Hi, Kiddo, it is after 1 AM Saturday morning, and although I have not finished that triple entendre titled post I decided to write a little something about someone who has a big role in my life, someone who I will refer to as, “Big D”.
I first met D when I was in high school, I was about 16 years old, and he was a year older than myself. I do not remember how we started talking, but I do think it started when we were both sitting outside the principal’s office waiting to receive a detention due to whatever. We were quite unruly back then. After a few weeks D introduced me to something that would change my life forever; motorcycles.
It was a summer day at school, and he had this black motorcycle sitting outside behind the school, just like the one above. I remember when he started it to leave, it was so loud that it rattled the windows of the school. I did not have any experience with motorcycles, but my dad did, and I thought to myself, if my dad could ride a motorcycle, why can’t I?
When I turned 18, I bought myself a “starter bike” from “Moroney’s Harley-Davidson of Newburgh”, with D’s help. It was a 1983 Suzuki XN-85, a turbo-charged 650 motorcycle;
That was my first bike. After I felt confident with that, I bought another motorcycle;
A Suzuki GS 1100 E, in black, like the bike D had. Along with that bike I bought another, a 1985 Suzuki GS 1150 E;
Now, I couldn’t ride all these bikes at once, so I kept one, “The Black Bike”;
The Black Bike was phenomenally fast. To this day, D will tell you that the Black Bike was one of the fastest bikes he had ever ridden. That Black Bike is gone now, but my friend Big D is still here, and if I had to choose between him and that Black bike, I would choose him.
When he and I were growing up, we did things that people would never believe. In our late teens, we were “party animals” to a degree that would kill most people. We would stay up for days, partying. Since he and I were rather large in our teens, we were able to get into nightclubs without a hassle, in fact, we had “VIP” cards to a nightclub down in Peekskill which was known as “Ripples on the Waterfront”. He could tell you a story about “April Clark”, a waitress who had worked there. He could also tell you about the man dancing in the mirror, something that has stayed with me since, but that is another story. When we were in “party mode” the partying didn’t last for a night or for a few days, it lasted for weeks. We were so bad back then.
Soon after we became friends, I was introduced to his family, who soon became my family. After a couple of years of friendship, I was “adopted” by his mother and father, who are both really good people. I never called his parents by their first name, they were always “Maw” and “Pop”. They treated me like I was one of their own. I was invited to many family gatherings, holiday dinners, and vacations, and I would go, not just to be with my best friend, but to be with his family as well. D has a little sister too, who would be my little sister when D wasn’t around. One thing that I enjoyed was visiting with his grandparents, D and I would make intentional visits to see them, and they too treated me like one of their own. I will never forget them.
So what did Big D and I do when we were younger, other than partying til no tomorrow?
When we weren’t polishing our motorcycles, we would explore abandoned barns.
In these old barns we would find things that sparked our curiosity. I remember us finding a cat that died on a truck tire a long time ago, and the cat was mummified. D lifted the cat up and it’s belly had the tire treads permanently embedded in it. He set the cat back down where it lied, to be respectful. We once found a hidden door in a floor of one barn, which led to a basement where a farmer would give medical attention to his cows. All in all, barn exploring was fun to us.
We met a lot of interesting people in our adventures, when we weren’t trespassing on farmer’s property. We met, and partied with, the band Black Sabbath. The night we met them we had missed meeting Ozzy Osbourne, his wife Sharon, and Lita Ford by minutes.
We went to a concert to see the “Allman Brothers Band” play, with the group “Living Colors” opening up for them. I must say, they rocked.
We came close to witnessing, or possibly being part of, someone almost getting shot in the face by a 44 magnum. My laughing didn’t help at that time.
We almost killed a motorcyclist by firing an 8 ounce rocket out of my Trans Am.
We watched a little naked boy beat a water snake with a stick at Minnewaska Falls.
And so many other stories, true stories.
As we became older, our interests differed, and we saw less and less of each other. My job at the foundry took up most of my time, working 60 to 80 hours a week. At the foundry I met a girl who was very interested in me, and in time I decided to move out of what was once my parent’s house to Schoharie County, with that girl and her 4 year old daughter. That girl and her daughter are now gone.
But D is still there.
And we had our disagreements, like any friendship does, but they were honest disagreements. We never lied to each other when it came to us, to our friendship. And now I can only hope, something I do not like to do, “hope”, that somewhere in his heart, he believes me, for I would never lie to him, as I would never lie to you, Kiddo.
Will you meet him in person someday? I would like to think so.
Anyway, it is late. I plan on leaving to visit “home” this afternoon, and I will make sure to take plenty of pictures.
Have a stellar day, Kiddo, and stay safe.
Love always, Daddio