Friday, February 28, 2014

Search for Ginny

I know it's already everywhere but this story is too cool not to post. After a visit to the Barber Museum Bill Burton felt compelled to seek out the Harley Davidson WLA he was issued in WWII.

Cpl. William Virgil Burton - Sicily 1943
Standing next to the military Harley — the same vintage as his “Ginny” — Burton looked on with a mix of nostalgia and pride. “I feel like I could get up on it, crank it up and take off,” he said. Burton rode three motorcycles during his service, but “Ginny” was his favorite. When he was issued the bike, it already wore the name, which happened to be his mother’s name. 

Bill Burton, 89 stands next to a similar WLA at Barber
 Burton said that after the war he had an opportunity to buy another Harley, but his wife gave him an ultimatum:

“I carried it down to the house, and she looked at that thing, she said, ‘It’s either me or the motorcycle — which one do you want?’ And I got to thinking about that, I hadn’t been married for long, and I said, ‘heck, I better take this thing back to that man."

I've been around vintage motorcycles/cars that draw significant attention from strangers most of my life. That said you can't even imagine the attention and stories Flathead Rob's 1942 Ford military Jeep draws during something like a simple run to the hardware store unless you've seen them firsthand. The reactions from guys like Bill are nothing short of incredible.

I can't thank you enough for your service Mr Burton. 

1 comment:

Flathead45 said...

I have to share a "jeep" story. I was driving down a major street close to our house, and passed an elderly, stooped-over, man who was walking down the sidewalk. As soon as he saw the jeep he snapped to attention at the side of the road. Reflex action from 60 year-old training? A particularly strong memory stirring from long ago? I will never know which, but the experience sent chills up my spine. Thanks to all vets young and old.