Stories from the Road

Supermarket Flowers for Mom

” Oh, I’m in pieces. Its tearing me up, but I know
A heart that’s broke is a heart that’s been loved”

On the particular night I remember seeing a motorcycle riding slowly in the crowd of cars. Must have been a Goldwing or a Harley Davidson touring bike, because I remember a few specific things about this bike.

1- It was huge,
2-The girl on the back was wearing a bikini
3- Music was blasting from it

I watched that bike ride until I couldn’t see it any longer, but I could still hear the sounds of Led Zepplin long after he was lost in a sea of cars and people.

I was already a huge motorcycle fan, Evil Knievel was in his prime, Chips was on TV every week. However, I had no idea you could listen to music while riding. Slowly the world was becoming such a perfect place to be in.

I must have been 10 years old that night, sitting on the deck of that hotel overlooking the boardwalk of Hampton beach. This was annual trip my parents took us on back in the 70s. A week of getting sunburned, playing arcade’s and sitting on that deck watching the cars and people filter down the road.

Fast forward a few years, and I was riding my very own motorcycle, a 1972 Honda CB450. It took maybe a few hours after buying my very first full-face helmet to figure out a way to fit those huge Sony Walkman speakers into it so I could listen to Prince, Jimi Hendrix or Dire straits while riding around central Mass.

I’ve never owned a bike with a radio built in . I’ve always had to install speakers in my helmets.. About 10 years ago I switched over to wireless (Bluetooth) helmet speaker systems and they have become such a great improvement to my riding.

Being self-employed and dad to 4 kids having the ability to answer my phone while on the road is priceless. Talking via intercom with my passenger or other riders has been wonderful. And of course, listening to music is still one of my most favorite things to do. Getting to do this while riding is priceless to me.

So, what do I like to listen to? Well, that is such a hard question to answer. My music taste varies so much. Having apps like, Spotify, and iPod with 17,000 songs has certainly made thing much easier than the old Walkman days. And it depends on the ride, the location, the time of day.

The memory from a few summers ago that got me to sit down and write about this goes like this.

I was riding out in Hancock MA, way out on the NY/MA line.
Supermarket flowers by Ed Sheeran came on in my helmet just as I turned off the main road. I was looking for the local Library. I have a thing for finding Libraries here in New England. Seems like most of the small towns have such beautiful old buildings for their libraries

Taylor Memorial Library

When I found this little one called the Taylor Memorial Library I just pulled over and listened to the lyrics of this song. I brought me right back to that moment being in Hampton beach as a young man with my parents.

See I had just lost my mom, maybe a month prior to this day. And yes, this song is about a boy losing his mom. The gentle piano melody, the soft sounds of Eds voice and these lyrics really touched my heart sitting there on the steps of this library

“Oh I’m in pieces, it’s tearing me up, but I know
A heart that’s broke is a heart that’s been loved”

I sat there for two or three listens to that song. I had such wonderful memories of mom and dad sitting there. Fighting back tears, remembering such great times and feeling a little lost wondering about life and how quickly it changes, and how people go. It seems like just yesterday I was just a young boy living at home with my parents. I’m sure at that time I couldn’t wait to be out on my own, but now sitting here in Western MA I had this overwhelming love of my youth.

After a few minutes, I collected myself, got back on my bike, pointed it west and continued on my journey.

Listening to Prince, Jimi, Dire Straits, and of course some Ed Sheeran!

Miss you Mom and Dad