Monday, February 13, 2012

Quaint Vignettes From My Charming Rural Idyll

The Biker is descended from original (white) settlers here in Subdued Excitement. If there is a street out hyar that was named prior to 1900, chances are that it's named after the pioneer family homestead it lead to, and that the Biker clan is related to that family. They liked their strange, those Bikers. Which is a good thing, particularly when you consider the whole 'rural and isolated' part of the equation. This is a part of the country where memories are long and people stay put generation after generation. Long-time residents hear a last name and go 'Oh. You're a 'Fill In the Name,' huh?' after which you're either welcomed and accepted, or turned down for a loan, or remanded to sheriffs' custody. If you've ever read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' you know what I mean.

We got a visit yesterday from one of the self-appointed family historians, who came to consult the photographs and papers we inherited from the Bikers' father, the Playboy of the Western World. In passing he mentioned that what we'd thought was the original family homestead was instead the second one. The actual factual first homestead was only a short distance away, and the two cabins that those early Bikers had hammered together from cedar logs, sawpit baulks and hand-whittled pegs are still there and still inhabited. They've been remodelled over the years of course, but the original structure is still clearly visible.

Across the street from the main ancestral manse is a graveyard. We walked through and found where the Bikers ancestors were planted. I was happy to see that despite their age, isolation and Goth appeal, the old granite and marble markers have lain unvandalized all these years.

It brought back a lot of memories for us about the Playboy, and how much history was lost when he passed away, and how much our visitor had resembled him in feature, turn of phrase and gesture. There is no mistaking a member of the Biker clan. It was the type of sodden winter afternoon, overcast and windy, and certainly the type of excursion, that made you think about mortality. It was an interesting day.

Today, the Biker was almost killed in a head-on collision on the way to work.

A car tried to pass a semi in the oncoming lane, doing 70. It shot out in front of the Biker, who braked hard. The car missed him by less than a foot and continued on into the ditch at the side of the road, plunging at speed beneath a concrete flood control grate.

The Biker pulled over. The car in the ditch was bent in such a way that the rear tires were actually higher than the roof, and the roof was smashed backward by the impact. The Biker reached through the window and held the man upright because he was drowning in his own blood. It took a rescue team and lots of equipment to cut the car from around the man. He was alive and in a lot of pain when they took him away in the ambulance.

The Bikers vehicle? Not a scratch. The Biker? Not a scratch.

So he went to work.

The Bikers are a hardy fucking breed, folks.


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