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  • Losses, in the public eye

    Two recent deaths in the news... totally unrelated... caught my eye this last week.

    The first was of Edd Byrnes. The "77 Sunset Strip" parking lot attendant Kooky at Dino's Lodge (owned by the real life Dean Martin) which flanked Bailey & Spencer Investigations on 77 Sunset Blv'd.

    This show started in 1957. I was five or six years old at the time, so why would I remember this? Easy! I had a brother, 10 years older than me, whom I idolized. And Richard idolized cars! Now, the old man ran the TV then, and he watched it, so we would. I had no clue as to what was going on with the show, it was the cars!

    Roger Smith and Ephram Zimbalist Jr. were always rolling in and out of the address in cool Thunderbird ragtops, in perfect suits, and Kooky would occasionally be featured in the most beautiful hot rod T-bucket ever.

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    Now, I have ZERO idea why, but I bet you I sketched this hot rod 500 times. As a kid, every notebook, every blank sheet of paper, everywhere! Thinking back, I seemed to always have drawn the mill with a supercharger and scoop, and with drag slicks and 5-spoke mags.

    R.I.P. Mr. Byrnes. Thanks to the 'net, I learned he didn't have such an easy life.

    ~~

    Anyway, also thanks to the 'net, I got to delve into the car, which I was vaguely aware was built by Norm Grabowski.

    Dig the infant car seat, in a pub. still for LIFE mag.

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    A fine hot rod. Norm didn't have a pile of catalogs to build stuff like this in the '50's. Looks like he didn't have the mega-buck garage to work on it, either.

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    Looks like Norm wasn't a stickler for safety, either.

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    Now, my memory is assuaged, because there's a wealth of photos and info about Norm, and the car. In its lifetime, it was updated many times, and it did indeed, at one time, have a blower on top of that Cadillac engine.

    ~~

    Ol' Norm built a lot of stuff, like this Panhead.

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    Last edited by Big D; 01-19-2020, 09:07 AM.
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  • #2
    Neil Peart, the drummer for Rush, passed away last week, of brain cancer.

    It stings, at my age (with cancer floating around right in front of my eyes at the moment) to see and hear of other people exactly my age, struck down.

    Up until 2008, I always admired Rush, had some CD's, would do car karaoke when Trees or Modern Tom Sawyer came on, and probably suffered hearing loss thru earphones with Working Man. I always loves Lifeson's guitar, Geddy's incredible bass, and liked the "quiet aloof one", Alex Lifeson, knowing him to be a bit aloof and a bookworm.

    Then, as a birthday gift, my son and daughter-in-law took me with them to see Rush on the Snakes and Arrows tour show. THREE HOURS later, I was a rabid fan. I'd never seen or heard anything like it.

    ~~

    The last week or so, as social media has become flooded with interviews, etc., I've watched several on Neil Peart. I was dimly aware of some tragedy in Neil's life, that he took time off to deal with the grief of losing his 19 year old daughter and wife in the late '90's. I also kinda knew he was an author.

    Peart was brilliant. And among other interests outside of music, was bicycling, and motorcycling. He was the author of five motorcycling travel books. But the one I want to read right away is this one.

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    After the loss of his family, he contemplated ending his life. He was devistated. The only thing he could think of to do was to move. Be moving. He told Geddy and Alex he would be gone for a while, and to dissolve Rush. They told him, "Go. We'll be here when you come back"

    He threw a leg over a BMW R1100, and rode. 14 months, 55,000 miles. And grieved, and healed. I've read several outstanding reviews on this, and I'm ordering it.



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    • #3
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      From Neil Peart's website, the photo called "two friends". He was riding through an un-named forrest.

      This struck we, and I had to dig for some photos from 10 years ago.

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      Me, rolling through the Salamonie Reservoir nature preserve with my friend Hooty, in winter.

      ~~

      I HAVE to get back out there and on the road, friends.
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      2001 FXDX Superglide Sport. More horses than a feller would want

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      "What, me worry?" Alfred E. Neuman

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      • #4


        Reading comments..
        .
        2010 FLHX - Street Glide
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        • #5
          That was a very good book, I’ve read a lot of Moto reads and that one will always be in my bookcase! Rush was the warmup band for Blue Oyster Cult at the Capital theater in Port Chester. It was the first concert I ever went to and me and my Buddy Kenny went to see Rush - it was before Neil Pearl joined the band but they were absolutely amazing and I’ve been a fan since that very first album....and they were still albums in those days lol
          Bob

          Official HERD Member #00230

          Old Saybrook, CT
          '17 FLHXS Street Glide Special

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          • #6
            I'm almost half-way through this book.

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            It is a fabulous motorcycle travelogue. Neil Peart, a pretty accomplished author along with his other life skills, describes some incredible riding. But, as this is focused on recounting his attempts to overcome his grief and heal... and even save his own sanity and even life, Neil is pretty honest in his sadness, and oftentimes, his despair.

            To recap, In 1998, Neil lost his 19 year old daughter in a traffic accident, then his wife to cancer, not 10 months later.

            I've read a number of reviews of this book. Some have savaged it- after all, he puts his career on hold, as well as the band Rush, and rushed headlong into a 16 month period of nothing more than riding a motorcycle. It is, in part, to being pretty wealthy and having the means to do so.

            I love the book, even though some of it is tough sledding. At the appropriate time, I'll read some of his others.

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            2001 FXDX Superglide Sport. More horses than a feller would want

            Official HERD Member #00192

            "What, me worry?" Alfred E. Neuman

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