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Swap Meets, From a Woman's Point of View

Carolyn Bigelow, Member #5264  | Published on 12/1/2017

From one woman to another, if you have not been to an Antique Motorcycle Swap Meet, you need to add it to your bucket list. I have been going for 11 years now; and yes you have to be willing to camp, willing to put up with the rain, the cold, the hot sun, dirt, rusty and crusty parts, and the old fossils selling them. You have to get use to being waited on by grey haired, mostly bearded old men. Yes ladies I said waited on. With names like BBQ Bob, Cookie, or Gumbo Joe no cooking by the gals required. Some of the best food coming off the grills with the aroma to match come out of these swap meets.
From one woman to another, if you have not been to an Antique Motorcycle Swap Meet, you need to add it to your bucket list. I have been going for 11 years now; and yes you have to be willing to camp, willing to put up with the rain, the cold, the hot sun, dirt, rusty and crusty parts, and the old fossils selling them. You have to get use to being waited on by grey haired, mostly bearded old men. Yes ladies I said waited on. With names like BBQ Bob, Cookie, or Gumbo Joe no cooking by the gals required. Some of the best food coming off the grills with the aroma to match come out of these swap meets.

You have to get use to meeting some of the most colorful people on the face of the planet. Need a water, or a beverage of any type, as you walk through and enjoy the artistry of these old motorcycles, all you need to do is just look on the hoods of trucks or the tops of folding tables and stir up interest in the bides. These folks are more than willing to share their stories and offer you whatever is available. They are so happy to educate you on the difference between a JD, a Flathead, Panhead or Shovelhead motor. They also still somewhat enjoy the camaraderie between Harleys and Indians. You will see motorcycles you have most likely never heard of such as Henderson, Crocker, Merkel, Whizzer, Emerson, or an Ace.

It is always fun to see the old faces, they are the most generous, fun loving people I know. We bring our dogs and the kids without fear of allowing them to play freely. 

These meets are filled with the smells of campfires, the sounds of laughter and music, and lets not forget through all the tranquility, the sounds of these old bikes; motors racing, tail pipes, and the cheers of the proud men that have restored them. Lets not feel left out ladies, there are riding boots, jackets and chaps, the occasional jewelry, purses and/or bobble for sale to keep us looking as well.

The judging is one of my favorite parts. Not only do you get to enjoy the artistry that went into the building of these machines, but the butts aren't bad either. These judges crawl all over these antique bikes, picking out their flaws and grading them on originality, rareness and operation. Some of the finest butt shots on earth can be obtained while the judging is underway. Even better when the guys are digging for that one nut or bolt they need to finish that project, heads are down and butts are up.

These guys are so willing to allow you to sit on there bikes, and get the feel of these wonderful machines, and offer the occasional ride; but be careful ladies, once you get that wind in your hair, feel the sun on your body, and the openness that can only be experienced on a motorcycle, you will be bit by the bug.

The Chesapeake Chapter meet at White Rose in Jefferson, PA is held this year on the last weekend of September offered us one of the most, colorful ladies I've ever met. Sarah Summers on her 1938 Flathead Trike, who was attending for the first time. She entertained most of the vendors and campers with her amazing voice, and lyrics to songs she had written. Sara kept us amused with her comical words and monotone to her song "FOR THE LOVE OF STINK BUGS." She sang folk, soul, jazz and blues; knew all the words and hit all the notes, that just kept you glued to your seat and your full attention. What a blessing to meet such a God gifted individual, and so thankful to be adding her to the fold.
The PA scenery can be seen from the top of the Hill Climb, for what appears to be hundreds of miles. I was surprised that quit a few of the men who have been vending for decades hadn't been to the top of the Hill, but not a woman I asked had missed the hike to the top. If not for the scenery alone, but to take pictures of the moon, or the sun rises and sun sets. God's pallet is truly amazing. The sounds of the railroad trains echo through the valley to remind us all, that there is an outside world beyond the gates of the White Rose Motorcycle Club. So from a ladies perspective, tranquility at it's best, add a swap meet or two to that bucket list I promise you won't be disappointed. Thank you Dave Panilla, Scott English, Theresa Lundstrom (who stands in the tent all day each year at this event to sell shirts and hoodies) and to the Chesapeake Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club for hosting the White Rose Motorcycle Swap Meet every year. Thanks to the White Rose Motorcycle Club for the use of their clubhouse, and their grounds and to
the kitchen help for the food, and the patience it takes to put up with us. Sorry to see the banquet did not happen this year due to lack of kitchen heap and the passing for several of the Club members. 
May the wind touch your face, with wings on your backs, and God's Blessings ride my friends, be free spirited, safe and happy, until next time.  










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