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Basket Scout

Susan Brutus, Member #4959  | Published on 4/1/2020

One may ask how does a “girl” become interested in old motorcycles?  Well, I was surrounded by Indian parts from quite a young age; there were “paths” created in our barn, the workshop, and eventually, our basement, because of my father’s collection of vintage iron.  There never seemed to be a complete motorcycle anywhere, except occasionally we’d hear an engine fire up from a stand in the basement where Dad was tinkering.
At that time, some of my friends were riding shiny, newer bikes, and one day, I asked Dad, “Why can’t we have a nice red Honda (that runs)?”  That’s when Honda had coined the phrase, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda!” Dad scoffed and replied, “You don’t know what you’ve got out there!  Here’s the parts manual, there’s a frame and an engine; get busy putting one together!” So busy we became we (I was maybe 10 and my brother was 9) …Dad helped get it running after we had parts bolted here and there.  “It” was an older Scout; I cannot recall what exact year it was.
(l-r) Susan's brothers Barry, Eric, her dad Glen,  brother Bax, and far right is Susan. The motorcycle is a 1947 Indian Chief and pic taken about 1965. They regularly rode in the snow!



So off we’d go into the cow pasture; wide open spaces where, if we fell over, the worst that would happen was we would get grass stains (and other organic matter!) on our body parts.  Then we graduated to the gravel road, and our skills became even better.  Everyone should learn to ride on a gravel road!  
Even though our rides weren’t shiny and new, I eventually became enamored with these crusty, rusty old sickles.  I can remember holding Dad’s hand as he dragged me through swap meet after swap meet, meeting folks who are friends to this day, and going to Davenport and Eustis with him in search of the next rusty, crusty treasure.  I’ll never forget those days, and I wish he was still here so he could see our group, Ladies of the AMCA! I’m sure he’s looking down and smiling.
Susan on her 1941 Indian Sport Scout


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