Panhead Billy Burrows has been on the road and living off his motorcycle since the 70s. And Scooter Tramp Scotty right behind him, drifting for 24 years, living a modern day Kerouacian life that most only fantasize of.
'What happened 40 years ago Billy?'
'My old lady gave me the boot'
I repeatedly asked the gentle 69 year old what freedom meant to him and each time he shared memories of his head reclined in a woman's bosom sipping on wild turkey cruising through the Dakotas with his long hair blowing in the wind.
'How many miles you have on this old Panhead'
'I've never had an odometer on any of my bikes. At least a million. That's not important. What's important are the places it brings me to and the people I meet along the way. Visions of dreams..' He says and looks into the sky as he puts his hand up to the blue war-painted handprint on the side of his silver tank.
'He changes his story every time' Scotty winks.
What started out as a soul searching experience for Scotty turned in to a lifestyle for him. After being on the road for a year, Scotty realized that there was no turning back. He liquidated everything he owned except for what fit on his bike, and hit the road.... for good. From Alaska to Oaxaca where he was housed by basically Mexican Royalty Scotty's seen it all.
'What's visions of dreams Billy?'
'The name of my lady.'
He's talking about his 1970s Panhead Harley Davison.
'I think most of my girlfriends have been jealous of her' he says, handing me a sexy lady centerfold and four different copies of easy rider magazine where Scooter Tramp Scotty has been a contributing writer. If you google him, you can find his stories of adventures on the road. Not to mention, he's basically figured out a philosophy and manifesto for sustainable motorcycle nomadism. I just finished reading his most recent novel, 'Josie's Journey', and he is in fact one hell of a writer. I asked Scotty what I should do about my wanderlust and my need for speed.
'Until I learned to make road life as relaxed and comfortable, maybe even more so, than my home town, I would no longer need to return. That's the reason I no longer feel the need to go home. I am home'
'It should be illegal what they charge for this magazine,' said Billy starting his smoky engine.
'But then we read the smut you're reading last night,' Scotty says pointing to the most recent copy of META sitting in the rusted international scout wagon he slept in last night. Scotty's blaring 'Wild horses' on the stereo of his blue Harley Davidson with an Evo engine, which remains unnamed.
'What in the hell! $20 for this magazine?!' Billy squints shaking his head. 'Who buys this stuff?! And What's the world coming to?'
'I will say though,' says Scotty 'these guys know how to write'.
'But the magazine needs more ladies' chimes in Billy pulling out the centerfold of his recent issue of easy rider.
'Definitely more ladies'..... Says Billy as I hug the gypsies and they ride down the dirt driveway, off to another adventure.
Visions of dreams.