By Eilene Lyon
This evening I went out for happy hour with Ms. Pearlywhites. She recently got back from her annual visit to the family farm in upstate New York. It was time to catch up on what we’ve been doing with our summer, the lamentable state of our vegetable gardens, and where we should go wine-tasting in the future.
After our lovely visit at Eno, I started to drive home. As I turned the corner from the alley onto 7th Street, I saw a ghost. No, it can’t be!!
I drove around the block and parked the car. Yes, there she was…my 1984 Honda 250 Custom. I snapped photos to prove it.
The Putterer, ever the skeptic when I tell him anything like this, asked me if I found any identifying scratches. Hell, I wouldn’t remember something like that! But, I did have an old picture. What girl doesn’t photograph all her cars, motorcycles, etc.?
My Honda 250 Custom after finally making it to Colorado in 1986.
I was attending school at Ohio State in Columbus, working on an accounting degree. I worked a full-time graveyard shift at the Hyatt Regency as the head night auditor to get work experience and pay my bills. My car, a 1971 Mercury Capri (yes, I have a photo of that, too), was completely unreliable. I should have just kept the ’74 Vega, but I was persuaded by the fine look of the Capri (all show, no go). Call me a sucker.
The dreadful ’71 Mercury Capri. She’s a looker, but….
I decided I needed a new vehicle, something I could count on. A new car was out of reach, financially, but a new motorcycle…
Unbelievably, my grandpa Smitty, agreed to loan me the little bit I needed to make the purchase. How many grandparents do you know cool enough to help you buy a killer machine? My guy at the time, the Hoverman, was extremely jealous. I do believe it led to our breakup.
Instead, the Honda attracted Mr. Hemorrhoid, who became my fiancé. We became riding buddies, then rock-climbing buddies and one thing led to another. He was responsible for the fact I ended up in Colorado.
The CM250 not only got me to work, but we found time for a few leisurely jaunts through the Ohio countryside. Yeah, that was some easy-riding bliss.
Once I got brave and tackled the interstate. We rode I-70 west to Yellow Springs to visit a friend. Between the bruising to my chest from the wind, and arriving at my destination covered in nasty, black freckles, courtesy of an old schoolbus-turned-RV, I decided a windshield was a must-have.
When I left Ohio in 1985, the motorcycle was loaded onto the trailer-from-hell that only made it as far as Illinois, while I was destined for Oregon. A year later, my mom brought all the goods I’d left behind to my new home in Colorado and the bike and I were reunited.
But our love affair had run its course. I had been driving Mr. Hemorrhoid’s Kawasaki 750 and I knew my little 250 just didn’t have what it takes to rock’n’roll the mountain passes.
Around that time, I was taking some futile drawing lessons from an older gentleman artist I knew, Clint Taylor. I hadn’t had any luck trying to sell the bike, and he agreed to buy it from me. I was living paycheck-to-paycheck and needed the money.
He almost immediately found a buyer and made a nice buck on the trade. (See my comment above about being a sucker!)
A drawing by my friend, Clint Taylor
Now, 30 years later, my old friend shows her face again. She’s looking her age: crinkly, scratched, torn seat, missing parts. On the other hand, the fact that she’s still around and on the road attests to someone’s appreciation for her unique charms. I detect a gleam here and there. Ride on, dear old pal!
The Honda as seen on the street in Durango, August 7, 2018. (Yeah, I’m getting a little choked up remembering the good times.)