#74 In Roads-Scar tissue


I’ve stopped off in a little town in Idaho where there’s a big farmer’s market going on in the park. I’m wandering around in full leathers when an elderly man sitting in the shade strikes up a conversation. He asks if I’m on a poker run.

“It’s a beautiful day for a ride and you’ve come to the right place. It’s beautiful here. My father used to ride Indians. He’s held together by scar tissue from crashing, actually. And my daughter’s an old biker chick. She and I were in Sturgis about four years ago when I stopped at a leather shop to get a new pair of gloves. While I’m inside she wins a tattoo contest out in the parking lot. That was when she still lived in Iowa. My son-in-law sold his Harley now, though, when they moved out here.”

He mentions that his wife, Merla, is an artist and it’s her work he’s selling today. The couple has lived in Sandpoint for 40 years.

“This is a really spiritual area,” he tells me. “We have several channelers in town and three Buddhist groups. We’re Quakers and have had a group here for 30-years but you know, I’m starting to prefer the Buddhist attitude towards silence, personally.” He chuckles to himself before Herb gives me tips on the best road to take to Glacier in order to avoid construction and to enjoy the best scenery. I ask if I can take his picture. It intrigues me that the 75-year old has few wrinkles on his face but his hands are gnarled with arthritis. There are deep scars.  He agrees to the photo as long as I don’t shoot his hands, even though I try to convince him that I find them interesting.

“The local doc says my hands are a sign of a life well lived. I just think they’re ugly,” he shrugs. “I married into logging family back in the early ‘60s and I’ve enjoyed my work. Just spent 14 hours on the end of a chainsaw as a matter of fact, and I can certainly feel it today. I can tell you’re spiritual yourself,” he tells me as he stabs at the air with a crooked finger. “You seem very happy. I suspect you’re living your life well, too.”





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