Friday, June 29, 2012

Lewiston, ID./ Clarkston WA. - "Juice" & "Texas John"

This morning, I crossed the Snake River, from Lewiston, Idaho into (twin town) Clarkston, Washington. That is because "Juice's High Performance - Hells Canyon Custom Motorcycle Shop" is located there. My appointment was at 10:30 am. When talking with "Juice", the previous afternoon; he mentioned a spot, I should try for breakfast (near his shop) - called "Grumpy's". I landed at Grumpy's at 9:15 and had a "great breakfast" - bacon & eggs, rye toast and coffee. I got to Juice's shop, shortly after 10:00. What a "great" bike shop. It is co-located, on the same property, as his residence - a large shop, broken into rooms for specific functions i.e. an engine room; a welding room, for repairs & custom work, etc.. As Juice says: "He's never late for work, 'cause he's always there!" Juice runs a two (2) man operation - "Juice" (Owner/Mechanic) and "Texas John" (Mechanic). They are "Old School". Did I say, in an earlier "Blog Post" that I liked "Old School?" I'm sure, I must have. I seek out businesses, like "Juice's", to spend my money. Businesses, where the "Owner" is a hands-on expert; who is passionate, about what the business is about. Businesses, like Juice's, add value to the customer experience i.e. I can walk around; see what they're doing; ask questions; pour myself a coffee - and in general, make myself at-home. Very Enjoyable! There are no hidden service charges or add-ons, to surprise you - when the bill arrives. Just the "meat & potatoes" of what was done/charged - & in layman's terms. Businesses, I stay clear of are those - with many departments of bureaucracy; buck passing and no accountability. You know, the companies solely interested in -grabbing the cash.
At the outset, "Juice" explained, what his "full service package" entailed (and recommended, I have it done). He stated his labour charges, and if there was nothing too strange - how much the job would cost. Both he, and "Texas John", were more than willing to answer, my many questions. The job entailed getting three (3) oils changed - engine/filter; transmission and primary; installing a new, rear tire/tube. "Texas John" did most of the work - including adjusting/lubricating the cables; cleaning the air filter (I had done it, a week ago, in Fairbanks, but it was dirty again, from the Yukon dust.) Thanks, "Juice & Texas John" for fitting me in with such short notice. You guys are "1st Class!"
Before I left, I showed them "www.wunderlust2012.com" and "1 eye's blog" and discussed the charities, I was promoting. I also showed them the links, to the various sites - including "Cole's Journey." I could see, these rugged guys - were genuinely touched by this! Biker's have "Big Hearts!" "Juice", told me of the "charity runs", he and his buddies have organized & taken part in. Keep up the "Good Deeds!"
After pictures & hand shakes, I was off, looking for "reminders" of the Lewiston I knew, forty-one (41) years ago. It wasn't to be! The situation I found myself in, was similar to Coos Bay. OR.. I asked people; I went to the Library. An interested Librarian, got me a book from the archives - on the recent History of Lewiston. Nothing, was in it about their "pro baseball club". The Librarian. also called her neighbor; a real baseball enthusiast - but he wasn't home, She left him my cell# - he hasn't called yet. I then rode downtown, looking for the set-back stores, restaurants - & angle parking, I remembered. It had all changed! I felt like I was in different town - via a time-machine!
Lewiston Broncs were only in the Northwest League - till 1974. I was here in 1971. They had the notoriety of being, the "smallest town" to have had a pro baseball team. Since, the ball stadium - and any evidence, of my Lewiston baseball experience were gone; I took a picture of a "little league" park, I passed. I thought - this might dampen, my yearning, for Lewiston baseball memories! It didn't!
Tomorrow, I will leave for the "Crazy Horse Memorial", Sturgis, SD. & home.
I just heard a motorcycle outside - it's "Texas John", on his chopper. He lives near my motel & invited me to his house. Group picture ("Texas John", me & "Juice"), "Juice's, Hells Canyon Custom Motorcycle Shop" and a Little league Park. Also some pictures at "Texas John's" place. Several of his friends came by. Thanks for the hospitality!