Written for Biker, February 2008

Amy’s note: In 2001 I received my first dose of Memphis and the life of a writer for these pages poured over time and again by so many leather clad readers. I have been on a hiatus since 2003 due to lots of medical problems, and treatments. (That’s a lot of fun when you have primary oil in your veins, and your soul weeps each time you see the glow of a single headlight coming toward you down the highway…) Tonight I sit in wonderful exhaustion from my return to the world of which I feel has become my home… the whirlwind of chrome and flames and skulls and Harleys. “I woke up Sunday morning, with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt..” J. Cash, of course, must have visited Beale Street…

The Easyriders Bike Show Tour visit’s Memphis every year in February, and is brilliantly scheduled to be held the same week as the Blues Festival. It is a sojourn I frequent each year, and a host of memories that I frequent quite more often in my mind. I was highly impressed with the vast array of machines on display at this year’s show.. I saw an extensive and varied melting pot of elegant masterpieces of restoration and wickedly superb monsters of the highway. I sat and watched in more happiness than anyone knew as the throngs of people came and went, admiring the beautiful bikes and enjoying the great music of Jasmine Caine; eating Corkey’s Bar -B-Que and browsing through the vendors. The impressive array of magnificent motorcycles offered something for everyone… A perfectly gorgeous Triumph Bonnie, or a bad ass chopped out 1948 servicar… metric or standard, wild or wonderful… each was represented with what I believe should be great pride. I was also astounded by where many of the exhibiting bike owners lived! From Japan to New York, from sea to shining sea. I saw great tributes from the Navy and the Vets to Dale, to Johnny Cash and Elvis… all the greats.

After the show Bob and I made our way through the mob of people on Beale, and enjoyed the pleasures of both the Blues City Café, and the fine company of two amazing men… Billy Tinney who made us laugh until we nearly cried, and Clean Dean himself who I met face to face for the first time, and was delighted in the fact that he is one of those wonderful but all too rare creatures in the world today… a true biker, from his bewhiskered smile to the tips pf his boots, he is most content I do believe when it’s him and two wheels and an open highway. These two legends of my leather bedecked world made me feel like Marilyn this weekend, and I could even see a little Buddy Holly in my darling Bob…

Last night I stood in the center of the bank of windows of our tenth floor hotel room and stared at the beautiful view that is Memphis at night… not the amazing jazz on Beale or Blue Suede Shoes, but the glittering spectacle of lights reflected in the pyramid, the brightly lit bridges reaching far into the dark Delta night. My breath fogged up the window turning the view into a blur of lights as I listened to the distant rumble of a Harley, and I placed my hands against the cool glass, then looked clearly at Memphis in the palm of my hands.

 

Amy White

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