Bike Week

Bike Week
The Java Connection
The Love Plant
Guilt Trip 4
Guilt Trip 3
Guilt Trip 2
Guilt Trip
Pillow Talk
Contingency Plans
Doughnut Envy
Run Ragged
My Friend Harry-page 23
My Friend Harry-page 24
My Friend Harry-page 25
My Friend Harry page 26
My Friend Harry- page 27
My Friend Harry - page 22
My Friend Harry-page 21
My Friend Harry page 20
My Friend Harry -Page 19
My Friend Harry-Page 18
My Friend Harry- page 16
My Friend Harry-page 17
My Friend Harry -page 15
My Friend Harry page 14
My Friend Harry-page 13
My Friend Harry-page 12
My Friend Harry-page 11
My Friend Harry-Page 10
My Friend Harry- Page 9
My Cat Butch-Page 4
My Cat Butch-page 3
My Friend Harry-page 8
My cat Butch - Page 2
My cat Butch - page 1
My Friend Harry - page 7
My Friend Harry page 6
My Friend Harry-page 4
My Friend Harry- page 5
My Friend Harry-page 3
My Friend Harry page 2
About Me
Photo Album

 Earplugs are a wonderful thing. I've used them myself on various occasions.

Earplugs are a wonderfu

hem myself on many occasions. This time, however, the shoe was on the other foot, or feet, so to speak.


“Are you quite finished, Captain?” Admiral Nelson pulled out all the stops his rank allowed as he tried to interrupt my tirade, as I paced about my crowded hotel room. “Damn it, we thought you were hurt in that horrible traffic accident...”

“Or locked up in jail...” Doc added.

“Don’t you think,” I said dangerously quiet at first (a technique I used with great success aboard Seaview to run shivers down the spines of any errant crewman, though I usually let Chip handle the lesser infractions), “ that Joe or Chip would have called?” (I couldn’t help that I’d raised my voice now.) “Cheech, I go away for a few days for a little fun and...”

“Fun? Fun?” Harry exploded. “You went after drug runners, guns blazing, then you almost drowned in that at search and rescue!”

“I was in no danger of drowning, and I think my years of experience with ONI made me an ideal candidate for a little law enforcement service with the Coast Guard! And the only guns we used were the boat’s!”

“Doughnut, Lee?” Joe interrupted, offering me one of my crumpled boxes of spilled goodness I’d managed to retrieve from the police station.

“I don’t need any damn doughnuts!” I fumed. I knew that he was only trying to defuse the situation but damn it, I was mad. And I wanted to stay mad!  “Sorry,” I finally said, taking in his hurt look, “ It’s not your fault that I  have rather obsessive compulsive babysitters!  And that includes you Morton! Now, listen up you three, and listen well,” I ripped off my uniform’s  tie, and pulled out my new Bike Week  Daytona   tee shirt and comfortable old jeans from the dresser,  “I’m fine. I’ve been fine all along and I intend to remain fine! I’m going out with Leigh tonight and then to  the dirt track. Now, I can’t stop you from heading there to watch the race,  or the 200 tomorrow. It’s a free country. But I’ll be damned if I’ll let any of you treat me I’m some kind of errant juvenile delinquent who can’t take care of himself!” I finished shouting and headed to the bathroom, slamming the door behind me,  to shower and change.


Leigh’s a police officer  and a fellow biker. She promised to help me look at some of the bikes for sale that dealers were showing off all over in  Daytona. In addition, since Lola and I had decided on a little ‘breathing room’ before deciding if we really wanted to take that final step, you know, making our relationship legal, well, I didn’t  really see anything wrong with taking out another woman. After all, it wasn’t as if I was going to try anything with her...and I’d already told Leigh that it wasn’t really a ‘date’ even though I hadn’t managed to convince Joe of that. Whenever  I mentioned what a great  chassis she had, I knew he knew I meant her bike!


“Lee?” Chip called through the door after I’d turned off the water, glad to have washed some of the day’s sea spray that was making my scalp itch.

“What?” I muttered as I finished toweling myself off and pulling on my dry clean clothes, and grabbed my razor.( I’m not sure what my actual genetic heritage is, but I’m sure it has to be of  Mediterranean or Near East origin when I get five o clock shadow a couple of times a day.)

“Um...the front desk called. It appears as though you have visitors downstairs.”

“Visitors?” I emerged, barefoot, Nelson and Doc pointedly ignoring me, heading to the balcony overlooking the beachfront view. “Why didn’t you just ask them up?”

“Chip was thinking you might want to see them downstairs,” Joe said, as Chip turned to turn on the TV to the Events channel the hotel deemed it’s guests might enjoy. “A bit crowded in here already, don’t you think?” he handed me my thick socks and biker boots.

 “Too bad they didn’t come prepared with earplugs,” I couldn’t help overhearing Doc as I grabbed my gloves and helmet and turned to say something before Nelson returned from the balcony and waylaid me.

 “He didn’t mean anything by it, Lad,” he said,  “it’s just all this noise from the bikes...they’re even on the beach...he’ about everyone’s ears.. he can’t help it,’s a doctor thing.”

Well, I did see the sense in that...then for a moment Chip smirked.

Were they up to something? Then it hit me that Nelson had called me ‘lad’, just like when he’s in his ‘understanding father to the prodigal mode’.

Damn. I wished he’d stayed in his ‘I’m the Admiral so I can say and do anything mode’. It would have made staying angry with him easier...But now....

 “Look, I...I’m sorry, “ I sat on the bed, pulling on the socks and boots, “but I just....oh hell. It’s just  not easy being continually treated like a ten year old.”

“Well, you have your wish, Skipper,” Chip said scathingly as he took a final look in the mirror knotting his regulation tie,  “we’ve all discussed your aversion about us caring about you, so from now on  we’ll try to completely ignore you. At least when you’re not aboard Seaview. Then I’m afraid you’ll be stuck with us mother hens whether you like it or not. And before you say anything, it’s part of our job descriptions. Admiral?  My Coastie watch runs through 0300. But I may get a nightcap at one of those bars having a  wet Tee shirt contest. The dirt track isn’t the only place hosting any. ”

“Not in uniform you’re not!” I scolded.

“Relax, Captain. I’ve stowed some  grubbies at the flotilla station, “ he didn’t exactly slam the door, but he did pull it shut with more than what was necessary.

“Lee,” Nelson said, “he didn’t mean it...”

“Will everybody quit telling me what they meant or not! I’m not in kindergarten! Joe? I don’t know when I’ll be back. I’ll try not to make too much decide which of us the Admiral bunks with tonight.” The hotel was crowded and there wasn’t a spare sofa-bed or rollaway in sight.


I was still in a bad mood as  I walked down to the elevator. I’d  certainly hurt  their feelings, except maybe Joe who, as a fellow part time spook, took my little temper tantrums, justified or not, in his stride. But Nelson didn’t seem to be holding a grudge anymore and Doc, well, he was used to me complaining. I knew I shouldn’t have yelled at them as much or as loudly as I had. But I’d had to be honest, didn’t I? I was just so tired of them trying to housebreak me into their version of a no risk taker and boring   milquetoast type of guy. No, that wasn’t true at all. They expected me to be livid at times. And always honest.  The problem was that they cared. Perhaps a bit too much, but still, I’m a big boy and can handle myself, thank you very much!


The elevator door opened, and before I knew it I was pulled into the lobby by more than a dozen men, crowding around me.

 “Hey Skipper!”

“You okay, sir?”

“Give him a chance to breathe, men,” Lt. Connors from the flotilla approached. “Sorry, Commander. They came down to the station and insisted I tell them where you were...seems they didn’t believe me that you were okay despite the tape I showed them of the search and rescue....”

“Kowalski?” I asked incredulous as I noticed the crewman in the group,  “you flew all the way down here knowing how airsick you get?”

“He sure did, Skipper,” Sharkey said, “but...well....”

‘It was worth it,”Ski interrupted, “ just to see you weren’t hurt or needin’ us after all. And the guys, well, they all pitched in to get me first class ticket so it wouldn’t be quite so bad...more room and er...well...”


“Oh boy,” I ran my hand through my hair, then,  “nobody called you or told you to come here?”

“Huh? Oh, no Skipper. We saw this report on TV and...”

“’You came all the way here because you  thought I was hurt or in jail or something...”I asked, already knowing the answer, and  feeling awfully guilty about it. What a wonderful crew. What a wonderful, caring crew....

“Well, it did look like that red bike of yours, Skipper...” Patterson said.

“Actually,” I replied, “it was the same make and model. I would have believed it myself if I didn’t know better. You know,” I was surprised I came to a decision,  “ I’m planning  to race on the dirt track later tonight...probably nothing but mud, but they haven’t called it yet...I um, don’t suppose you’d all like some free cheer me on maybe? Enjoy some beer, maybe hot pretzels and of the other events?”

“He means,” Leigh approached, in full motorcycle cop uniform, her badge glittering, “the wet tee shirt contests... don’t worry. Some of my fellow officers will be on duty to  insure things won’t get too rowdy.”

“This is Deputy Chief of Police Leigh Crane,” I explained in response to their stunned silence,(the crew knew about Lola and my decision to take a little time apart, with no strings attached, including outside romances,  but while some of them might have liked the idea of us maybe breaking up completely, they didn’t like the idea of me sowing a few wild oats when let off the leash, so to speak. Playing the field wasn’t the sort of thing the Captain of the Seaview did, at least not on a regular basis.)

“I’m a biker too,” Leigh sensed the situation right away, “and yes, that’s my real name. So it’s got to be fate that Commander Crane needed someone to help him pick out a new bike from some of the better vendors in town, and show him the ropes at the dirt track...”

“So, how about it? Tickets to the track?” I asked.

“Sure thing Skipper!”

“Like, wow, man!”

“Gee thanks, sir...”

“That goes for all of you too, ” I turned, having seen the reflections of Nelson, and Doc when they’d emerged from the other elevator, joined Chip who was waiting for a taxi,  and had heard everything,  “I know you won’t be off duty in enough time for the races tonight, Chip, about  some pizza when you get hard feelings about um.. before?”

“Only if you take my place the next time I get cutter duty!” he gave me a salute and headed off to the cab which had just driven up.

 “ you all have a place to stay?” I asked the group which was getting larger by the minute as airport shuttles kept dropping my crew off at the entry, “I don’t think there’s a vacancy anywhere...”

“All taken care of,” Joe approached from the front desk,(he must have used another elevator) “when Embry Riddle learned some of your crew was here, well, they kind of loaned the gym out...the guys are going to pretend to need some triage care for its ROTC First Aid classes. It’s got bunks and everything. I um, also rented a  bus from the hotel’s event planner. It’s coming by to pick them all up from here in a few minutes, the same one that’ll take them to the track and back later...”

By now I guess my guilt was pretty apparent.


“Well, if it makes you feel any better, bro,  I put it on your charge.”

 “Nonsense,” Nelson patted my arm. “My treat. What’s the sense in having a large fortune if you don’t use it...especially for a good cause.”


“Don’t worry, you’re still paying for the track tickets, beer, and hot pretzels! Now, you and Miss Cr..I mean Deputy Chief of Police Crane go on and have some fun before the races....”


And so, with more than a hundred pairs of eyes on us, Leigh and I  used the door to the garage and pretty soon rode our bikes up to stop in front of the main doors. Of course, we revved our engines, more for show than to insure they were working okay. Then we  donned our riding gloves, and helmets, (with a wince from Doc)  and joining a bevy of other riders, we roared out of the hotel’s driveway, out onto Atlantic Avenue, crossing a bridge, and found ourselves joining hoards of other bikers exploring the town, enjoying some good eats, checking out various models of bikes that would augment my ‘collection’,  and then to the track for a little practice on the dirt, or rather muddy course.


I had to wonder  some hours later how Chip was doing manning the phones down at the flotilla, as his eyes were the only pair  I wished had been there to see me come in last, muddy, and spent;  at least it would have given him a little satisfaction...yes, I have a warped sense of humor at times, don’t I.


I called Lola after I returned to my room, and keeping the lights off, except for the nightlight in the bathroom, we talked softly for a long time.  Told her all about my day, night too. She was okay with me maybe seeing Leigh again...but as we talked...I found myself enjoying my time on the phone with Lola more than the time I’d had with Leigh or ever would have...and I decided right then what I wanted to do. I  asked her to marry me.


“About time, Lad,” Nelson said turning to face me drowsily from my bed. So, he'd pulled the short straw when they determined who would have to bunk with who.

“You heard?”

“Kind of hard not too. Congratulations, son, now go get cleaned up. By the way, Chip’s back. Some kind of schedule mix up. Says to get your skinny butt to his room with his pizza. His words. Not mine. By the way, Will and I will be returning to Santa Barbara tomorrow. He’s bored stiff. Not enough to keep him busy I guess.”

“Yeah, not a scratch on me,” I laughed and grabbed the pizza leaving Harry to slumber in peace. At least until Chip and I finish the pizza.




Bike Week In order:

1: Chip Morton’s Blog

2. Doc’s Blog

3. Kowalski’s Blog

4.Nelson’s Blog

5. Crane’s Blog

6. Lola’s Blog