Genuine Motorworks Celebrates The Cycle Source 15th Anniversary
Article By: Chris Callen
Photos By: Darren McKeag & Sara Liberte
Originally Published In The July 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Here we are in our sixteenth year of publishing the fine magazine that you hold in your grubby little mitts, but what of the celebration? There has to be an Earth shattering kaboom after all, doesn’t there? Oh yes there does, but in regards to our 15th anniversary, we decided to have several parties across the country rather than just hold one big bash. To be completely honest, the first of these parties and the idea to hold several of them across the United States this year came from our good friends, Bobby and Elisa Seeger, and the place for the first would be her Genuine Motorworks shop in Brooklyn, NY. Elisa is amazing and I have to give full credit to her for everything she did from the design of the logo, printing of the stickers and patches that were given out to the people who came out to celebrate with us and the entire day’s events including beverages and a traditional New York City hot dog cart. So let’s back up a minute. Through several phone calls, a few that were threatening, we picked a date and set this thing in motion. From there, I started to call the other guys of the magazine and ask who would be down for a trip to the big city. The answers came quickly and we struck a plan that Zach, the mailman, and the Wonder Twins (Darren and Lemme) would come into town the night before the trip and crash at my pad. We would then pile into the Cycle Source White Dragon with Sara Liberte and drive up to meet Milwaukee Mike, Seth the painter and Jack Shit. All told, it was a pretty good showing for the CS crew, as it tends to be a lot like herding cats to get them all in one spot at the same time. Nonetheless, the night before came, the crew rolled in at various times and the drinking, for some, began. Lemme and Darren would get to my place just in time for a slice of Red Barron’s and a two-hour nap. We’d throw them in the back, grab Liberte on the way out of Pittsburgh and haul ass before it was light. Somewhere around two hours into the trip, I was fast asleep; unfortunately, I was the driver. So Sara pushed me into the passenger seat and took over. The first time I woke up, we were in the middle of the state and she needed gas. I took over for a while and we were making great time. Not long up the road I took the opportunity to pick up a hitchhiker. He was an old guy who was trampin’; workin’ his way across the country from town to town and probably had no idea what he was in for with us. About fifty miles later, Darren and Lemme were both naked and our new friend was ready to get out. We snapped a quick picture, bid him well, and headed off towards our destination.
We hit the city in just enough time to beat rush-hour traffic and went straight to Indian Larry Motorcycles to unload, grab coffee and head off to find some real pizza. With fat bellies and a little bit of rest, we hung out with Eddy, Ewok and the cats at the I.L. shop for a good part of the afternoon. We’d have the whole night to run amuck in New York. Sara had a stop planned for us at the legendary Duff’s that you can read about in this issue. We checked into our hotel, and man do I use that term loosely. Try and imagine the room where Robert De Niro lived in the movie Taxi Driver. It was about 3 ft. x 4 ft., and most of us had to sleep in only two of them at $200 a night. Ya gotta love New York! From there it was off to a nice Italian restaurant that our boy Illiya of Steelborn Choppers took us to. We would have to split up into groups, some in a cab, some of us with Jack in a rental car. Now I have been to New York enough to not become unnerved at the pace the traffic moves there; hell, I too have learned a considerable amount of offensive driving that it takes to navigate the city with any success. When I tell you that Jack, who is from this part of the world, drove like a maniac, I mean there were cab drivers who hurled what I can only imagine to be swear words in their native tongues at him as we passed, often times in the oncoming lane of traffic. We lived to make the door of the restaurant, unfortunate as that may have been for the other patrons and the staff. Now your imagination should shift to a scene from medieval times where a horde of recently returning Vikings slopped grog and hunks of beef with their bare hands. Man, my friends live life to the fullest! At one point, I can remember Jack signing autographs for the table next to us which was fine by me since it somehow scored us the leftovers from their massive dessert sampler. They didn’t stick around for long after we scarfed down their goodies. It was around this time that Jack noticed that our end of the table hadn’t received adequate service to which he immediately demanded attention for. His delivery of this request was far less eloquent than I have described here and although we were more than looked after from that point on, I would no longer put anything in my mouth that was brought to the table by the now furious wait staff. Suffice it to say that we were all in great shape by the time we hit Duff’s. After all, first impressions are a must and we had scheduled and interview with the owner.
The place was amazing. I drooled over the many artifacts of this hallowed hall of American metal bands. The night went on, the Jäger bombs were poured, and I can barely remember staring off in a trance at the big screen TV that was playing a recorded performance of Slayer doing South of Heaven. I sat outside on the railing for a while to try and revive myself, but it didn’t work, I was going down. We all split up, everyone went in different directions and somewhere in the night we lost Mikey and Jack who as it turned out drank until almost the next morning in a little bar across town. Okay, so dragging ass the next morning, we all showed up at Indian Larry Motorcycles where we would start to load up party favors to take down the block for the event. Along with the hot dog cart, a refrigerator full of drinks and tons of supplies, we also loaded in a 1952 Logan lathe that Bobby hooked me up with from the shop. This was a perfect addition to the Source garage, but that’s another story.
I’ll have to admit that I wondered who would show up at Genuine Motorworks to wish us a happy 15th. I mean, I still see this magazine as the little hometown mag it started as sometimes, and here we were in the biggest city in the country. As it turns out, the party was bitchin’. Sara did a kickass job of getting cats like Joey James Hernandez, the incredible artist for bands like Biohazard, Type-O Negative and Death Angel, to name a few, along with Pawl Bazile and his incredible documentary “Living the American Nightmare,” to come out for the show as well. All in all, it was a very cool, very eclectic group of bikers and artists just kicking it around Elisa’s shop. I got the chance to work the hot dog cart, a very big hit with the kiddos, and I also handed out the patches that were made available to the first 75 people who showed up. They went fast, too. Before long, I looked around to see familiar faces of friends we had made over the years: Paul Cox and his beautiful family; the guys from Garage Leathers; Hijinx Apparel; and people who helped with our Indian Larry issue; in short, a community we had become involved in. My heart filled with the honor and idea that in some way we had, with the magazine, become part of the ever evolving New York City chopper scene. It was, and will forever be, one of the greatest days of my life. Killer bikes and the cats who built them rolled in all day and at one point, I even took off for a spin on my “Ticket to Ride” to visit our boy Vander at his shop who was deeply entrenched in a Panhead. As night came and the crowd began to drift away from the shop, I sat around listening to the conversations and taking it all in. By midnight we’d be packed up and would drive through the night to get back home. Other than a brief episode of stink foot right before the Lincoln Tunnel, there was little to report.
Driving home I quickly realized how lucky I was to have the Seegers in my life. You see, on top of doing all of this for us, this fantastic celebration of fifteen years in publishing, they were going through very rough times themselves. They had put all of that on hold to do all of this in spite of how hard it must have been. Even though I suggested we put the party off for another time, they pushed on. I can’t thank them enough for always being there, and as hard as it is going to be for me to write this next paragraph, I must, so that they know how much we love them both. After a year long struggle with ALD, the Seegers’ little boy Aidan was taken from them. There are no words to say here as to how sad my heart was driving back to Brooklyn after hearing this news, but I had to be there. Aidan was my little buddy, and when I came into town he was a happy face that was always glad to see me. I would often hear, “Hello Chris Callen,” even before I noticed he was there. His stories about what bikes he was working on in the shop, the great detail he went into about which ones were his and what he was going to do next compelled me to pay attention to him when he talked. This kid was a natural at working a crowd, and at his young age he was on his way to owning that shop; you could just tell that’s how it would be. I still remember the day the news came about Aidan’s illness and how Jean and I both cried our eyes out after we read about it. We imagined how hard the road ahead would be for our friends and their blue-eyed little boy. There have been many tears since then, from all of us, while Bobby and Elisa remain strong. Through all of their struggles, neither of them ever had a request for the people who asked if there was anything they needed. But the love and prayers came anyway, and the over 20,000 people who were in Aidan’s Posse on Facebook stuck with them through it all. Aidan’s story has been one that will always bring tears to my eyes. Even as I type this, I struggle to come up with a way to say the right thing. I guess in the end all I can say is this: Bobby and Elisa, we love and respect you both and promise that Aidan will always have a Posse!
Through this tragedy, Bobby and Elisa were introduced to a whole community of people who had children with ALD. They also learned about how little is known about this disease and they met a doctor, Dr. Gerald Raymond, who has dedicated his life to researching ALD. They ask that anyone who might want to do something for this cause to send donations to: Kennedy Krieger Foundation – 707 North Broadway – Baltimore, MD. 21205 Att: Dr. Gerald Raymond in Aidan’s memory.