Ernie Copper:
What a disappointment reading you had a repair done at a stealership.

Steve Simmons

Hey, Steve,
Since you’ve taken the time to write and express your disappointment I’ll try to explain a little better.  When that happened I had less than a week to get back on the road to cover another event I had committed to. I have a day job too and it wasn’t a normal summer for me. My sis and I were caring for our parents who were both gravely ill and both ultimately passed away within 45 days of the wheel episode. That doesn’t make me special; it happens to people every day, but caring for them did impact my free time. In my mind it wasn’t the right time to improve my wheel-truing abilities and I kind of had my hands full.

I’m not sure if your disappointment lies with my not doing the work myself or with my not having it done at an independent shop. If it’s the independent shop aspect, I can’t even find a shop in my hometown that builds/trues wheels. That said, my hometown dealership did treat me right and while I don’t take my bike there for every shake, rattle or roll, when I do, I’ve always been satisfied. And I’m not a guy with a lot of discretionary income. I hope that helps you understand. Thanks for taking the time to write.


Sorry for the loss of your parents. I understand now, I’m sure you wrench on your bikes. I enjoy workin’ on mine.

Steve Simmons



Thanks for the story of Uncle David and the General. My father was an MP and dispatch rider during WWII at the Normandy invasion. I gave this pic to the Harley museum in Milwaukee in 2013. I superimposed myself with my Dad (center) and his wingman. I got my love for motorcycles from my Dad and my brother. You and I are about the same age (I’ll be 70 in April). The only regret I have is never being able to ride with my Dad. Like me (I’m a Vietnam vet), Dad never talked much about his time during the European campaign, but through his eyes you could read the sorrow when talk centered around the war. Thanks again for a perspective I wasn’t privy to from a fellow dispatch rider, the General. 

Dave Swain
Maugansville, Maryland

By the look of the photo I must have written that column just for your dad and his “wingman.” It is a perfect complement to Almost Fiction’s “Dispatch Riders” and with close examination one gets a real flavor for what I was writing about and what your father endured. 

Thanks for your comments.

—Slippery Sam


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