Indian Lookout Country Club
1142 Batter Street
Pattersonville, NY 12137
Phone (518) 864-5659
Fax (518) 864-5917
Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Harley Rendezvous Classic Turns 30!

By Colorado T. Sky - With special thanks to Antoinette and Janet for copious research and background information.

 

The Harley Rendezvous Classic is turning 30!

They said it'd never happen.

Some of 'em –a lot of 'em, actually—swore up and down that it couldn't be done.

An' even if it could be done, we damn sure couldn't do it.

An' even if we could, then they damn sure wouldn't stand for it!

Some of them even said that we ought to be institutionalized.

So much for "them" and what "they" say...

The Harley Rendezvous Classic is turning 30!

The Big "Trey-Oh"! Wow, we're old! Over The Hill! (which means that gravity should be kickin' in soon an' we'll be pickin' up speed!). Break out the black balloons! Three decades! An entire generation! In fact, we actually have several second-generation attendee and Staff families, and even a couple who are coming unto their third!

I guess we're not a kid any more...

Now, I gotta level with ya... I haven't been here since the beginning. It just looks that way sometimes. Feels that way sometimes, too. I didn't get my first peek until '90 (In a Hurry...just cruised through), missed '91 (In Carcerated) and was back for '92 (In Toxicated), so a lot of my information on the earlier years might be a little shaky 'cuz the chances are that everybody else was having as good a time as I was. Still, I've got almost twenty years of vague recollections and a whole stack of back issues of "The Rendezvous Express" to fall back on.

Bear in mind that this may not be exactly the way you remember it. There's a whole bunch of names that have been changed to protect the innocent and a whole other bunch of tales I promised not to tell, or at least to hold off until the statute of limitations runs out.

Still, I remember many of the last however-many Rendezvoux (which, according to Lucky Pierre, is the proper plural for "'Rendezvous"). Some were four days of constant rain while others were a weekend of choking dust that even the world's only black fire engine couldn't keep down. We've had funnel clouds and instant thunderstorms that vanished as quickly as they appeared. Not everything weird that happened at ILCC happened at a Rendezvous; one Staff Meeting we crawled out of our tents and into five inches of snow!

The list of wild, weird and wonderful goes on and on; The Wall of Death. Professional Wrestlers. Yodeling on the radio. Schwag. Wondering where Knocker's Cafe was gonna be.

Ah, The Rendezvous. Les Rendezvoux!

Like Sweat Lodge Joe says, "Rendezvoux like sunset. All same, all different, all splendid."

And now we're gonna be 30!

To think that it all started with the germ of an idea, but, oh, what a gem of a germ!

Some lunatic biker –a fella named Kemp O'Connell-- had an inspired thought. That by itself is no big deal... most of us have one every once in a while. What made Kemp and his idea so different was the fact that he had the motivation and the innovation and the dedication to bring his inspiration to completion. Try reading that out loud. Now try doing that. Out loud.

He recruited his father, Dan (it was a family affair even back then) clued in a few of his runnin' mates (a circle which has since grown ever larger) and an event was born.

The premise was fairly simple: "We all ride Harleys. We all like to party. We oughta have a Harley Party."

A good enough idea all by itself, I'm sure we'd agree, but over the course of the next thirty years, it would prove to be an idea that would grow to way beyond just a mere "party."

This isn't just a random bash. There are deeper underlying local historical issues at work here, a spiritual heritage that most folks don't even notice. This event is a lot more than it smells like...

We all read James Fennimore Cooper and Washington Irving back in high school or college or the bookmobile and we recall "The Leatherstocking Tales," "The Deerstalker," and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," all written by local authors and all set in a time when Our Beloved Country Club was a high-ground landmark on the American Frontier, and a source of much historical pride in our event and our locale.

It was a rugged time in a rugged country. Individuals often spent considerable time alone, which gave opportunity for reflection. They learned to rely on their own ingenuity and whatever they could carry in their saddlebags. There were no bridges to park under when it rained, no paved roads, no flush toilets, no Internet. Nobody gave a shit how "unique and special" they were, at least not until they did something unique and special, which, under the circumstances, had to be something pretty serious, considering that mere survival was a 24-7 job.

They learned reliability and self-reliance, responsibility, adaptability, integrity, interdependence, individuality and How To Get Along and they learned fast. Damn fast. Or they died. If they were lucky, somebody buried 'em; if not, somethin' ate 'em. And everybody Back East wondered, "why don't he write?"

Once a year, usually around the First of Summer, they'd gather near some trading post or riverside meadow or crossroads or hospitable homesteader's field (the first of the homesteaders were moving in by then) and have themselves a party that would last 'em for the next year.

This was their one big gathering and they came from far and wide, mountain men (and women), traders and trappers from The Adirondacks, the Berkshires, the Appalachians, the Green and the White, from the banks of the Androscoggin to the mighty Miami and Ohio River valleys, afoot or on horseback or draggin' a mule.

Borders meant nothing to these folks; they came and went as the mood or trail took 'em, travelling or just wandering, making their way in the wilderness. Iroquois and Dutch, Scottish and Irish, Mohawk and Mohegan, escaped Africans and exiled French, they would come to renew old acquaintances, to make new ones, to swap pelts and tales, and to party. Especially to party.

They took the name for these gatherings from their amis Français: they called it "The Rendezvous."

This history and tradition formed much of Our Founder's vision; a place and an event that would host all these Fellow Travellers, wanderers, migrants, gypsies, saddletramps and scooterbums from wherever dispersed around the globe (and we've had 'em here from almost every state in The Union, plus Canada, Turkey, Sweden, Australia, South Africa and God only knows where else over the years).

The Kemp Years

In 1979 the first Harley Rendezvous (it wasn't yet a "Classic"... it wasn't even an "annual") was held at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich, New York (up the other side of Schuylerville). Figures remain sketchy as to the number of attendees, duration, Staff membership, bands and other details, but it must have gone well or there wouldn't have been a second one.

The original Staff shirts were plain white tees with stock blue lettering; "Harley Rendezvous '79" (as I recall). I think they said "Staff" on the back (the only one I ever saw was on somebody under a vest). Probably Mark Hilton, somewhere backstage.

The real nit-pickin' history buffs among you will remember the state of "The Company" back then so, by rights, it should have been the AMF Rendezvous, 'cuz that's who built the '79 Harleys, including the FXEF, the factory Fat Bob, which was brand new that year.

In other news, Jimmy Carter was still President (but would lose to Ronald Reagan the following year), disco was choking on its dying gasp (not a moment too soon) and the followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini were about to seize the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran and spark a 444-day hostage crisis.

Early 80s

For the Second Annual (there's no such thing as a "first annual"... it ain't an "annual" 'til the second year) The Company brought out the FLT with the 5-speed and the belt drive. I hear there's still a few of 'em around. By '82 they had introduced the FXR and FXRS and they (The Company) were still happily involved with the event.

Logistics were constantly and creatively improvised at many of the early "'Voux."

One Staffer recalls being sent on a beer run by Kemp, who jammed a wad of cash in his hand and said "go."

Grabbing a partner and a nearby pickup, he went. En route, his partner asked "Where're we goin'?" "To get beer. Kemp gave me some money." "How much?" "About five grand."

Tales also tell of –and admissible evidence bears out—the dedication of our Staffers and attendees to our event.

One frere Canadien, having suffered a serious myocardial infarction shortly before one particular 'Vous, defied his medical advisors and checked himself out of the hospital to make the event, saying "Tous meurent, pas tous vivent."

"Everyone dies, but not everyone really lives." He was found, dead and smiling, in his tent that Sunday morning.

In another case, a Staffer went to indescribable lengths to demonstrate his unwillingness to let his day job interfere with his participation here at The 'Vous.

Eamon Cronin (of Midnight Sun, Riders on the Storm, and other bands), a musical legend in his own right who has also graced the stage here for many years as emcee for the International Contests (ask your Dad. He was watching it), was touring Europe, playing drums for the legendary Animals (yeah, that's right, the very same Animals of "Sky Pilot," "When I was Young," and our gloriously misspent youth).

Wrapping up the final gig in London, he climbed blearily aboard a BOAC to JFK, stumbled into back of a limo (possible driven by fellow Staffer Iron Dave), cruised Staff Gate with a wave, got out backstage, strode to the microphone, raised a fist in defiant salute and, after eighteen hours of grueling travel, his first amplified word:

"Rendezvous!"

Another abiding institution at Indian Lookout is Chuck Schmidt, a former 'neighbor' of my father's from somewhere off the Podunk Pike down the other side of Pelham Hill, and who has long provided us with a more recent, more cowboy-flavored aspect of our Rugged Individualist tradition with "The Great American Motorcycle Rodeo." I understand it's particularly popular among the Cowboy Hippie Bikers.

We've all heard the phrase, "not to be missed" in regard to some band, show or clusterfuck over the years, but believe me when I tell ya that, in this case, it's true. It's a show that you can't say you've been to the 'Vous without having seen.

The Riders (Ready?!?), the luscious, slick and foamy Beer Bitches, and Uncle Chuck himself starring as Ringmaster of The Biker Olympics. The Slow Ride, The Plank, The Blind Sidehack Race, The Weenie Bite and all the other events... words fail me.

Ya gotta see it. Ya gotta be it; the contestants and judges are drawn from the attendees, so if you want to truly be a part of The 'Vous, here's your chance. Prizes are awarded and there's free beer for the competitors, so get the lead out.

Intermission

Occasionally I am asked how we –we here-- became Indian Lookout Country Club (because I write for the paper, people think I know about stuff like this). And the true and truthful answer is: I can't say for sure. I wasn't consulted.

I didn't do it, didn't see it, and wasn't there when it happened. I dunno.

I can figure out the "Indian" part (it was further clarified –at great length-- by our First Citizen and Resident Sage, Sweat Lodge Joe himself. He claims to be The One Who Was Lookin' Out and he's certainly old enough).

And the "Lookout" from the high ground is obvious enough, even to somebody who's only got one eye.

Eventually, we became a Country Club. Hey, it's like a club an' it's in the country. What more do we have to explain?

Yes, I, too, was confused about the "country club" connotation, especially considering that the only golf club on the premises is being used as a flagpole, mounted on the starboard quarter of the radio station. I can't speak for anybody else, but the best 'wood' in my golf bag is the pencil.

Of course, there were other options. Somebody suggested we organize as a "wildlife preserve," like for the preservation of the wild life, y'know?

That got shot down early on. It seems a bureaucrat's definition of "wildlife" is a whole different thing from a biker's idea of a "wild life."

I understand that somebody suggested a petting zoo.

The obvious –and instant-- complaints were that bikers weren't animals (well, they're not vegetable or mineral, so....?) and that they don't like to be petted.

"Have you ever tried to pet a biker?" I was asked. Well, no I haven't, but, speaking as a biker, I must admit that like being petted now and then... here and there... if it's done right, I'll even pant and kick my hind leg....

Back To Business

And so went the quickly-accumulating history of our event, played out with much irony and humor, much sweat and grief, and much beer and grog, much like the infancy of Our Great Nation.

Early "colonists" here at The People's Republic of Indian Lookout also faced oppression from tyranny, bureaucracy and hostile natives who thought we were here to steal their land. There was a lot of resistance from the locals and their "Ugh! Newcomers! There goes the neighborhood" attitudes, overbearing government resistance, and a whole bunch of other factional, tribal and political complications.

For the first few years, we arranged for a place to hold our event with the local homesteaders (the homesteaders were fairly well established by then). The '84 'Vous was held at Frosty Acres, just down the road. As nice a time as everybody seems to have had (what they can recall of it), there's still nothing like partying in your own back yard. Later that year Kemp acquired the roughly two hundred acres that would become Our Beloved Country Club; The Rendezvous had found a permanent home and has been here since.

I guess that makes us homesteaders.

Contrary to the persistently prevailing –or recurring-- romantic rumor, it had not been a hog farm (sorry, guys).

It had been John and Claire Switkowski's (I hope I got the spelling right, or at least close) cow farm.

They were wonderful folks and long-time supporters of the event who had recently retired at the time and were building a home just a few miles away, on the corner of U.S. Route 20 and Duanesburg Churches Road. In the early years, when a vast and vociferous segment of the town was against The 'Vous, they always stuck up a big sign at that intersection saying "Bikes Turn Here." 

Well into their 70s, they worked in the T-shirt barn for years, and saved virtually every single newspaper clipping about the Rendezvous! Rumor has it that that the legendary Switkowski Scrapbook is still floating around somewhere...  wouldn't that make a great centerpiece for the Rendezvous Historical Society Memorial Library!

1984 –with its strange Orwellian "Big Brother" connotations—also saw the return of the re-invented 80" (1340 cc) Evo. You could almost put Antique plates on one of those now. If you could find one.

During the Reagan era, the early facilities at Our Beloved Country Club were –to say the least-- rustic. Streets were paved with spilt beer and pulltabs and graded by heavy-lug steeltoed boots.

There was a diver down in the frog pond and Spazz The Cat showed up. There was a factional split (before I got here) and some went off to start another motorcycle-oriented event somewhere nearby. I don't know whatever became of them. Early sanitary facilities were rudimentary at best. Our idea of "Technology" didn't have anything to do with the Interweb (that'd come later). We dealt on a more practical level, such as the invention of the "six-pack" (another inspired thought); a half-dozen conjoined outhouses, built for about the same lumber and plywood it took to build four singles. They didn't have windows (not even the traditional crescent moon) so reading conditions were lousy, but the proximity made for cordial conversation.

Of course, we've come a long way since then, mostly through the diligent efforts of our leadership and our Staff; plumbers, equipment operators, electricians, Shovellers of Shite and cyberfolks, the general labor force who turn out whenever something needs to be installed, maintained or repaired. Which is always.

1988 saw the first Harley rendezvous Video, which has not only a lot of entertainment, but a lot of background. In it, we can watch Kemp (the High Head Honcho) out digging drainage ditches, Staffers dozing cowpaths into crude roads and the unveiling of Gus (whattaya mean, 'Who's Gus?'). Gus's girlfriend, Heidi, showed up a couple of years later, both the work of resident "Express" cover artist and T-shirt guru Mark "Kram" Gardner.

For the Tenth annual, The Company celebrated our Old School style by bringing the Springer back and putting it on their Softail. At least it looked Old School. I don't know if that's what they had in mind, but that's how it worked out. At least that's what it looked like to us. We were gonna ask Willie Gee, but he hadn't been seen in a while.

Things in the new neighborhood mellowed out a lot, too. "Over time, there was a gradual change from open hostility to open arms with the town." recalls one Senior Staffer, "They went from fearing certain factions to looking forward to seeing the respectful bikers who brought lots of money to local businesses, Boy Scouts and firehouses with fund raisers." She continues, "A subtle reminder to the current young generation of how it was, how it is and is how it's going to remain, with Respect being number one."

Back in 1990, The Company's "Fat Boy" and I showed up at about the same time. Coincidence? Maybe...

Through the late '80s and early '90s, there were some serious doubts about the future of our event, so we decided to jump the gun a bit and celebrate out Fiftieth Anniversary in '92. Remember the "50th"? It was actually our thirteenth, but we figured, what the hell, if Daytona could have their 50th that year, so could we!

I sorta remember it, too, especially after I re-read my articles. Hell, I had a blast! At the risk of speaking as one who wasn't at Daytona, I still think we had the better party.

That was about the time that Harley was Harley again. "The Eagle Flying Alone" seemed to be the perfect companion for "The Spirit That Never Dies." Another great romance shot to Hell.

If you weren't aware, we actually enjoyed The Company's official approval in the early (pre-ILCC) years. The Juneau Ave. contingent would show up, show off a few of the new models, talk tech and drink beer. Why, there was even a time when Ol' Willy G himself presented a silver belt buckle to the bike show winner!

Like so many other fine romances, this one ended up in court, too. Back in the early '90s The Company got all pissed off (maybe 'cuz we were havin' all this fun an' Vaughn Beals wasn't) and sued us. I suppose we should've seen it comin' when they hit The Big Board back in '87. It marked the advent of The Corporate Demise. Of course, they did a lot of stupid shit back then; trying to patent "the Harley sound," trying to trademark the work "apehangers," goin' into the leather and lingerie business. In spite of all that, they still managed to make a pretty decent motorcycle.

While we were busy celebratin' em, they sued us.

Harley lined up their briefcases back in '92 or '93 and filed for trademark infringement for the unauthorized use of the "Harley" name. We must have won in 1999 when the case was "settled," because we're still the Harley Rendezvous, although we do welcome all kinds of bikes.

Frank Potter was not one to take this kind of abuse laying down –not from The Company, the hostile locals, the government, anybody— so, in the true revolutionary spirit, he took radical action: He stood up.

Invoking his –and our—rights under Our Forefathers' Famous First Amendment, Mr. P. ably and aptly demonstrated what bikers (in general) and himself (in particular) are really made of. He fought for our Right to Freely Assemble (and have a helluva party) through the mid- to late '80s. Later he ran for, and was elected to, the County Commission, who he faithfully served as County Legislator from '92 to '99, not only maintaining the integrity of the Rendezvous, but doing it with the weight of The County on his shoulders and the lawyers of The Company up his arse.

His attitude was, "If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em. Then beat 'em!"

Somewhere along the line, we went from being merely a "Survivor" to maturing and tempering into a "Classic."

In 1994, an era came to an end.

Many thought the Rendezvous would as well, but "The Spirit That Never Dies" was more than a slogan, more than mere rhetoric or a slick-sounding tag line; it was an affirmation of faith.

Faith in one man's idea, his dream of an event where all bikers of all persuasions could come together and party their asses off every year, year after year. Faith in his dream of a place where all would be welcome, whether long-time attendees or "Vous-gins" (the popular contraction of "rendez-Vous vir-gin") whether Staff or attendee, regardless of club or association affiliation, politics, religion, or anything else, as long as they all held to the One Rule: "Respect."

After a valiant and painful battle, Kemp O'Connell finally succumbed, embarking on his own Eternal Ride down Forever Road, but not before making sure that the Rendezvous was in good hands.

I wasn't here for that, either, but it wasn't for lack of trying, so I can't say that I actually saw that solemn parade rumble back from the funeral and into the Staff Meeting, but I hear it was pretty impressive. It wasn't the biggest motorcade ever, nor the longest route, but it signalled a renewal of our commitment to the ideals of Our Country and Our Country Club, that there are some people worthy of recognition for their accomplishments (not just "good intentions") that there are some values worth holding, even when they seem too 'costly,' and that the true value of something is not in what you would spend for it, but what you would pay for it.

The Rendezvous –and all the peculiar and particular responsibilities that entailed—was handed off to Frank Potter and, because this is a family affair, it involved his wife, Antoinette, and his sons, Rick and Bill and, subsequently, their wives and children. It was way more work than a day job (day jobs pay) and besides, Frank already had a day job. He needed it to support the improvements. Mumblings of malcontents regarding the great raking-in of money by the higher echelons of Rendezvous leadership are as obviously crap now as they were then; as evidenced by the ticket prices alone, which haven't gone up in ten or twelve years. Try finding that kind of bargain anywhere else.

The revolutionary American spirit of pledging one's "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" to a cause in which we believe lives on at Indian Lookout, and forms the foundation for the event that has survived these three decades and looks to only get better in the future.

Since Kemp

A lot of folks thought that the end of Kemp was the end of the Rendezvous. They didn't know the Potters. Or they vastly underestimated them, and the rest of the Staff whose commitment to this event survived for these ensuing years.

Granted, the turnout in '95 was a little on the shy side, but the event rallied (no pun intended) and set the standard for being "Notorious With Class." The Staff realized that as great a loss as Kemp was, he was not the only, nor the first, nor the last Staffer to Shift Into Cosmic. While the others were not as high-profile, they were no less of integral importance to the 'Vous. We thought that they deserved recognition, too.

It was proposed, discussed and decided. In 1996, we set ourselves apart from every other event I've ever attended, and every one I've ever heard of. We have what no other gathering has and, when you look back over the past thirty years, or even the almost-twenty it was back then, it should come as no surprise.

To those brothers and sisters, those family members, who once dedicated their time and labor to this event, we erected our Staff Memorial Wall on the shady lower corner of our Village Green.

If you haven't seen it, stop on by. It'll give you a look at our event through a whole new window.

During the event, it's flanked by totem poles, flags, flowers, mementos and The Respectful, taking a sentimental moment for the quiet, intimate communication with those spirits before the event gets "spirited," which usually starts about sundown.

A lot of folks drift by as soon as they arrive, others on the way out, but I've seen 'em visiting at all hours of the day and night all weekend long. Stop on by. Say hello. We never close. We never forget.

The new Millennium was fast approaching but some of us resisted the incursions of modern technology (much as we mourned the demise of the kickstarter). The official website, harleyrendezvous.com, was registered in 1998, so this will be the ten year anniversary.  For about two years before that, our Wicked Webmistress had a "crappy" site running, the type with all the /~weird name/ ~another weird name that nobody was ever able to find, but she fixed that.

  Once in cyberspace, our "presence" immediately hit high gear on the Information Superhighway.

"It went from about 50 hits a month back then to about 10,000 a day now, and sometimes over 20,000 a day as the event gets closer."  Says she.

Certain members of the Staff (including myself) were a little reluctant about using the Internet and a little bit slow about gettin' the hang of it. Our Webmistress was way more than frustrated, but determined. She recalls "I used to have to print the web pages and bring them over to them, saying, 'And if you click here, you get this,' holding up the next page."

Shortly thereafter, along about the time the Rendezvous would have been old enough to drink, The Company brought out a twin-cam. Kinda like my ol' Honda 750.

In the midst of the Millennium Furor, the "Y2K Crisis," or the March of the Mad Millies (whatever ya wanna call it), Indian Lookout celebrated the Twenty-First Century by bringing our plumbing into the Twentieth.

In 2001 (the actual first year of the new millennium) flush toilets made their debut for Staff and Attendees! Plenty of light to read by, plenty of heat so yer short hairs didn't ice up and yer farts didn't freeze (we had a blizzard one subsequent Staff Meeting Sunday morning). For many of us, it was just like home— for some of us, it was better.

On September 11th of that year, the whole meaning of "Being An American" changed. It was the first time since the War of 1812 that an attack had been launched against the American Mainland (Pearl Harbor isn't on the mainland).

There were the frantic phone calls: "The Arabs are attacking! Can I bring my family up to Indian Lookout?" The answer was always the same. "Bring 'em up. Bring something to feed 'em."

Still, the Rendezvous survived.

I think it was in '03 --it was our 25th, whatever year that was-- we kicked off an incredible party with a particularly special guest or, you could say, about 59,000 "special guests."

Thanks to Antoinette Potter's inexhaustible efforts, the 25th Harley Rendezvous Classic saluted its Vietnam Veterans, and indeed, all Viet Vets, by hosting "The Moving Wall," the travelling Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

As a Vietnam Marine myself (one of many here at ILCC), I will be forever grateful to her for her commitment to this event and to those brothers, sisters and other strangers who have, over the centuries, defended our rights.

And now, The Harley Rendezvous Classic is turning 30!

We have not only survived, but thrived!

Some folks have wondered why. Or how.

Of course, some of them are the same ones who thought we that ought to be institutionalized...

We have fought The Good Fight, and fought it well --under solid leadership-- to preserve our rights and we (especially Frank Potter and his family) have demonstrated the power that a single individual can have in a democratic republic if --and only if—they choose to take the initiative and the responsibility and all the heat and scrutiny that comes with it.

I say, More Power To Him! More Power to Us All. Power to The People. Right on!

We started as a loose idea flavored with a bit of local history. We became a party, then a tradition; not merely a hollow ritual, but a living, breathing, ranting, raving annual festival of greasy thunder and raucous dysfunction, a whole year's worth of party packed into a single weekend. According to some, it's more fun than we ought to be allowed to have.

But it's a lot more than that. It's a family affair. We've had countless weddings, too many memorials, and, while no records indicate that any babies have ever been born at the Rendezvous, the chances are there've been a few conceived here. I don't know how many father-son –and mother-daughter. Okay, 'parent-offsprung'— pairs we have (we've had several on Staff, going all the way back to the O'Connells) but we've got some of 'em bringin' the grandkids now.

Happy 30th, Rendezvous! Many happy returns of the day. It promises to be one helluva party. I think we can count on at least One More Than Last year, along with all the old friends, including a few from All The Way Back.

Indian Lookout Country Club and the Harley Rendezvous Classic may not be the center of the universe, but they are definitely the crossroads of our lives.

The Future: Onward and Offward

As far as I can tell, there's only one original Staffer still on Staff; Mark Hilton, from Backstage, has not only been here since the beginning, but has made them all.

And, of course, we have Attendees (folks more interested in partying than working... and who can blame 'em?) who have been here right along.

Special 30th Anniversary wishes are going out to –and coming in from-- Bruce Caswell, Philip Cinamella, Ed Kleespie, Albert Staley, Joe Colombo, Howard Hayes, Doug Hofert and Kurt Kutzer. I hope I mentioned everybody.

Regrettably, we won't be seein' Ed Hedrick, another Original, as he himself has just recently banked down that Long Last Offramp. He'll be missed, but he'll be here.

The Rendezvous has been around for thirty years, and I've been around for almost twenty. I'd like to think that I'd be around for the 50th, but I don't think that's likely. I'm well on the high side of fifty now, and don't see myself this far beyond seventy, so I'll leave it to somebody else to write that article. And, much like Kemp, I'll know it'll be in good hands.

I am enthused and gratified and even comforted in knowing that the Rendezvous will be here --and probably right here, unless we find a better spot-- when the time comes to write up the 40th anniversary article, or the 70th, or the 100th.

And why not? Our country was started by a bunch of rum-swillin', hemp-smokin' long-haired rabble rousers and I, for one, am proud to see the Rendezvous continuing that fine tradition. Maybe we'll see our Bicentennial, too, along about 2179.

As a Staffer, I'm fairly sure I speak for all the Staff when I say that we're proud to have done what we could over the last thirty years to help make this event what it is today. I'm particularly proud that my son is also a Staffer here, and I hope that someday his son –or daughter— will follow in our footsteps and tire tracks, leading them here to Indian Lookout, our Beloved Country Club, so that they can partake of their share of the faith in the dream and the vision that have now spanned a generation.

The Harley Rendezvous Classic is turning 30!

We're more than a party; we're an Institution! Maybe the folks who said we ought to be institutionalized were right after all...

Contact Us   FAQ   Directions   About


All materials Harley Rendezvous Classic, Inc.; all rights reserved.
Not associated with Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Co., Inc.