Filed under: Highlands Classics Blogs
From Phil’s Notebook…
I finally got myself free of the computer for a couple of weeks and flew off to the USA to visit a number of well known classic motorcycle men and women.
Jerry Doe and his lovely wife Ermina looked after me for a few days in Fullerton just south of LA and I had a great time. No one knows exactly what Jerry does…..but he tells us he does it very well.((-:
Actually Jerry built my website and has in my opinion done a great job…..I must get around to paying him one day, well one day! ((-:
From there I flew to Denver in Colorado then drove 170 miles south to visit Jim Comstock who is famous in Norton circles for his engineering work. I then spent the best part of a day driving south west deep into the Rocky Mountains looking for Matt Rambow, owner of Colorado Norton works. I don’t know if Matt is hiding from the police but finding him was more difficult than finding a needle in a hay stack….so good luck if they can, because I almost couldn’t even with my GPS! Matt’s workshop looks more like an operating theatre than a Norton build shop and the work he does is absolutely brilliant.
I then flew onto Omaha in Nebraska and drove across the state border into Iowa to visit Baxter Cycle. They are my USA international partner as mentioned elsewhere on this website. The famous Norton man hobot drove nine hours up from Arkansas to meet up with me which was really something special and I thank him profusely for that. The array of classic motorcycles and parts at Baxter’s is mind blowing and the little town of Marne is exceptionally beautiful. I didn’t quite escape the weekend unscathed….securing a Triumph Daytona and a BSA Spitfire to be crated and sent home to Australia for me……my girl was less than impressed when I told her but these things happen, occupational hazard!!
I shot over to Kentucky for a few days to visit a friend and his wife on their farm, then headed to New York to see Kenny Cummings, well known Norton racer and owner of NYC Norton. Kenny’s shop is on the third floor of a warehouse in New Jersey and he moves motorcycles in and out via freight elevator. That too was a fascinating visit and I’m sworn to secrecy regarding some of the machines Kenny showed me.
Finally and dreading it, I boarded a flight at JFK international airport and started the long journey home to Australia. I hate long haul air travel, having been a pilot all my life sitting down the back to me is death by boredom and sleeplessness. We swapped aircraft in LAX amidst a security scare then drone drone drone across the big pond to Sydney where I finally fell out of the aircraft feeling totally wired!! I then headed for Mittagong on the train but that broke down half way home and they had to get a bus for us. I thought I’d never get home and when I finally did, my dog Sammy refused to talk to me…..I’d been gone 2.5 weeks but I had left him some water plus a can of Pal and a can opener!
Some dogs just don’t know how lucky they are!!