday he would make a shirt out of it. Never happened. The three of them spent a lot of time around the main living room fireplace playing guitars and eating peanut butter from Johns jar. A half gallon jar. White bread used now and then.
To this day, Jack still enjoys a peanut butter sandwich with heavy butter on both slabs of bread. Add the thick crunchy style peanut butter. Those sandwich’s were free and the music was excellent and heart felt. A lot of joy around that fireplace. It’s pretty good. Jack
1. Ruckchuck . A mythical animal that thrashes about in underbrush near campsites and is frightened by motorcycle headlamps reflected by camping pans swung rapidly.