Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Days

I remember when my dad bought my first motorcycle. He had done some electrical work and got the bike as part of his payment. I was about twelve years old and thought having a motorcycle made me neater than peanut butter. The bike was called a Simplex. It had one cylinder with two spark plugs. It had no gears but would still get up to about fifty miles an hour and could run for days on a gallon of gas. I'm telling this story because my wife bought some black berries from the store last night and it reminded me of riding that bike on the back roads around the Heavener area picking black berries. My sidekick, Leland (Butch) Harrell, would ride on the back of the bike and hold the bucket for the berries. Of course the berries would never be right off the road but would be mixed in with the thorn bushes and barbwire fences. We would have to fight off snakes, hornets, bees, and everything else that wanted to do us damage. On this one day, a water moccasin tried to bite me on my foot. I was wearing tennis shoes and the snake got its fangs caught in the canvas material. I look down and noticed the snake attached to my shoe. It scared the crap out of me and I started kicking in every direction, trying to kick the snake off my shoe. I lost my balance on the slope and rolled down into the thorn bushes. The snake got loose from the shoe and went on with it's business. I got out of the thorn bushes looking very battered when I noticed Butch laughing his head off. To make matters worst, Butch had eaten all of the berries that we had picked. Still, I wish my grandchildren could experience the pleasures of growning up in Heavener. But it's a different time and different world.


At June 15, 2010 at 8:46 AM , Blogger colin said...

Paul, I enjoyed your story very much. I never had one, but I remember riding on the back of Simplexes and of course I've gone out and found blackberrys to pick. The elders in my family always warned me to "lookout for snakes" but I never did see one in a blackberry patch. I have flushed coveys of quail out of those bushes though and that will also make you spill your berries. Thanks for writing.

At June 17, 2010 at 5:18 PM , Blogger John Inman said...

I remember riding on the back of that cycle with you, and we had our gold Heavener Wolves jerseys on. We thought we were cool. That's funny about Butch Harrell laughing so hard, but I bet you weren't laughing. Thanks for the good memories, Paul.

At June 18, 2010 at 12:47 AM , Blogger Chuck said...

We have something in common, Paul. My first motorcycle was a Simplex, also. I've never known anyone else that knew what they were, so it's nice to know that you enjoyed yours as much as I did mine. I bought mine from Howard Council at his Western Auto store in 1957.


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