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As I was rolling out of the rack this morning, about halfway through my second customary long, drawn out yawn, my tired old ears picked up the middle of a news report. I stifled my yawn to try and catch the rest of the report. Too late…it was gone. I was almost certain that they said that Governor Scott Walker, 2016 conservative republican Presidential candidate, was going to be at Low Country Harley Davidson at 07:30. I had not heard a thing about it. I try to stay plugged in to things political these days, so how did I miss that? Evidently, Channel 2 news had gotten the drop on good old Channel 5 this morning. Or possibly Channel 5, being the local mouthpiece for the “Charlie Rose” network, didn’t consider it that important. At any rate, they were just opening the Scott Walker report and I caught the whole thing. The clock on the nightstand had just kicked over to 06:48. Not much time…gotta’ hustle.

I jumped into some jeans and boots and headed out to the shop, picking up a bottle of water and a couple of Moon Pies, on the way. I couldn’t take any chances, after all, Gov. Walker is a man known for his fiscal frugality so they might not be putting on a “big feed”. I dragged the bike out, fired up and headed down to the Hog Shop. When I arrived, I was greeted by a lot of smiling faces and free coffee and donuts. I was glad I brought my Moon Pies.

The turn-out for the event looked to be pretty good for such a small venue. I’d guess there were three to four hundred people there, because it was standing room only inside the showroom area where the speaker’s podium was set up. When I first caught the report that Walker was appearing at the LCHD I initially thought it an odd place for a political rally, but on second thought I guessed it was even money that he was a HOG rider. Right again!

As I moved into the crowd a bit a familiar face stood out like a candle lit tree ornament when the power goes out on Christmas Eve night. My old friend Walt thrust out his hand and boomed out his usual greeting for me. There’s Ray..”Everybody Loves Raymond”! Good Old Walt! We chatted a bit and caught up on each other’s recent escapes, and polished off a donut (the Moon Pies were long gone by then) as we waited for the guest of honor to arrive. Casting about I caught sight of a fellow with an official looking ID badge on a lanyard around his neck approaching off my port quarter (left rear for the non-nautical types). He made a bee-line over and introduced himself as a reporter for Reuters News Service and wanted to know if it was ok to ask me a few questions. He asked me what I thought about Scott Walker, and I am sure my answers left little doubt that I am a big fan of the former Wisconsin Governor. In closing I mentioned that had I not seen the morning newscast I would have missed the gathering entirely and in my rapid departure from home I had no time for breakfast and had scooped up a bottle of water and a couple of Moon Pies for survival food. The razor sharp Reuters reporter zeroed in on my “Moon Pie” reference and said, “Oh, I’ve got to get that”, and made a couple of quick scratches on his genuine Reuters reporter tablet. I may have slipped up revealing my affinity for the little round chocolate covered marshmallow pies, he will probably turn that around to make it look like the whole lot of us were just a bunch of Southern Hayseed Clingers who just LOOOVE their Moon Pies. But…that’s Major Media for you. They always focus on the important stuff.

About that time, a well-dressed gentleman approached the microphone and informed us that the Governor was in the house and would be up shortly. We chatted as we waited and in a few moments the candidate moved confidently onto the stage and began his greeting to the growing crowd that had been eagerly awaiting his arrival. Until today, I had only seen Scott Walker in video or still shots and in real life he struck me as being very young looking, but then at my age anyone under 60 looks young to me. As he began to speak, it was obvious that this was his stock, campaign “I am former Governor Scott Walker and this is what I have done” speech, but it was presented in a very unassuming and genuine manner. He came across as a serious man who loves life and his family and is determined to do his best to run an effective, winning campaign for the office of President of the United States. It occurred to me that this man spoke words of Iron, as my Cherokee ancestors might have put it. He appears to be genuinely passionate about helping to put our de-railed country back on the right track. He was on point and didn’t waste any time outlining his plans to reign in a runaway government. I, for one, believe he can do it. I certainly hope he gets the chance.

To discover that Scott Walker also is a motorcycle rider is like icing on the cake to me. Occasionally I am asked by someone I meet, “Why do you ride”? I always come up with an answer, but none ever really hit the mark. I’ll try one more time. The feelings that I have about my life experience with riding motorcycles is kind of like the feeling I have about the good fortune granted to me in the 48 years with my sweet wife. There is just something special about it. While, unfortunately, everyone who rides a motorcycle is not automatically a great person, a great person who also rides a motorcycle is a rare sight indeed. It is certainly the first time in my life I have the opportunity to help put a Rider in the White House. Sounds like a good idea to me. Let’s do it.

Mel Raymond

One thought on “A Rider to the Fore

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