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2003 Ultra Classic

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In 1969 I bought my first motorcycle. I needed one for my primary transportation so that Judy could use our VW Beetle for her transportation. I was serving active duty in the Navy, stationed at Homestead A.F.B. in Homestead, Florida.. That first bike was a Honda "Trail 90". The T-90 was a fun little bike, but horribly unreliable and really not intended for road riding. I spent many hours, stranded in the Everglades south of Homestead as I drained water from the gas tank, dried water off the ignition, and dried water out of the air cleaner. You see, it rains (buckets) every afternoon in the rainy season in South Florida. It didn't take long before I wanted a bigger, better bike.

My next motorcycle was a Honda 175. I traded in and bought it brand new for about $425 from Homestead Cycle in mid 1969. The Honda 175 was a huge move up in size and performance. I didn't keep the '175 long, though. I was hooked and wanted a bigger bike.. Through the purchase of the '175 at Homestead Cycle, became friends with the owner, Ben Weinbaum; which matured into my employment there. At first my work was a minimal part time job, but my shift work in the Navy allowed me to work full 40-hour weeks at the Honda shop. My duties started with bicycle assembly and motorcycle make-ready, graduating over the 15 months of employment there to my final job as engine and transmission rebuild. My mechanical skills increased and I was proud of my reputation as a top Honda mechanic in the area.

While I worked at Homestead Cycle, I saved money for that bigger bike. The Honda CB-350 was in my sights. I put my '175 up for sale within a few months. When the '175 sold, I immediately put in the order for a red and white Honda -350. List price was about $800 at the time, but Ben let me buy mine at cost. The new bike cost Judy and me $675.00. That was a lot of money in 1970. I remember the day it arrived and we un-crated it at the shop. In 1970, the Honda CB-350 was the 2nd biggest motorcycle Honda made, 2nd only to the Honda 450. I put 18,000 miles on that Honda 350. When I departed the Navy and reluctantly sold it for $625.00 to a Navy Lieutenant that had just arrived at the base. It was as perfect as a used bike could be, never scratched or dinged and perfectly maintained. I wonder where it is now. Judy and I came back to Dallas in November of 1971 motorcycle-less.

We stayed without motorcycle for the next 33 years as we built a small home, raised a family, went back to college, earned a living, sold the house and built another, sent our kids to school, etc. etc. etc. A lot of life passed in those 33 years.  Sure, all this time I remembered the feeling of acceleration, freedom, and wind in my face, but the urge to buy another bike was kept in the background. I pursued other hobbies and sports and life went on. That is, until May of 2003. One afternoon I entered a Harley Davidson dealership on a lark, just to look at the bikes. That very afternoon, I was the proud owner of a 2003 HD Dyna Wide Glide. I thought to myself, "Look at me, I'm riding a Harley!"

At the time of the purchase, I wasn't aware of the meaning of owning a Harley. It didn't take long to learn that there are "motorcycles" and then there are "Harleys". (Just ask any Harley owner.) It didn't take long before I wanted to make my Dyna Wide Glide unique. The Wide Glide is Harley's "factory chopper" with its skinny 21" front wheel, pegs instead of floorboards, small headlight, and medium ape-hanger handlebars. I wanted my bike to be more like the Harley Fat Boy or Heritage model, but with the exposed rear springs and the Twin-Cam 88 carbureted engine. Soon, I had transformed my "Wide Glide" was into a one-of-a-kind "Dyna Fat Glide" with fat custom front wheel and fender, floorboards, custom rear fender, and finally a custom paint job by RH Painting in Garland.. I ride it with pride!