Sunday, May 14, 2017

RIP Mike & Joe

Michael Parks passed away recently at the age of 77. He's best remembered for his starring role in the Then Came Bronson television show from the late 60's. Bronson was must see TV at Shop Teacher Bob's house back then. I had my Sprint and he had his Sportster but when the going got tough on the TV show, the Sportster morphed into a Sprint. There was also a feature length movie and a Bronson book that I remember reading. That was great entertainment for a guy right out of high school who dreamed of doing just what he did. My dream never came to fruition primarily due to someone stealing my bike right before I was planning on booming out, but I still might be able to make the big trip some day.  More likely, I'll order up the TV series from Amazon with my gift card I got for Christmas. 

Photo From Here
Joe Leonard also passed away recently. While Bronson was riding around the country, Joe Leonard was racing around the country. He was a successful motorcycle racer starting in the 50's and then switched over to cars. He ran at Indy as well as on dirt tracks. His Indy car rides included Offy and Ford powered cars as well as a ride in one powered by a Pratt and Whitney. Again, for a young man who followed motorcycle and auto racing, I knew the name Joe Leonard. Unfortunately, like many Indy car drivers back in the day, he kissed the wall and sustained career ending injuries.

Rest in peace, gentlemen. For the rest of you: "Well, you hang in there."


Rich in Ky said...

I set off on that trip several times in my teens. Looking for Heaven I guess. But always had to be back somewhere by a certain time. May we all take that trip that never ends, and we never have to be somewhere by some time.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

I've been very fortunate to have taken many a good trip but like you say, I always had to be back somewhere, sometime. I'm sure it's a blessing to have family and work obligations but even fifty years later I've never really gotten over the fact that I'd have made the trip if my motorcycle hadn't have been stolen. It's like they stole the one chance I had to do it before I had to get on with work and school and life. However, the reality probably wouldn't have been near as good as the anticipation. Probably would have only gotten a few hundred miles down the road and would have turned around and headed home again but I would have had the opportunity to get it out of my system.