‘start small & begin promptly’

I love it when I look at something and am instantly inspired! A small
photograph in a frame – is obviously something important. Reading
the caption behind the glass case I learned this small shed
was in a backyard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin about 110 years ago.

The shed belonged to a family named Davidson.

If I added the fact that ‘serial number one’ motorcycle
was built in that little building with a friend named Harley
you might start to piece together, Harley-Davidson.

Harley & the Davidsons

Harley & the Davidsons

The Harley-Davidson brand is known in every corner of the world,
easily recognizable on most highways especially in the warmer months.
Over 3.5 million (2002) motorcycles have graced roads, fields,
race tracks, police lines, postal routes and even the front lines in
two World Wars.

I just visited the Harley-Davidson museum where this photograph hangs and what impressed me the most that day was enthusiasm for everything Harley,
a familiar brand that started in this tiny space, a 10 x 15′ shed.

Harley is not just a brand of motorcycle or rider, it seems to be part of life for those who choose to breathe in that air.  It’s a culture.  I saw it in the excitement of a staff member who was thrilled to share his knowledge
of the layout of the building so we wouldn’t miss any exhibit. He loved his job, anyone could see it.

An exhibit, ‘Living Lost’ – photographs from the front seat of a Harley on a cross-country ride. Gritty in open nature, greasy from side of the road repairs, soft in the future generation of HOGs (the term used for Harley Owner Groups), this display showed the camaraderie among riders.

The evolution of fuel tanks ranging in color – looked very much like my memory of a vast display of butterflies. The ‘Wall of Tanks’ was clean & simple yet spoke loud in volume of history, longevity and miles of open road.

Harley-Davidson wall of tanks

Harley-Davidson wall of tanks

One of the most moving pieces I’ve seen in any museum was the ‘Tsunami motorcycle display’. When the devastating wave hit Japan in March 2011 a motorcycle in a container was washed out to sea. The container drifted 4,000 miles and washed ashore on the coast of British Columbia. It was found in May. Inside the container was a Harley, the Japanese license plate still intact. Finally tracking down the owner who survived, it was learned many in his family perished, his home lost.  The owner asked if his Harley could be donated to the museum in Milwaukee as a memorial to those who were lost. The motorcycle is encased in glass in the same condition it was found, the salt water corrosion continues to make progress.

tsunami motorcycle display

tsunami motorcycle display

The structure of the museum is steel, strong & sturdy, held together by rivets.
‘A rivet is the strongest bond that holds things like I-beams and jeans together. A rivet is exposed to the elements & takes on whatever nature throws at it’ (from the Harley-Davidson website).

I’ve been a visitor to a few Harley events – they’ve always intrigued me – viewing the common thread of Harley; the camaraderie between thousands of owners & riders, the feeling of freedom on the road & being connected by a unique energy & culture, being exposed to the elements & taking on whatever nature throws your way.

And to think every time you hear the roar on the back road or highway – it all began in a 10 x 15′ shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

www . Harley-Davidson . com







Live the magic
Have faith in simplicity
Always dare to dream.
(Posted at the Field of Dreams movie set, Iowa)

In a cornfield in the middle of the United States.
I had a magical experience there.

“People will come….they’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom”

I think everyone knows about the 25 year old movie ‘Field of Dreams’ starring Kevin Costner, a corn field and a famous line,
build it, he will come
Its a great story about baseball, passion & dreams.

I couldn’t fathom exactly why I went to Iowa. Except to watch magic unfold right before my eyes on a beautiful October day. We turned down yet another country road in between even more cornfields and quickly approached THE field, THE house with THE white picket fence, with THE red barn in the background. It was not a movie set that was removed when the movie wrapped. It’s a pristine baseball field, acres of corn stalks and magic in the air.

movie set  for Field of Dreams movie WAVphoto

movie set for Field of Dreams movie

“And they’ll walk out to the bleachers, sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon”

Field of Dreams, Iowa

Field of Dreams, Iowa

“…they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters”

My friend knew to bring a glove, ball and a bat and ran onto the field ready to throw & catch and run…kids again! There was no way to capture or translate what happened next. We took the obvious photos: walking out from the cornstalk rows – just like in the movie. I chatted with other visitors, a family from the east in town for a wedding–the grandparents, parents and a baseball playing young man – I offered to take a family photo. Afterward, they reluctantly returned to their car. A young couple with a toddler were sitting on the bleachers…waiting.
Enjoying the day. Just waiting.

With energetic enthusiasm, my friend encouraged the young couple onto the field. The gal jumped up excited to have been called up. Her face lit up as she connected the bat to the ball and watched it sail past second base. By her skill you could tell it wasn’t the first hit of her life. You would have thought she hit a grand slam in a major ball park – I could tell it felt like home to her. In the outfield she ran down all the balls that were hit…chased them at top speed, smiling the whole time. Alive. Happy. She moved gracefully, as if she fielded grounders every day. I learned from her husband that she dearly missed her college softball team and he said they had just moved to Iowa to start their new life with big dreams.

The wedding family had backed out of the dusty parking space and were summoned to play. A dreamer who loves the game of baseball, pulled the car right back into the parking space after hearing the yelling, “come back-we need more players!” The young man ran to home plate – thrilled to have a chance to bat. He asked his dad to take a video of him running the bases. He ran fast and free, hardly touching the ground knowing all eyes were following him. Grandpa? Yes, he savored each moment watching his son and grandson hitting, running, laughing– playing baseball. I could see the shine in his eyes.
The magic had taken over.

It was a beautiful October day in a cornfield in Iowa.

“It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again…. people will come… people will most definitely come”

72WAVphoto self 1898

Live the magic~ have faith in simplicity~always dare to dream