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Have a very Harley Christmas

April in Glenwoodby April E. Clark

I wonder if in 1903 William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson had any idea their namesakes would one day grace my dad’s bum.The thought crossed my mind when I was shopping, last minute of course, for Christmas presents at Aspen Valley Harley-Davidson during my lunch hour. A huge Harley fan, my dad loves to don their T-shirts, so I decided to stop by the shop for a localized version of his favorite attire.Dad is one of those wonderful individuals who make it extremely easy to shop for at Christmas. Anything motorcycle-related is a shoo-in. After all, he used to pick me up from softball practice on his bike. I remember all the other reindeer were jealous because their moms and dads were driving the Wagon Wheel Family Truckster a la “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Not my dad – he always knew what was cool.For my dad, anything involving a motorcycle or fast car makes life just a little bit sweeter. He likes to recall the story involving my brother Marty, who was around four years old at the time, and his fast silver Chevelle with black racing stripes back in the early ’70s. One day my brother egged my dad on, begging for him to “peel out.” The story ends with red and blue lights emerging from white smoke, and a disapproving officer. My dad pleaded his case, and luckily the repercussions were harmless, except today my brother has what they call a “lead foot.” No one knows why.When I was in high school, my dad had a couple Mustang GTs, another passion he placed on the back burner for a dependable truck that could better handle Indiana winters. With 1960s leaded fuel still coursing through his veins, he would happen upon my football-playing, muscle car-driving friends to try and beat them off the line. In turn, they would seek him out knowing how much fun of a sport he was. I was hardly surprised to hear “your dad raced me at the stoplight on (State Road) 40 the other day.” He nearly killed me the day I backed into his Mustang in our driveway. His new joke is to threaten the same demise to my Jeep, and sometimes I think he could actually be serious.Throughout my life, Christmas shopping for Dad has been a joy. This year, although I could really only afford a T-shirt with an eagle on it and a bottle of Colorado wine to take back to Indy, I pretended I could buy him a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I enviously eyed the shiny chrome mufflers and boldly painted gas tanks, imagining my dad walking outside on a snowy Christmas morn to discover a mean chopper with a big red bow on top.Reality soon sunk in as I found myself perusing the clearance table and holding up a pair of orange Harley-Davidson boxers, wondering if my dad would be elated or weirded out to receive underwear from me. But the boxers were emblazoned with the Harley-Davidson logo, and I knew he would be happy to open them on Christmas Day. And so would William and Arthur.April E. Clark was tempted to purchase the black leather chaps for herself for Christmas, but with no motorcycle to ride, she deemed them inappropriate. After a trip home for the holidays, she can be reached at aclark@postindependent.com.


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