By Anthony Martin
I recently acquired a 1962 BMW R27, by acquired, I mean I rolled it (it doesn’t run) out of my father’s garage and onto the back of my brother’s truck. The plan is simple, restore it, get it running and use it to pick up chicks. Zach was suspicious about the endeavor, but I assured him that the 500lb bike fit in the building elevator just fine. He wasn’t convinced.
What’s the difference between a piano in your living room and a motorcycle? I’m not really sure, but were I a more clever man, there would be a joke about girls and man’s futile attempts at impressing them.
The bike, like many of my projects, has a history of falling short of completion. My dad bought it for my mother so they could ride together, but it was never finished and it sat, covered, the typical white ghost, under a white sheet in a garage. You’ve seen a hundred movie protagonists unveil some classic vehicle of any random type from underneath a dusty white sheet. At which point there is a montage and in a few short minutes, with some music playing in the background, the vehicle is moving again. Well this played out a little different, and the project itself will be a harder than those montages would lead you to believe.
It is at this point that Steinbeck comes to mind. “The best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry.” It’s the root of human nature, I believe, to dream big. To plan and scheme, it’s the American Dream, to increase ones position. Whether it’s a house with rabbits, or a contraption of metal and rubber.
I’m not trying to infuse this simple endeavor with any of the weight that Lenny and George carried, but I think often of these two, doomed to a certain fate, and I recognize this difficultly.
My best laid plans do often go awry, too often. But I invite you to follow me on this simple venture, to cut just a small slice of the great American dream.