Solo Palm Tree bright blue night sky with clouds.

This post about leaving home began in January and while it’s still the same theme, everything is different.

Here’s the original, “We expect to be completely out of Orange County by late February and it’s finally sinking in. Though I lived in four other states growing up, Orange County California was always home. Even while living in San Luis Obispo County I was from Orange County. When we moved back in 1999, I thought it was forever. We both like it here but it really hit for me after selling the condo and going vagabond. Exploring Orange County’s various communities and stumbling across many places I’d encountered as a child and discovering others made the thought of leaving home difficult. We even ended up about a hundred yards from the site of the Triumph Dealership an uncle owned from the fifties to late seventies and a couple of blocks from my Kindergarten school. I also learned one can be homesick, homeless(ish), and home concurrently.”

Hotel Pepper Tree Pool and balcony
Hotel Pepper Tree, walking distance to my Kindergarten
B&W Rainy day in Orange CA. viewed from pickup truck. Wet palm lined street, Coca-Cola truck, Chevy dealership, light traffic.
Chapman Avenue in Orange heading west.
'48 Ford pickup and '81 Corvette at Pancho's in Orange, CA
Bondorella & Porn Sled at Pancho’s
Airstream, Harley-Davidson, Triumph in Shop with chandelier.
Leaving the Orange space of ten years

Big plan/s change

As many of you know, I’m happily employed (while writing this) at a Harley-Davidson dealership in SoCal. I have been at three Harley-Davidson dealers all but two of the last twenty-six years. Five+/- at Gary Bang’s and Orange County Harley-Davidson, and thirteen great years at Pomona Valley Harley-Davidson. The missing two were spent at Irv Seaver Motorcycles, “the oldest continuously operated motorcycle dealership in the USA.”

SPOILER ALERT: We did NOT buy a dealership!

Harley-Davidson, Barbara (my long time employer), Lori, and I have worked on finding and buying a Harley-Davidson dealership off and on for several years. We looked at a bunch, made an offer on one we really wanted, and passed on a few partnership proposals that were tempting but not quite right for us. All along working on the Motor Palace and its place in our future.

We did find one perfect dealership…

Except I wanted the business, not the buildings. The price was fair and the dealership was everything I wanted but at my age I couldn’t stomach the risk of a down real estate market when the day comes I have to retire. Bottom line…I chickened out.

So Lori retired, we backed off and I would stay at Pomona Valley a few more years while Lori got things going in Winslow.

We leased a shop closer to work where I’d camp in the Airstream Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then Friday through Monday I’d live at Two Crows in Yucca Valley and visit Winslow once a month. Lori would bounce between Winslow and Two Crows between construction, picture taking, and writing projects.

All was going as planned despite a couple of months delay getting into the new shop, including snow, shop readiness, and a great trip to Prague.

Lori opening a random giant blue door on cobblestone street in Prague
Lori opening a random giant door in Prague

Along Came Dia

This might be a little confusing but bear with me. It will all make sense in minute. I made an offhand comment to a friend, who followed up with a wise-crack response on a Friday, which then resulted in a surprise message with contact info on Monday. I responded from the 76 station in Winslow and spent the rest of the day driving, replying, and missing messages. Finally, in Amboy, we connected and made plans to talk Tuesday. Our talk went well and we decided to meet in Winslow the following Saturday.

This and “Take it Easy” happen every trip

I blew back to Winslow Friday, met Dia Saturday, and eagerly accepted an offer. Yes, she was buying Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson (the perfect dealership mentioned above). When the dust settles and the trailers unloaded I’ll be the new General Manager of Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson’s stores in Bellemont, Mayer, Prescott, and Sedona Arizona.

Who’s Dia?

She’s Dia of Alaska, a lifelong Harley-Davidson rider, dealership employee, and for the last seven years, owner of the best Harley-Davidson shops in Alaska. She and her team earned Bar & Shield awards the last five, while still living a good life, with around ten thousand miles a year in the saddle, a little drag racing, and raising her Bulldogs, Chunk & Truffles. She’s the real deal, she’s nice, she’s smart, she’s driven, and she’ll have the best Harley-Davidson dealerships in the “Lower 48.”

Lori sitting on wood bench in front of Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson
Lori thought she’d found her spot.
Cadillac ATS in Front of Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson
Home of my new job.

Homesick?

California’s been good and leaving home isn’t easy, but it’s time for a new adventure. It’s time to get on an older bike and ride a little slower. I love Orange County and Southern California, the dream is real, but it’s time to make room to share it with someone else. You may be the best place on earth and you’ll always be home.

  • Me, a little boy on tricycle with wading pool 1963-4
  • Harley-Davidson Fatboy and Lori with her news van
  • 301 Cafe name painted on wall
  • Leaving home in '65 Mustang
  • California home in 1960s
  • Car on fire in neighborhood

And here are pictures of things I was going write about

Palm trees at night. Hotel Peppertree Anaheim
Hotel Pepper Tree parking lot
Airstream Caravelle in Yucca Valley snow
Snow
Me waiting on a train
Waiting on the train to Winslow
2019 Black TourX at Pioneertown OK Corral
We replaced the ATS with this AWD Buick TourX
U-Haul trailer, Ford pickup, and Jeep at Roy's Amboy
Another Roy’s shot
Leaving home in a U-Haul truck under a blue night sky.
Go U-Haul Famous!
Tangerine colored Harley-Davidson Softail.
The Tangerine Dream at Two Crows
White '91 Dodge Van at Roys in Amboy, CA
The Dajibagn at Roy’s Amboy
Lori and me in Death Valley
Bbige1981 Corvette fueling up and leaving it's California home.
Last tank of California gas

So, there it is

Get in touch if you’re in Northern Arizona and we’ll show you around.

My official residence will be Winslow as soon as we get a mailbox, we’re keeping Two Crows for now and will be out of the 909 workshop before year end. Finally, sorry Winslow, you’re stuck with me now.

Special bonus!!!

Levi and me somewhere on the Central Coast with Harley-Davidsons and black leather
Me and Levi somewhere on the Central Coast

Former young adult outreach subject/model and great person, LEVI MEDINA joined our dream team in sales and is helping with the transition to Dia’s ownership.

If you’re looking for work in Northern Arizona Harley-Davidson Dealership, please contact me HERE

and finally check out Lori’s latest at Winslow.Town

9 thoughts on “LEAVING my CALIFORNIA HOME”

  1. I wish you and Lori all the best, Brian. Nice blog. Hey, you guys ever talk to Harley’s software department in Independence, Ohio? My kid, Mitchell, is an engineer there (accounting software quality manager). Anyhoo, stay a hippie.

  2. Winslow hit a home run here, excited to have Lori and Bryan join Winslow’s climb back from the loss of Rt 66 aka “Cars” to the new “66”, sorry California for your loss!

    1. Thank you David, you’re one of the people who made the decision easier. We look forward to spending time with you and Ann.

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