The Time for America is Now
Author: Tay Jones, CEO of Twisty Rider LLC
I’ve worn this American flag helmet for a while now. Everywhere I go, I receive the best reactions from Patriotic Americans who love this country. People love seeing the red, white, and blue rolling down the road, and better yet, they love seeing people who show the American pride they, too, feel in their hearts.
From road workers, people parked next to me at stop lights, to people yelling from the sidewalk tossing a thumbs up, you name it – people love it and aren’t afraid to love it. This is America. People who love this country are starting to realize the importance of making that love known and embracing others who aren’t afraid to show their love. The time for the “silent majority” to no longer be silent is now.
Part of riding and being out in the wind is to be out in America and its communities, experiencing them and the people who live in them on a different level. One of the most memorable of these experiences came to me because of this helmet.
I was on a recent ride to Winslow, Arizona during the fiftieth anniversary of the Eagles’ song Take it Easy. On my way, I took a detour through a small Arizona town called Winkelman. Small town; big hearts. Everyone I saw was super friendly and chatted me up about the bike. It’s hard to beat small-town-America for getting your finger on the pulse of what’s real and what’s not, and what people really care about in this world. Real human interaction seems to be at the top of the list.
While at a gas station, eating a snack by the bike – helmet dangling from the bars – an older man walked up to me and introduced himself. Boone was his name. Boone looked as hard-working as they come as he walked over from his even harder worked pickup truck.
“How you doing,” he said as he approached, reaching out his dusty, leathery hand. We shook hello and started up a conversation about the bike and where I was headed.
Boone told me the reason he came over to say hello was because of my helmet. He said he had one just like it as a kid and was obsessed with Evil Knievel. “That helmet brings back a flood of memories” he said. You could sense the honesty in his voice and the genuineness in his eyes.
He continued, telling me a story about being a kid, riding out on his Harley-Davidson. Stars and stripes on his head, jumping buses in his mind, no doubt. A small Knievel wannabe looking to do great things.
He told me about taking a jump that was way out of his league, which ended in a crash and a broken wrist. He told this story with a smile on his face.
When he got home, they had to go to the hospital to get his arm fixed. He said his father was furious. So mad, in fact, he forbade him from riding his motorcycle ever again. His father, to make this wish a reality, got out a torch and cut his Harley-Davidson in half, sealing its fate.
Well, Boone didn’t take too kindly to that, as adventure was still in his heart. And we all know you can’t suppress an adventurous spirit forever. There was no suppressing Boone, who soon after discovered the rodeo. Although there were no broken arms, Boone’s father was not impressed with his continued, blatant disregard for his personal safety, and was again furious. Boone said he told his dad, “What you going to do, cut the bull in half?”
And that was that. His spirit lived on.
Boone’s father isn’t around anymore, and I could tell this conversation was a great way for him to relive and reconnect with the man who raised him. I doubt Boone had told that story in recent times and probably wouldn’t have told it in the near future had I not rolled up that day with this helmet.
Boone’s spirit isn’t unique. You’ll encounter people like him everywhere if you’re open to conversation and meeting new people.
Boone’s spirit is not unlike the spirit of America. The spirit to live free, regardless of what is dictated to you, even if by someone with good intentions.
Living free and loving freedom is a personal choice that not everyone embraces. This country guarantees the pursuit of happiness, not happiness itself. A lot of the time, that happiness is sequestered by your own choices, not by those of others.
My challenge to you is this:
Love America. Live America. Don’t let those who wish to oppress you and your freedom to keep you from experiencing your true adventurous spirit, even if that freedom costs you a little pain. I promise you a broken wrist hurts a lot less than a broken spirit.
Get out there and ride.
Pursue your happiness.
Experience this country and the people who love it.
Outwardly show your pride for this country and support those who do the same.
That’s how we win.
The time for America is now.
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