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14 July 2004                                                                           William Van Dyke
Stanton, Michigan AMRA All Harley Drags

   So after the break down in West VA, I was down to just my bike to get
around and man what a good thing that turned out to be. Ya see sometimes we
get caught up in the day to day and forget the moment that we are actually
in. Like the middle of last week, Bummer and I are on are way back from
Hunt's Hog Shop with the parts that we are going to need for this next flying
mile event, and a wild turkey flies across the road in front of me and takes
out my wind shield and leaves me four huge feathers for souvenirs. Bummer
said that after it bounced off my head, it spun around three times and flew off
into the woods. Them turkeys is tuff and damn I like my Bell helmet sometimes.
Anyway we never laughed so hard.
   Now Friday night I got to play at the OT in Onondaga to a crowd that enjoys
my music on the juke box all winter long. Being on the bike, with just the guitar,
like the old days, makes life easy. No equipment to haul or set up and it's easy to
find a parking spot. They sure made me feel at home and a special thanks to John
for supporting The King Snake Special. With his help I am almost positive that
although the van won't be fixed in time for El Mirage, I will at least be ready to
leave for Bonneville in time to make a pass or two, the good Lord willing, before
the end of speed week in August.
   Saturday we left my camp ground about two in the afternoon. The sky was cloudy
and there was a hot sun sticking out all over the place, burning the unsuspecting
quite red. It took almost two hours to get to the Mid Michigan Drag Strip and we
could hear a nitro burner making a pass a mile before we got to the entrance (with
our helmets on)! Mike Romine made a 204 mph pass just after we got in the stands
in 6.92 seconds and the goose bumps on my body screamed for more of that kind
of speed. Now Bam, the man putting on the show, who asked me to come and help
out with the Saturday night entertainment last year, was at the gate when we showed
up and showed me to the stage and made us all feel welcome. I can't say enough
about the staff and their professionalism and courtesy. This was my first year at this
event and I sure would like to come back next year. I can't remember when I felt so
comfortable and welcome. I am sure this event could grow into something special.
Where the motor cycle club's, hog chapters, local charities, like the Lions Club and
Veteran's organizations could mass, along with the folks and kids, have fun and do
good for the whole shooting match. And have 200 plus MPH nitro burning Harleys
running around and the absolutely wonderful guys that ride them to hang out with.
   After the strip shut down for the night, Marty the AMRA guy comes over to
the stage to EMCEE the rodeo games for all the overnight campers before the band
was to start. Of course I got in the slow race and got the second place trophy and
Bummer, got the runner up trophy in the kick start contest. It was cool. We proudly
put our trophies on the bikes and one old movie buff pointed out to me, "Looks like
Marlin Brando's bike." I pointed out that I earned this trophy while the cat that
Brando played stole his. We all laughed at that and I moved my trophy to the back
rest out of respect for the late Marlin Brando and the "Wild One" and I still think that
Lee Marvin was the real biker in that show. The band started after the games and
they were really rocking out the old blues tunes and some Janis Joplin and R&B
like ya need sometimes. I got up and did my set and was surprised to see so
many young folks. Sure they were riding Harleys and having a blast, dancing,
some even knew the words to my songs. After the set, they wangled me out of every
CD I had with me and wanted the web address to send pictures of the party. Thanks a bunch all ya all. At mid-night we had the trophy girl contest. It was fun and just like
the old days at the ER's Rodeo. The gal with the biggest smile won the honor and the
cash. Sunday it was hot and muggy. We watched as Mike Romine made a pass at 209 MPH and I heard he had actually made a 225 MPH in the low sixes earlier this year.
GO Mike and God Bless the AMRA!!
   Well we got a transmission for my van and I still have a week or so to work
on the Double before I start heading west. The Black Hill's do look good this time of
year. If I just had a gig out there Maybe...well...I don't' know...I'll think about it...


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