When Country started writing his trilogy (series of 3 books), he didn’t write them like history books by just stating facts of events, but he added his personal thoughts. He opened the windows of his soul to his audience (his mind, will and emotions). So many bilker book authors write their stories as if they were part of an encyclopedia. They write facts without personal passion and sensation.
The things that make Country’s books such ‘page turners’ is the way he shares the factual happenings along with explaining the anger, surprise, or shame, he actually felt while going through his adventures. He unashamedly opened his soul to his readers. This is very rare where outlaw biker books are concerned.
Back in ‘63 I bought a bike in Little Rock, went to an Army/Navy surplus and got a sea bag and headed down Route 66 West. There were no freeways then and I broke down outside of Elk City, OK, which was very small back then. I had broken a chain and had no half link or master link with me. It was Saturday and absolutely nothing opened on Sunday back then. The closest place to buy the motorcycle parts I needed was Oklahoma City and Monday was Labor Day – I was really in a dilemma.
I had coasted under the only tree in sight (Mesquite of course). I leaned Sweet Darlin’ against a small bank with her chain off. Then I laid down that night, trying to figure what to do. Nothing came to mind. I couldn’t leave my bike; I had to wait 3 days even for anything to open and to top that off, Oklahoma City was a long ways away. My mind was just going around in circles.
Crossing route 66 back then was not a trip, it was an adventure. It was desolate stretches and if you found something it couldn’t be bought because it was reserved for the locals.
The next morning, Sunday, I was awakened by a pickup pulling off the road by me. Those days an hour or 2 would go by without traffic. An old man got out dressed in a cheap suit. I could tell he was a rancher or farmer going to church. I wasn’t in any mood for rubberneckers.
He said "Well, looks like you're broke down!" while eyeballing the chain on my bike.
"Yeah, yeah, it don’t take much to figure that out does it?" I retorted; not too friendly. He just laughed, got back in his truck, waved and left. I sat there feeling sorry for myself and getting awful hungry.
A couple of hours later here he came again going back in the other direction (I guessed going home from Church), and sure enough he stopped. "Well you're still here" he said with that laugh again.
Now I’m starting to get ticked. I didn’t even answer him. I was rude as hell I know but I felt I was being goofed on.
Still laughing he got in his old truck and went on down the road.
Finally it soaked into my head that I was going to have to leave my bike and hitchhike to Calif. I was standing up getting ready to load my bag and start thumbing a ride when you guessed it; here came that damn farmer again. This was too much!
Yep he pulled over and got out. "Still here I see . . ." he said with that stupid smirk again.
I opened my mouth to cuss him thinking I would feel better, but before I could speak, he pulled something out of the bib of the overalls he had changed into and pitched me a couple of half links and master links the exact size I needed.
Well now my emotions went all over the board. Excitement – relief – happiness – and finally . . . shame because of the way I had acted. I apologized and asked where he got the parts. He said they were the same size he used on his combine.
I checked to make sure he wasn’t wearing wings . . . put off the urge to hug the old fart and as he was driving off I began fixing my scoot and thinking ‘there must be a God’.