This article was originally printed in the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club monthly newsletter.

That Barn, by Bob Humphries

Another new year begins with each of us hoping and wishing for a great new year. I do wonder how many have shared one of my dreams, a barn full of old motorcycles of different brands with most of them in like new condition. There they are, ready to ride, just pick one and go. We have heard similar stories, but I will share a true one with you. There was someone who did have a barn full of restored motorcycles and each day his decision was which one to ride.

Motorcycle riders play a very important role in establishing uniformed police organizations. Because of the development of roadways and the increasing use of motor vehicles it was determined traffic officers mounted on motorcycles were needed. This story is about a man who was one of the first to be hired as a state motor officer for the State of Texas and the one who eventually had that barn full of antique motorcycles.

The Texas Motor Patrol was established in the year, 1930. Since it had been determined all of them would be riding motorcycles, except for the chief who was issued a car, experienced riders were needed.

There was limited motorcycle experience in this newly created organization. For that reason the application for new officers contained a number of questions to learn what experience with motorcycles the applicant possessed. Experience as a motorcycle mechanic was also preferred. Many would be required to do their own repairs because they would be stationed in remote areas without motorcycle shops. The man who is the subject of this story had those needed qualifications and was employed as a motorcycle mechanic at the time he was recruited to be a Texas Patrol Officer.

He reached the rank of captain and at some time he married into a very wealthy family. It was no longer necessary for him to work, but it was time for him to return to his long time interest, motorcycles. He had a fine metal barn and he began buying old motorcycles and probably not a one was a later model than the 1920s, some were older. With his skill as a motorcycle mechanic he restored many of them and had even more to rebuild at sometime in the future. Once each week he would visit his former captain's office where he had been the commanding officer and have coffee with the people he still knew. His rural home was not far away from that office. When he made those trips he always rode one of his old motorcycles, different ones often times. He did not have those motorcycles just to have a collection, they were used for riding. Can you image, just select one out of many in that barn to ride and in time ride all of them at different times. This continued as he became much older and in his later years he seemed to prefer riding with a sidecar.

After he passed away that barn was locked up and his family would not agree to sell a one of them. So is it true, and old motorcycles are in a barn someplace? Yes, it is true, a barn full of them and they were enjoyed by an old motorcycle mechanic who became a state trooper.

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