Article By: Chris Callen
Originally Published In The May 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
On February 21st of this year life as many of us know it would never again be the same. A very special person was taken from us after a long battle with his health, a person that many owe a huge debt of gratitude to. He was a biker’s biker as my good friend Snake Bite Sam said of his memory; to me he was also a man’s man and an example of how good we can be to each other. Albert Moore was his given name but Albert from the Chrome Shop was how most would know him. It was eighteen years ago, give or take a few months, that I started going around my home town with big eyes full of dreams trying to sell advertising in a magazine that was then just an idea: Cycle Source. It had been a rough week or so of getting my ass kicked when I walked into Albert’s Chrome Store and the familiar face behind the corner smiled and said, as he always did, “What can I do for ya?” After a short explanation Albert wrote a check for three month’s worth of advertising and wished me good luck. Two things happened right then: 1. He became the very first advertiser in Cycle Source and 2. He became the example of the kind of man I would try to be in my own life.
His hands were massive, like bear paws, ground down to nubs that scarcely had nails at the ends from so much time at the polishing wheel making our motorcycle parts shine. He was a proud man, boisterous and with a serious stare, but if you were his friend, then you knew you were worth while. Just as fast as he would make you feel welcome he could put you in your place with his quick wit and one-liners, he was a master. He loved his motorcycles and the classic “Cars Suck” t-shirt that he wore so often has left its image seared into my mind. He was “two wheels” through and through, making his living and memories around the motorcycle culture. In fact, probably the only thing he loved more in life was his family. As his son Nathan grew a little older a sidecar was affixed to the bike and they went everywhere together. That made it even more of a blow when Albert lost his wife Tracy at such a young age in an accident.
Still this man stayed strong and continued to live life. Tracy was his best friend in the world and how he managed not only to go on living but to continuing to give his strength to others is beyond me. No matter what time in my life I reflect back on there is a story about Albert Moore. The time I finished my first chopper and he had me pull it into the shop so he could go over it and keep me from killing myself. You know, he took a paying customer’s bike off the lift for that few hours. Another time when I was at the Bonneville Salt Flats with a broken motorcycle and Albert told me that when we got back to the hotel that night we would fix it. He showed me that night that you can do anything if you can rely on yourself. We fixed the bike and he ended up taking a west coast trip from there, I was just happy to make it home. Even at my own mothers funeral it was Albert who read the epitaph I had prepared. Truthfully I had intended to read it and was unable to contain my own emotions when it came time and my brother took the responsibility for me. That’s the man he was, he was strong when we were weak, and he was brave when we were afraid, he was confident when we were unsure. He was the best among us and the world is a lesser place today in his absence.
The only thing I can say about the hard life this man had at the end with his health and all the loss was that he was given a great gift. You see, because of the way Albert lived his life, he lived the last part for all it was worth. In the last two years Albert has ridden across the country, visited old friends, and made new ones, the essence of living. He got all that he could out of it and fought until the very end. When his body had nothing left for this world, he left us to return to his true love, his wife Tracy. I am a better man today from the influences this man had on my life and that’s a rare thing to say in this shitty old world. Not a rock star, a sports figure or politician. He made no great public speeches and there will probably not be any great national monuments erected in his memory. However, in a little place located in Rural Ridge that is known to some as Moore Park, there is a bench where the world’s problems were once discussed and solved on many occasions. I will forever try to impart the lessons he gave me on the younger generation as he did for me, at least until the day I get to ride with him and Tracy again. I love you brother, rest easy my old friend.