Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Random Selection

The Balcony

We are tumbling head over heels towards our October 6th Preview. In the words of Cynthia Meier, our Managing Director:

“The play is big and sprawling and wonderful and awful and scary and sweet. We've been through this enough times to know that somehow, some way, magically, it will all come together and be the best we could possibly make it. The Balcony is a great adventure!”

If you live in Tucson, I hope you’ll make an effort to get to The Balcony. Jean Genet is probably not for everyone although his take on politics, appearance and reality is surprisingly appropriate for our time.

But take heed…this ain’t The Sound of Music. Visit The Rogue Theatre here.

Riding Safe

Isn’t it odd that when we write about the motorcycle life we find it so easy to use an adjective to modify a verb.

I have always tried to “ride safe,” paying particular attention my riding gear. When I started riding forty-five years ago about all we had for protection was leather for road rash and layers of sweaters for warmth. Well, sweaters and newspapers.

Folk wisdom held that if you got stuck in cold weather you could pad yourself with newspapers inside your jacket and pants. The problem with that is that if you had already gotten chilled all the newspapers did was to make you bulky. Electrically heated riding suits were unheard of.

Rain gear? We had some, but it was frequently bulky rubberized stuff that didn’t breathe, so you got just as wet from the inside out as you did from the outside in. I remember the almost boundless joy with which I received my first Belstaff jacket, an English contribution to motorcycling that more than made up for ‘reliable Lucas electrics.’

Belstaff was the best riding and rain gear I ever owned and I still have one of the older jackets. Belstaff continues in business, by the way.

(I’m sure Lucas’s reputation was not so well justified as we all believed but it was fun to refer to ‘the prince of darkness’ and the motto on the Lucas coat of Arms: Never Go Out After Dark)

I’m prompted to these recollections by the fact that we continue to have temperatures in or near triple digits, and I have succumbed to the climate. I have given up all protective gear except helmet and gloves; no jacket, no fancy euro-style riding suit, no ventilated “Joe Rocket” gear. I’m riding around town in devil-may-care t-shirts.

He Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet

Sometime in the past two weeks the Star printed a short notice of the death of a local motorcyclist, who was killed by an automobile. I can’t find the piece on line, so my recollection of the details is sketchy. I do remember ‘killed’ and ‘wasn’t wearing a helmet.’

That old refrain again. What else wasn’t he wearing? He wasn’t wearing a bra; he wasn’t wearing a seal skin hat; he wasn’t wearing golf shoes; he wasn’t wearing a tuxedo; there’s a lot of stuff he wasn’t wearing. Was not wearing it contributory to his death?

The helmet reference would only be pertinent if he died of injuries that wearing a helmet would have prevented. If not, then the old ‘no helmet’ refrain is just another way of blaming the victim.

Of No Conceivable Interest to Anyone But Me

Today is my birthday. It’s been a helluva ride.

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