Saturday, June 5, 2010

My First Motorcycle

My First Motorcycle
Pictured above is a 1942 Harley Davidson WLA Military Motorcycle,
My first motorcycle was much like the one pictured above, less
the windshield and rifle rack. My motorcycle, however had the original
military leather saddle bags. It had been painted black, the same color of
APD motorcycles at the time.

By J. Bryan Wasson

It was a motorcycle that caused me to meet my wife, Shirley. I was a Motor Officer with the Abilene, Texas Police Department at the time we met. It was also a motorcycle that came close to ending a very short marriage.

There is no doubt in my mind that the happiest period in my life as a law enforcement officer was the five years that I rode a motorcycle in the Traffic Division of the Abilene Police Department. I was on duty from the time I stepped out of the house in the morning and through my leg over that motorcycle until I got off the motorcycle at my home at the end of my shift. Can you imagine, getting paid to do what you loved to do most? Therein lays the problem.

I did not own a motorcycle when Shirley and I first got married; I just rode a motorcycle owned by the Abilene Police Department for eight hours per day. Soon after we were married, I purchased my first motorcycle, a 1942 Harley Davidson WLA, U.S. Army surplus motorcycle in mint condition. The Motor Officers rotated shifts. Some of us went in early for the early morning traffic. Some came in later and stayed on duty until the 5:00PM traffic rush was over.

Shirley was working at the S&H Green Stamp Store. She did not get off until 5:00PM or after. On the days that I worked the early shift, I would be home by 3:30PM. I would park my Police motorcycle, run up the stairs of our garage apartment, change out of my uniform and then back down the stairs. I would then mount my own personal motorcycle and be gone again. I would ride until about 9:00PM and then come home. My wife asked me point blank, “don’t you get enough motorcycle riding in eight hours?” My answer was, “well, no.” She then explained to me in a way that I could understand that this was not normal behavior for any husband, let alone a newlywed. I soon sold my first motorcycle. ---------Many other motorcycles would follow, however.

Wasson's Looking Back
Looking Back by J. Bryan Wasson
Looking Back
J. Bryan Wasson