End of an Era


This man’s only daughter passed away last week.
She would have been 88 on the 4th of July. Her little brother is still alive and shockingly youthful and fit for an 82 yr old.
Grandpa on a 1918 Indian (so far as I’ve been able to deduce by vigorous study) was an actual wetback. He jumped ship in Vancouver harbor and swam ashore abandoning the Royal Navy or Merchant-marine mid-passage. Official Papers state he “went missing.”
By trade he was a paperhanger and painter – so maybe my years spent in the Theater Arts as a painter and scenic artist comes genetically, and that whole thing with motorcycles – it got an early start. His boat/navy thing may also account for his son’s time spent at Annapolis (instead of West Point).
Anyhow, Godspeed Auntie Sue…a chapter is closing.
There are only a few who share the family name remaining in existence – it didn’t make the transition from Albion to these shores with much genetic tenacity, not like all the Smiths, Carpenters, Bakers, and Johnsons – and everyone else who’s names so generously filled 19th Century shipboard manifests.

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

9 thoughts on “End of an Era

  1. I live on the street that bike was made on (the good end:), and it was tested about a quarter mile to my right as I type this on “the hill”. So at one point, or two actually, it drove by my house. Cool!

    Very sorry to hear about your aunt.

    Mike W.

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  2. Thanks Tony, I guess. 😉 Thought you’s like the bike pic anyhow, with the carbide lamp, leafspring kinda fork, and suicide-shifter and pedal start hardtail – early 1920’s or so in North Oakland.

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  3. Thanks Thud – He was one of four brothers, sons of a short, mighty-tempered Sergeant-Major who all fled his wrath – one to India and the late-stages of The Raj, another to the Eastr Coast of America, and this one to the West, and I think one maybe went to Australia…

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  4. Sorry to hear of your loss.I have a few photos, similarly of people who I know are related, but had never the chance to meet, unfortunately.However, when my grandfather (Dad’s) passed about ten years ago, I thought about the 26 years that I did get to spend with a man who’d gone through more hell than anyone should ever have to endure. Most of it, he just wouldn’t speak of it; the troubled early years of poverty, the Depression, being effectively fatherless. Then the war, Omaha Beach!Then a family, more poverty, a car crash the should have killed him…all before I was even born, but I still know about it.Hang on to those people, Dirt, they’re important.

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  5. We only have a few pictures of him, he married late and passed away when my father was still a child. I think the bike one is special, but to him it was probably just a work vehicle taking his tools to the job site.

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