DEAR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA,
I hope y’all are fine up there in Heaven. We are fine down here in Dallas. The long stinkin’ winter is finally over and I am happy about that. I am also very proud and happy to announce that my daughter Lena is engaged and pregnant! WHAT?!
It’s true, Grandpa, my baby is gonna have a baby of her own. I’m ecstatic about it because she is marrying a good man with a good career. I wish y’all could meet him. His name is Jordan Lee. He and his dad own Horny Toad Harley-Davidson and Fort Hood Harley Davidson, both here in Texas. They do a good business and I couldn’t be prouder of my future son-in-law.
There is one problem. I guess Lena will be moving to Temple, where Jordan lives and works. I’m happy that she is marrying a good man and giving me a grandchild, but I’m crushed that she will not be living close to me. Oh well, I guess I’ll be making the two-hour drive to to Temple on a frequent basis.
I can only hope that Sue and I can be half the grandparents y’all were to Randy, Deanna and me. I already have one granddaughter named Blyss. She’s 2½ years old now and she’s full of bologna! There’s nothing that Blyss and I like more than riding around in my old 1969 flamed-out Chevrolet pickup truck with my sheepdog, Alice (see photo, next page), listening to the Beatles and Hank Sr. I show them where I grew up, my old school and where Ran and me rode our dirtbikes when we were kids. I also show them where all my old girlfriends live, but they had to swear not to tell Grandma! I don’t think Blyss completely understands what I’m talking about, but she just jabbers away, and Alice is happy as long as she can hang her head out the window.
I do feel kinda feel bad for Blyss and my future grandkids because I work so much that I don’t get to spend time with them like y’all spent with me. I don’t get to take them fishing, coon hunting or even to the stinkin’ drag races, because I work all the freaking time! Basically, if they want to see Grandpa, they have to come up here to Strokers and maybe Grandpa will hang out with them and take them to lunch. Isn’t that sad? Dang this crazy motorcycle business, why do I have to love it and dedicate my whole life to it?
What’s the matter with me, Grandpa? My life is totally consumed with motorcycles. Having grandkids tends to make me reflect on my life and think about things I’ve accomplished and things I’ve wanted to accomplish. But mainly it makes me think about my failures and shortcomings.
I wish I was more laid-back and could be happy living in a small country town like Sayre, Okla., where y’all lived, but I can’t. I wish I could take a day and just go fishing and not think about my work, but I can’t. I wish I could go home at night and not have my mind totally consumed with my company, but I can’t. Grandpa, I know it wasn’t like that for you and it wasn’t like that for my dad, so why am I this way?
On a brighter note, at Daytona Bike Week, I unveiled a 2014 Victory Vegas 8 Ball that I customized for Allstate Motorcycle Insurance. We did lots of cool custom stuff to it and Allstate is giving it away. It will travel the country with the Allstate motorcycle tour. People can enter the raffle by going towww.allstatemotorcyclesweepstakes.com.
Hey Grandma, do y’all have computers up there in Heaven? If you do, do you know how to work one? If you don’t, then ask a teenager. Anyway, whoever wins this awesome Rick Fairless Custom Victory Vegas 8-Ball also gets an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Strokers Dallas. I will give them a personal tour of my “empire” and consult with them on a custom paint job, which we’ll do courtesy of Allstate Motorcycle Insurance.
Things are good here at Strokers Dallas, and we have lots of stuff going on. Baggers are still the hot ticket, but I am starting to see some cracks in that trend.
I shake my ugly head when I see all these so-called custom shops that focus their total business around customizing big wheel baggers. That is a HUGE mistake and they will find that out the hard way.
Just look at the old Discovery Channel Biker Build Off shows we did 10 years ago. Those shops that were only building choppers, well, where are they now? I’ll tell you where, they’re AMF and SOL. They’re goners. I guarantee you that the chopper scene 10 years ago was much bigger than the big wheel, custom bagger fad is today.
Grandpa, you know that every trend comes to an end and the current big wheel bagger trend will too. Nothing is forever. So these one-trick pony shops that focus their total business around big wheel baggers better start looking around for another circus, because I believe this current circus will be blowing town in the next few years!
So anyway, I’ll talk to y’all again soon. If you see God will you please ask Him, or Her, to please smile on us poor slobs here on earth in the motorcycle industry. We don’t have to make a lot of money, just enough to be happy and maybe take Grandma and the grandkids out to eat every month or two in an old pickup truck.
I love y’all,
Dear Custom Motorcycle Industry, I’m writing you today out of much love and respect. I have owned my own custom motorcycle shop, Strokers Dallas, for many years, and I have seen the best of times and the worst of times. I get up at 3 a.m., seven days a week, and I hit the floor running because [...]
Fairless Victory - Allstate Sweeps Vegas 8-Ball Bryan Harley, Cruiser Editor 'How cool would it be to hang out with Rick Fairless, have him show you around Strokers Dallas, then sit down and brainstorm together on a custom paint job for your bike? Fairless’ skills in the paint booth rank with the best of them, his color-splashed, comically-themed combinations [...]
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Dear Grandma and Grandpa,We are doing swell down here at good ol’ Strokers Dallas. Please tell the Lord I said thanks for letting summer finally arrive.It’s amazing how much difference the weather makes in my business. Us in the motorcycle industry are dependent on good weather — kinda like you were, Grandpa, when you were [...]