In The Moment
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Article By: Chris Callen
Originally Published In The October 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
This is a crazy business we run and all too often we are moving so fast that we overlook the truly great blessings laid on us while we are in the moment. The small things like one I’m in right now, where the view I have is out the window of our mobile command center as we fi nish a magazine just after the Sturgis Rally. The cows are walking the fi eld behind the Steel Pony Campground at the base of the rolling hills of Western South Dakota and a storm just quickly rolled through. Now, one way to look at this is we are working in a camper while everyone else has long since made it home and are back to their regularly scheduled programming. The other way is that THIS is our home as much as 118 Dellenbaugh and we are fortunate enough to have made a comfortable way of life that fi ts this craziness. But that’s not the point of this editorial, we are lucky, for so much more…
Back in the early days of the magazine I was mentored by a grizzly bear of a man we all called Uncle Rock. Rock was a tattoo artist and one of the last few men who carried the original Biker Code, before the word biker or the code we followed lost their weight in our culture. Anyway, Rock would often give me advice, most of the time in a firm tone that could have been perceived as a threat, but always good metaphysical content. One of those nuggets that still guide my thoughts today came once as he sat in the crowd to see a band I was playing in back then. Rock wrote a column each month, and in the next issue it was titled “The Circle.” In it, he mentioned that the best life ever gets is when you look around and see your brother smiling. Today I couldn’t agree more, and I had to bring his quote back up as the “Circle” as he illustrated then, continues to come around today. You see, Rock was doing his part to see me smile, or in other words enjoy my life through music. I had been so busy with the magazine that it was all anyone knew me for and many objected to the idea that I was wasting time with a band.
Today, I have moved into the position that Uncle Rock had occupied then, the facilitator of a smile for a brother. Now, just at this event, there were many, many examples of that, from giving Xavier a run down the drag strip on the War Pony, or from the number of people like Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel who came all the way to Sturgis just to experience our now 12-year-old “Run To The Line.” Of course, I don’t want accolades for any of this; it’s just what we do. What I want to point out is fi rst, I had no idea I had taken this role on and secondly, how genuinely fulfi lling it is to give someone else a once in a lifetime experience. Having things hardly matters at all in my life anymore unless I can use them to make another person feel something, a smile, some laughter or the far off gaze from wonder. To whatever higher power you may subscribe, I have come to believe that this may be our great purpose on this dirty old mud ball: to help each other to experience life
Now it’s been fi fteen years or better since Rock delivered those words, we’ve come a million miles and met a billion people, but those words are still as important, maybe more so today than ever before. I sit here after the great Sturgis Rally, our Super Bowl if you will, and the best memories I take away are the things I was a part of that made other people here enjoy their lives a little more. If that was the only thing I accomplished in the past two weeks, then brother life is good! While Uncle Rock was taken from us a few years ago, and he had long since moved on from his early role in the magazine, I have to believe that he would be proud today that he taught us all something that makes this shitty old world a little better when we all come together in celebration of life and the motorcycle.