About 8 days ago (when this story was originally written) I got a phone call from my friend inviting me to come out to California and meet up with him over at RIP’s Bad Ride in Orange County. With my knuckle down and my fxrs not quite road trip worthy, I had to hustle to get wheels together for the trip. There was no way that I was going in a cage at $4+ per gallon gas and quite simply my sense of pride wouldn’t stand for it. What was the big deal that I had to get to RIP’s ride? It wasn’t the ride that was so important to me but the person who had invited me. Million Miles Squire had reached out to me with the invite. For those of you who don’t know Squire, as I understand it, he has the most documented ridden miles on a Harley ever. You have seen this guy at every single bike rally large and small in ever state in the continental United States. Squire has been battling cancer for some time now and doing a pretty damn good job at kicking its ass! Cancer is a fickle beast and you just never know how or when it will rear its ugly head again. I wanted to sit down with him and spend some time before we lost that chance forever. So I borrowed a bagger from my buddy and headed out for California. I would arrive in town on Friday night and meet up with Squire on Sunday. As I sat on my couch writing, my phone rang. The caller ID showed more numbers than I have ever seen and I figured bill collector or jail house and I was going to ignore it but something told me to grab it! I did and I am glad I had. It was Will from California and he was calling from Brazil. “Squire is in bad shape man and things are not looking good”, “will you be making it out to RIPS”? Well I will be for sure now! It seems that while staying out in Cali, Squire had gotten pretty weak and taken a few falls. After putting up a fight, he finally agreed to go to the hospital. As it turns out, they found some tumors in his skull and his fight with cancer was back on! I thought it really important to go spend that time with him now. I made it all the way out to Irvine Lake, Oak Canyon Park in Orange, California but found no Squire. It was like being back at BMR, no phone, no internet and no texting, no signal at all! The location for the event was just beautiful.
Prior to leaving Long Beach, I had been told not to waste my time going out there. I was told that the event would be lame and that most people were not going because of the $40 dollar per person entry fee. They all knew it to be a great cause but times were tough for so many people and they could not afford to go. I was also told that the prior year was damn near a bust and maybe only 100 people had shown up. This didn’t seem to jive with the info that I had about the event. One way or another, I had committed to going and that was just what I was going to do. When I got there it looked as if they were correct. A few bikes were rolling in and out of the grounds and it didn’t seem like any major party was going on! Well that was until I turned the corner and saw what had to be at the very least 500 bikes parked right at the entrance! I went over to the Media tent and checked in and then rode in to the VIP parking area where there were at least another 100 or more bikes. I had gotten there around 1 pm or so and the event was in full swing. Bike games were going on and people were getting locked up and for donations their friends could bail them out. Like most every bike event these days there were vendors scattered everywhere and a decent sized bike show was under way. Although it was a good event for a good cause, these type of events are not really “my type” events any more! I like simple, chopper folk, sitting around and drinking beer and laughing our asses off. This event was far too polished for me. The thing is that is has to be that way with all that are involved and the cause that it serves and I am cool with that. I guess you can’t raise money to try and cure a disease from the back of a primer covered windowless van! When you officially get all of the “dealers” involved this will be the final product. Don’t get me wrong, the event was still attended by exceptional people with big hearts who were there to help end a horrible disease and for this they have my full respect and support! I ran in to some exceptional people there like Willie G, Karen Davidson, Emilio Rivera, Rodeo Ray and a bunch of other Ugly bros., Pete Alva, Richard and Bart Mitchell and so on.
I know the hard core guys will say “ah it’s just a bagger fest” and I would tend to agree but we would both be wrong. Bikers are bikers and this event brings out all kinds. As I approached the bike show all I could think of was seeing 100 baggers lined up in a row, again, I was wrong. Here are just a few of the bad ass scooters that graced the grounds at Oak Canyon Park on Sunday.
Not only were there some exceptional bikes but there were some exceptional cages as well. I must admit I was sort of surprised when I happened upon them prominently displayed in the middle of the field but they were cool.
While standing in that field talking with my friend Bart, I looked across and saw Rodeo Ray and co. speaking with Richard. Richard is the one who has been taking care of Squire and giving him a place to stay in California. I shot over and asked “where the hell is Squire”? “He’s been trying to call you man”! I had no signal on my phone all day so I had nothing. He was in the VA hospital on Wilshire in LA. He was in bad shape and was reaching out to me to come down there and see him! I had a long talk with Richard about the situation and it was heart breaking! What you have in a man like Squire is honor and determination and a freedom loving soul. I can’t imagine having it all taken away at one time from me and I hardly live the “free” life that he does! It looks like Squire will have another bout with radiation and chemo to endure and I hope and pray that he keeps up his will to fight and his need to get back in the wind! Million Miles Squire, American Veteran and hero to many is in the fight of his life and he will remain in my prayers! The entire reason that I made the trip to California in the first place was laying in a hospital bed 75 miles from where I was and I now had to head home to help my girl battle her own medical fight! I left California feeling both high and low at the same time. I never got to do what I set out to do but in the end did more than I set out to do. Does that make any sense to anyone? All I know is that I would give anything to roll on in to Sturgis this year and see Squire come riding in after me, who knows, maybe it will still happen. The will to live and ride is incredibly strong, I just hope in this case, it is strong enough!
This was a story that I wrote and never ran anywhere. For some reason, it never did feel right. So now as I sit here post Sturgis 2011, I happen upon it saved in my drafts. What a difference a few months makes. That’s the very last time that I ever had the honor of speaking with Brother Squire. I had known that he was in a bad way but knew that he was getting the care that he needed. Knowing him and his need to get back in the wind, I knew that I would see him down the road and I chose to head back to AZ. They say hindsight is 20/20 and I guess they are right. It was not long after this trip that Squire past on and rode through those Pearly Gates. As I wrote earlier, I had hoped that we would have rolled on in to the Broken Spoke one after the other or better yet, side by side but it was not to happen. On my birthday, Thursday the 11th, we at the Broken Spoke along with some Brothers of his from the Road Agents MC from Detroit, his Ugly Brothers, family and dear friends took Squire on his final run. Luckily, Parts who shoots some shit for Discovery was there with a film crew to capture forever the moment and document the love that everyone had for Squire. One after another, everyone told their favorite Squire story. He wasn’t a big drinker but he did love to partake in another Godly gift. Let’s just say, he loved it so much that a “Squireism” came to be from it. Stickers were even made and handed out which read, “Where there is Smoke, there is Squire”! While in Sturgis, he would ride on out to this waterfall in Spearfish that he loved and “partake”. So on this day, everyone spoke of Squire then fired up their bikes and took off for Spearfish. Squire’s ashes were spread in a place he loved and he will forever be at the rally!
The walls of the Broken Spoke Saloon are covered with the great ones. Over the main stage, Indian Larry forever looks back over his shoulder at all who enter. Johnny Chop and Samantha Morgan each have their own wall and now and forever, as you walk through the main door and every single bike that rides through the bar will pass Squire! Now, he will forever watch over us at a place he loved so very much! It was an honor to call you my friend Squire and I only wish that I had not jammed out of California that day! One day, we will ride together again amongst the stars! I never published this story before this and now I know why! You will forever be loved, respected and revered! There is now a huge void in our community that may never be filled!