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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
And here are pictures of things I was going write about
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.
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