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At the YOUNG age of 8..(I'm NOW 53), my dear Mother came home with two Rupp mini bikes that a lady she worked with had bought for her sons. Some time back, one of them had broken his leg on one of them. So.....enter: the world of BROKEN BONES!!! lol. Anyway...the engines on the two minis were stuck and my Father was a research technician at USAEC in Oak Ridge Tennessee (where they made "THE BOMB"), so, he didn't know too much about mechanic work, but..he got by. Well....we took the spark plugs out and after a week or so of pecking on brass pins and wood sticks on the flywheel and down through the spark plug holes on the top of the pistons...we got one to hit. YEAH!!!!! Well.....this is where it ALL began. My Dad pointed me AWAY from the house, but.......straight at a ROUGH OAK BOARD FENCE. "Give her a little gas" he says!!!! "OK Dad"...........as I shot through the fence and wrecked for 10- minutes!! All cut and scratched up.....I was proud of our victory. So....there began my riding days. Later I got a 72 Trail 70 for $275.00 and paid $25 a month to the bank that I earned for taking the trash out and burning it and washing the dishes every day after school. I flipped it doing a 3rd gear wheelie and tore all the skin off my right elbow and split my left palm open where you could put a golf ball in it. THEN I got a CL-100. While waving at my friend on my way to band practice one day on a blind hill, I looked back around to find his WIFE stopped in the middle of the road and NAILED the back bumper of a convertible Corvair and sailed into a ditch and broke my collar bone!!! OK....then, for the NEXT 6 or 8 years, we'd all go to the mountains on dirt bikes just about every weekend and I broke things there too. I got my first Harley at the age of about 25. I traded an El Camino for it. (It wasn't really a Harley...it was a SPORTSTER!!!! I don't do them any more. Later, I acquired a 78 1/2 75th Anniversary RED FLH dresser around 1987. (I traded a BAD chocolate 78 Trans Am for it. I rode it for 17 years (and also owned a couple other Harleys). The front fender came off and locked the front wheel up on me one day JUST after passing about 4 dump trucks that were running about 40 (I was running about 100) and threw me down and chipped my hip and broke my wrist and tore ALL the skin off my back and my butt and I wound up STANDING UP...facing the direction that I came from. (there's a factory RECALL on several years FLHs that states your front fender and/or mounting brackets may fail ..causing your fender to contact the tire and throw you into a skid and YOU WILL WRECK!! DO NOT OPERATE THIS VEHICLE!!! TAKE IT STRAIGHT TO YOUR AUTHORIZED DEALER!" Then....one day after work..I stopped at this little bar too have a couple and they had a bell that if you rang it...you had to set up the house. Heck..I didn't know! So...I rang it...and set up the house. After I'd had a "FEW"....I started out the door and some smart-a$$ hollered "aint you gonna ring the bell again...HA HA HA HA". ....so..guess what? I bought another round. Well.. I left there on that dresser and there were people calling in to the Sheriff's Department saying "there's some idiot on a red motorcycle passing EVERYTHING"!!! I went into a curve WAY too fast and the rear "fixed" foot board drug and sent me straight through the curve. There wasn't a ditch, guard rail, tree, fence or anything, but...there WAS an F-150 coming. I hit it SQUARE in the corner of the front bumper. I skipped down the side of the truck taking off the mirror and all of the chrome with my BODY. It knocked BOTH of my knee high bike boots off and knocked both of my spark plug wires off too. The left front wheel on the truck was now located under the steering column and the motor was in the passenger floorboard. They TOOK ME TO JAIL!! I FINALLY wound up at UT Hospital in Knoxville Tennessee with two broke arms, two broke legs, two broke knees, four broke ribs and a broken pelvic bone. (other than that.....I wasn't hurt! lol. So......I traded that totaled bike off and didn't get another one until recently. I found a 1956 pan/shovel and bought it. Then I traded a bass boat and got an 89 Ultra Classic and I was HOOKED!! Once you get a back rest and a radio......it's all over. NOW I have 16 Harleys (none of which are Sportsters) and frequently go on benefit rides and all the rides that I can. I also ride to work about twice a week. Hope you enjoyed my story.
Wayne Jennings
Livingston, Tn.
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