Sunday, August 9, 2015
THE HONDA I DIDN’T GET
Early 1970s – After about two years on my Honda 90, it was time for me to graduate into something larger. A buddy of mine named John had been tooling around on a Honda 55 and was confronted with the same angst.
Living in Chico, on Sunday mornings only, we received the Sacramento Bee delivered to the end of our long gravel drive. Perusing the want ad section as I had for months, one Sunday I came across a display ad from Spinetti’s Hardware (an authorized Honda motorcycle dealer) in far off Jackson, California. It was the year that Honda had changed the tank on their venerable CB 350 from something rectangular to a more rounded shape. The boxy tank looked better in John’s mind and my own and Spinetti’s was closing out last year’s model for a couple of hundred bucks off.
I alerted John. “Look, man! Only $875.00!” I’d been working a concession stand and John was a lifeguard at the local pool. We checked our bank balances. Yep, we could do this.
John had his eye on a blue and white one and I favored the red and white one.
Our plan was to pull money from savings – actually drain savings – and have John’s dad, John senior, ferry us the 110 miles down to Jackson in his Pontiac station wagon. There, we’d seal the deal and, just like in “Easy Rider,” ride ‘em back north.
Ever’body’s talkin’ at me, I can’t hear a word they’re sayin’…
Apparently, among the everybody I couldn’t hear was Mom. On the day of the deal, she put her foot down. “That money is going to be used for your education. You’re not going to buy another damned motorcycle!”
John’s dad didn’t need to ferry us down to Jackson. Instead, we borrowed the Pontiac and drove there ourselves. John consumated the deal and, wrapping his new CB in a couple of blankets, we slid the bike into the back of the station wagon and drove home. (Insult to injury? John bought a red one.)
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