The Harley Rendezvous Classic is turning 30!
They said it'd never happen.
Some of 'em a lot of 'em, actuallyswore 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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
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
Tales also tell of and admissible evidence bears
outthe dedication of our Staffers and attendees to our
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:
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
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.
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
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"
connotationsalso 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
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
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
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
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 ourrights 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
His attitude was, "If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em. Then
Somewhere along the line, we went from being merely a
"Survivor" to maturing and tempering into a
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
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
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 entailedwas 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
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.
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
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
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
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
ifthey 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
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
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...