Back in the mists, back before even CB750s, or H1s, there was a time. We, my pack and I, were riding back from a visit to the swimming hole down at Guntersville lake. Me pretty much flat out on my C200 pushrod, trying to stay in sight of the S90 ahead and further up, the CA95. The guy on the 250 Duc was long gone. But hey, I was ahead of the Allstate Compact.
I caught up to the speedier bunch along the highway and pulled up wondering why they've slowed so. That wasn't something they were prone to do; if you were on the fastest bike you went fastest. Fact of life. Everybody understood that.
The object of their attention was a Suzuki two stroke single of some type, with two youngsters aboard. They were moving at about 3/4 my full speed, at around 35 mph. The operator was about our age at the time, just old enough to start liking girls maybe, and the pillion passenger looked just like him except four or five years younger, must have been his brother. The pillion passenger was clutching an tattered old suitcase to his front side, between him and the driver. The rear wheel of the overloaded little Suzy was wobbly. Both riders had dirty faces and clothes, and wouldn't respond to our hey-hoes or howdies whatsoever. The expressions on both countenances stick yet in my memory, even as I write this. The determined, straight ahead, stone face of the driver made it crystal clear that all he wanted was to be left alone, and in retrospect was likely in fact afraid of us. But the younger had the most heart breaking, pleading, yearning look one can imagine. I'm pretty certain he wanted to stop.
We were cruising along hwy. 431, that tracks across Northern Alabama, part of the corridor at the time between Memphis and Atlanta. The license plate on the little Suzy was of Arkansas. They were headed east, to who knows where.
I wish I knew.
From: Nigel Marx <email@example.com>
I have to write to say this is one of the most haunting and evocative
stories I have ever read. It has been with me ever since I read it. In just
a few lines a picture has been permanently burned into my mind; a freeze
frame of a story that I will never see the start or the end of. I too wish
I knew what happened to them and why they were there.
Almost enough to start me writing again, just to fill in the gaps..
Nigel in NZ