ED GOT THE ITCH TO RIDE
Story and Photographs by Ed Heffelfinger
ED GOT THE ITCH TO RIDE!!!
Ha ha ha ha ha! YOU'RE writing for a motorcycle magazine, my friend asked. What do you know about motorcycles? You're not a biker, he exclaimed as his laughter overwhelmed him and the beer he was drinking spewed out his nose.
After we cleaned up the mess, I reminded him that in the almost thirty years we've known each other; I've done a lot of crazy stuff looking for the next adventure, going for the story. I guess that's the best way to put it as I look back on a nearly fifty year career.
I started when I was a kid. I was acting, writing and taking pictures in my teens. I did radio and television in high school. When I graduated, I decided to jump into the world with both feet, so I joined the Army and volunteered for Vietnam. Eight years later, I got out and picked up a video camera and life hasn't been the same since.
Let’s see, I've been a cameraman, a producer, a director, a writer, a promoter and a photo journalist. I've done TV series, documentaries and a ton of music videos. My writing has been published here and there and in this and that in multiple languages. My pictures and videos have been ripped off by the finest online for their articles, features and websites many, many times. This is just a fact in which I take great pride.
I've been on the road doing my thing most of my life. It’s brought me to Greater California, Frankfurt, London, Hollywood, Nashville, San Francisco, Beijing, Old Tibet and many points in between. No, really! Swear to God! I just got back from eight years living and working in China. But that's a story for later.
I've won a few awards, made a few bucks, worked with some of my heroes and lost a couple of wives along the way. I've been shot at, run over, chased by bears and a few other wild animals. People too, come to think about it. Been pissed on and had folks pissed at me.
When my friend got back from the bathroom, I reminded him of some of the incredible adventures he and I had experienced together, making a living, running after the story. That bear chased him too. After the third or forth beer, I think he started to get it, ?Hey Ed! You're right. That motorcycle gig is perfect for you.
Yeah, I think he gets it. He remembers the good times and why we did them when he recalled, “Man, you remember that bear that almost killed us? We had to do that nature video. Didn't know squat about bears but there we were in the woods, hundred miles from nowhere, looking for wildlife to film?”
I'm beginning to think maybe he doesn't quite get it as he stumbles on, “We found wildlife alright! Those two cubs were so precious, so friendly and we were so stupid. Momma bear was pissed. She chased us for a mile. I've never been so scared in my life. We didn't know squat about bears but there we were.”
Okay, guess he doesn't get it. I'm sorry I brought it up, but he interrupts and continues, “But man oh man! That's the greatest video I've ever shot. We wanted to do it and we just went out and did it. Almost got us killed but damn, that video was worth it. Good times I'll never forget! You get the itch, Ed and you gotta go for it.”
My point exactly. He got it. Geez, I hope you guys get it. You see, I'm getting old now and all the nonsense over the years has taken a toll. Oh, it's not too bad. Just a shoulder here, a knee there, the back, back there. Operate on this and remove that and don't do THAT anymore or else we'll go back and operate on that and remove this. So, thought it might be time to slow down a bit and calm down, chill out, live a mellow life for the rest of my days.
OR, I could buy a big ole motorcycle and cruise down Highway 1. I've owned a dozen bikes over the years and I love to ride but it’s been awhile.
But I'm getting the itch again. I've got my eyes on a brand spanking new... well, I can't mention the brand name of the motorcycle company. That would be brash commercialism, unethical and not tolerated by most publications.
So anyway, I've had my eye on the new Native American motorcycle line and I am quite impressed. I really want one but I'm trying to hold on to this wife. “Hey honey, it's only $25,000! Honey? Dear?” Lost the last one that way. Some of you know what I mean. It's a long story.
Come to think of it, I've got lots of stories to tell and some of them are even about motorcycles. I'm guessing that's why you're here. You want to hear some of them, so here we go. I hope you like what I have to say. I'm hoping I can make you smile and make you think. But if I can't, I also do gardening tips and am wicked in the kitchen. I can also show you how you can make up to $1000 a day in your spare time.
Stay tuned... To be continued...