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