The Days of Brown Leather ~~
“We wore brown leather,” my Mom used to say. “We rode Indians or Triumphs, and we wore brown leather.” So many times I’ve sat and listened to the stories my Mom would tell me about how she and my dad would ride with their group–family or friends–way back in the 40’s. Those motorcycles (pronounced motor sickles according to my Mom) were classics; the style likely to have inspired the Royal Enfields of today.
They went everywhere on their ‘motors’, as my Mom also referred to riding their motorcycles. I remember seeing an old black and white of my dad’s Indian with Sidecar that he used to cart my very pregnant Mom around in; when Mom was expecting her first child–my big brother. Our whole family was always involved in motorcycles of some kind. Even my Uncle Pete Dalio–so I’ve been told–held the world speed record in his particular class of motor…for 10 years or more out at Bonneville Salt Flats. That is one of the legends of our renegade family; I am very proud to say.
I look back at the photos of Mom and Daddy, and I wish I could’ve known them better. I wish I could’ve met them back in their younger days…to see if I might catch a little glimpse of myself in their demeanors…in their eyes. It makes me miss them even more; as if I ever stop missing them and that feeling of ‘going home’ to see my folks. This is something that too many take for granted; that Mom and Dad will always be around. I know…this isn’t always so.
But looking back, glimpsing into the exciting history of my family and my parents in their youth, I can see why I feel so many of the unexplainable feelings I feel…deep down inside my very being. They are the ones who made me who I am. I simply have to nurture the mixture; add some spice to the recipe that makes me who I am as a woman…as the daughter of former road rebels…the offspring of the bikers of the 40’s…the ones who wore brown leather. The thought of Mom and Daddy flying down the highway on their classic cycles leaves me dreaming, and…I can’t help but smile.