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Wishing I Had Her Back; The Honda 350 Scrambler Motorcycle

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Joe purchased this Honda 350 Scrambler shortly after graduating high school in 1966. When Joe was drafted and deployed to Germany, he discovered upon returning home that his father had sold it. (MP Photo/Joe Novak)

By Joe Novak

When I graduated High School back in 1966, I purchased a new Honda 350 Scrambler motorcycle. In October of that year I was drafted into the Army and had to leave my beloved ride behind.

     I did enjoy riding all summer thanks to the owner of the Mayfield Hts. Honda dealer who let me pay it off in monthly instalments. I was working for TRW Valve division on E. 185th Street in Cleveland, a 4 mile ride from my house; many mornings I wish I could have kept on riding past the place since I hated working there. Many of my co-workers spent 40 years standing in front of a machine and I vowed that this was not going to be my future!  

     I am certain my mother said a prayer every time I rode off on some adventure and though I had a few “incidence”, never anything life threatening. I do recall riding with two other guys and topping a hill where road construction and gravel caused all of us to dump our bikes. A car approaching from the other direction anticipated the outcome and stopped short averting anything more serious than a few bruised egos and minor scratches. 

    During my time in the Army, I married; a decision I would later regret! I was about to deploy to Germany and bringing a wife along was not the best idea for a young adventurous soldier. We had little in common and though opposites’ attract; it led to daily struggles. 

      My father realized that returning home to a motorcycle was not the best mode of transportation for a married man with a pregnant wife. He sold my Honda to a young man whose sister and I had dated in my early teen years. I don’t recall Mary’s last name but I fondly remember her sweat kisses. 

      I sometimes wonder what became of Mary but what became of that Honda is my real interest. I saw one exactly like it advertised for sale recently, I contacted the owner, to my dismay, it was sold.  They were very popular in their day and I doubt it was the same one I owned. I am not certain what I would do with one if I found it; I think I am just trying to recapture part of my youth. I still have a motorcycle endorsement on my drivers’ license even though I have not ridden in a while. Best I just reminisce about my past and call it a day.

Copyright © Joe Novak 7/17/2020

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