The Kid

There once was a kid who hung around the local bike shop in Jacksonville Florida.
I don't remember the first time he walked in, it just seemed like he had always been there. If there was anyone who wanted to be a real biker it was that 18 yr. old kid. He tried hard to fit in with all the gray beards hanging around and he tried to understand what they were saying to him but he just didn't have the mileage on him yet. But he was trying to be a righteous brother. He didn't have a bike but would take his truck on all the runs to be a support vehicle that in it's self saved a many brother on a run. He was always the first to show up and last to leave a club cookout. Always ready to help set up and to clean up afterward with a big smile asking nothing in return but friendship. It wasn't very long before everyone started calling him little brother, this made him happiest of all for now he finally felt like he was part of the family and that he belonged.

I remember all the piece of crap bikes he would buy and bring in and all the brothers would help him keep them running somewhat, but they were too worn out and would be beyond repair in a month or so. You should have seen the pile of Honda, Kawasaki's and Suzukiís behind the shop/ clubhouse. It was amazing someone could find so much worn out junk in such a short time.  What amazes me more is someone would actually sell something like that to a kid who didn't know any better. Then about a year later on his birthday something wonderful happened all the brothers who had taken a liking to this kid, who never asked for anything but friendship and to belong called him to come by the shop for a birthday beer with the boys. Although he wasn't legally old enough to drink they would let him have a beer or two with them from time to time, but if he ever started acting a little drunk, they would take his keys and make him sleep in the shop. They didn't want anything to happen to the kid and they looked out for him.

The kid showed up at the shop about 6 pm and there were a lot of bikes there, more than he had seen at the shop except for the start of a run. All of the brothers who had taken this kid under their wing were there. There was one woman, the wife of t-boy the kid used to call mom. She used to work at a local bar and would let him sneak in with the rest of the guys although she would make him be good and only serve him ice water. Mom took him by the hand and led him to the main shop area.
 There sitting on the shop floor was a bike a real bike that the brothers had spent nights building after the kid left to go home. Each had brought parts from their own private stash of spares. From Cajun there was an old frame; from Gypsy there was a sportster bottom end, top end from animal, tank and bars from mike, and seat and paint from T-boy. It may have been a rat bike thrown together from bits and scrap but to the kid is was like a brand new Arlen Ness creation. I donut think there a happier kid in the entire world at that moment. In that year of hanging around with the boys the kid had come far, he new about what it meant to be a brother. He new it wasn't the leather and patches it wasn't the bike it was the heart. It was being there for your brothers and they being there for you. That kid was me and I still am proud to call those brothers my family and although I am 36 now and live 500 miles from them I call them often and see them when I can, and they are never far from my heart.
I miss you brothers.

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