Before I (Caleb) was even born, motorcycles were a bonding experience for the guys in my family. Growing up, my dad + his dad rebuilt old motorcycles. I love hearing the stories that my dad tells about building those bikes. The bikes they built were intricate + they spent lots of time + energy building them(if you’ve never seen a 1916 Henderson with a sidecar, you should really check them out!!).
When I was in high school, my dad got a job working for Harley-Davidson. During the summers of college years, I was lucky to also get a job working for them to help pay for college. It was during this time that I fell in love with the culture that Harley-Davidson has created. They encourage expressing individual freedoms through community — a big family of people who, despite all of their differences, are united.
My short time there not only sparked a huge desire in me to become a Harley-Davidson owner, but it also an even larger desire to bond with my dad over them (just like he did with his own dad).
I started the search + finally found a 1977 Harley-Davidson Sportster. It was perfect. It ran but needed some major renovations. My dad + I spent the entire summer together working on that bike + it stands today as a memory of all the knowledge, love, + time my dad has invested in me. I felt proud as a son + grateful for a dad who was willing to invest his energy + knowledge into me.
When Maison + I got married + moved to Madison, we didn’t initially have room for my motorcycle … but when we purchased our first home, we now had room (not much but just enough for two cars + a motorcycle ; )). The hard thing, however, was finding the time + means to get it trailered down to Madison. It was starting to seem like it wasn’t going to happen + I was about ready to accept that I was probably going to have to sell this very special memento…
Then, one day when I came home, I opened the garage door + saw my motorcycle parked in my spot in the garage. I was speechless. It was a break in the norm. Maison had conspired with her dad, my dad, + my grandma to figure out a way to bring down the motorcycle for me. I’m so lucky to not only have had the experience of building this bike with my dad, but also for an ever-evolving + loving family who selflessly gives so much to me. Big thanks to Shirley, Steve, Dana, + Maison!! I’ll never forget that feeling of love I experienced when I first saw the bike in the garage. The world would be a much better place if people put others first.
So surprised + happy!!