I got for more than I bargained for reading John J. Newkirk’s book, “The Old Man and The Harley.” While I expected a moving memoir about a 1939 motorcycle ride across the country, it was so much more.
Part travel essay complete with stories of the people Newkirk’s father met on the rode as he took his Harley-Davidson, “the Raspberry,” from one World’s Fair to the other. The story was told so well it was like riding on the bike’s buddy seat through time. But this wasn’t just a travel book either. History, engineering, mechanics, relationships, music and, at times, faith were are all woven together beautifully in “The Old Man and The Harley.” Elation and grief, hatred and forgiveness. From the World’s Fair, to the second World War, to John J. Newkirk’s own journey across country retracing his father’s ride it was a captivating read.
I highly recommend it, even if you don’t have a thing for motorcycles like I do.