Jim was just 35 in the summer of 1985 – he lived with us in a mobile home park outside a small town in TX. I remember him taking me for a ride on the neighbor’s motorcycle nearly every day after him and dad came home from the Army base.
One afternoon him and the neighbor were doing some work on the bike and when they were finished Jim took it down the road for a test drive. He turned around at the end of the mobile home park and as he approached the other end of the park, I watched as one of the other neighbors backed his Jeep across both lanes of the highway. One side of the highway was the gravel drive leading into the mobile home park and the other side was a deep ditch.
I was terrified as I watched Jim lay the bike down and it flew off toward the ditch and he skidded down the highway towards the Jeep. My mom says the entire mobile home park heard me screaming. Dad came running out and got into the car to pick him up and mom called the ambulance.
He spent the next couple weeks in the hospital and then a couple months recovering at home. He was “lucky” that he escaped without any head injuries or anything more permanent than scars from where he connected with the road. Jim’s time in the Army ended and we never took another ride together again. It was over 20 years before I rode with anyone else and every time I do now the memories of that day still come back to me.