Tag Archives: Harley

Jim Kennemore – OPD Leather God

J.A. Kennemore 1980
Jim Kennemore – 1980

Some have wondered about JAK aka Jim Bob aka James Kennemore. He’s a great friend, albeit much older. We met in the nineties, when I hired him at Frasco Investigations after he was referred by a mutual friend. Jim had been retired from Oakland Police for a number of years by then. When Jim retired, his wife insisted he get a job. He resisted and held her at bay for years. Finally Sue put her foot down, get a job or else.

When Jim came in for an interview, I wanted to talk about Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Jim said, “I want a job, but I don’t want to work.” His wish was to tell Sue, “I got a job, now get off my back.”

I won’t claim that our relationship was a marriage made in heaven. We both got something out of it. I got a buddy who is a great story teller. Jim told Sue he had a job. He told me, “I don’t want to work more than three hours a week.” I can’t imagine what he told Sue.

Most days I rode my DynaWideGlide to work. It wasn’t long before Jim wanted to get a motorcycle. Once again Sue put her foot down, “No way in hell are you getting another motorcycle.”

In 2001, my wife got me a Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic. It was a Peace Officer special at a reduced price. The Ultra was the second motorcycle Cathy gave me. The first was a bored out, customized Honda 750. It could get to 115 mph in a minute.

I had to get rid of the DynaWideGlide. I made Jim a foolish offer he couldn’t refuse. Cathy had a fit, “you gave the bike away to Kennemore”. She still reminds me what a fool I was. Jim on the other hand whined that I was screwing his eyes out. I didn’t pay any attention to either of them. I had a great new bike. I still have it.

The Ultra will probably be my last motorcycle. Whenever I get dreamy at a Harley Dealership, Cathy is ready. “You will be buried on your Ultra.”

What is a man to do?

A few years later, I had to return from Sturgis by air. Jim rode the Ultra back. He was hooked and got an Ultra of his own. I often wonder what he told Sue.

We have a couple of extended rides planned for this summer. I’ll tell you about our plans later.

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The almost spur of the moment ride that wasn’t.

Last weekend Jim Kennemore and I decided to ride up Highway 1 to Fort Bragg on Wednesday and spend the night.

Sunday I checked on the ’01 Ultra to make sure she would start. I disconnected the battery tender and gave the key a turn. She started right up, Looking Good!

Monday after making hotel reservations it was time to wash and gas her up. I had forgotten to plug in the battery tender. No sweat, she’s got a full charge. “Click, Click, Click” went the starter. This could be a problem. She had started right up on Sunday so I figured leaving her on the charger overnight would solve the problem.

Tuesday afternoon I tried again. At first the starter sounded strong but couldn’t quite get her going. She’s got some charge; she’ll be fine in the morning. Sometimes hope outweighs reason.

Wednesday morning, “Click, Click, Click”. Forty-eight hours on the battery tender and this is all I get. Something’s wrong. Pulling my SUV up to the Ultra I tried a jump start. Nothing.

It’s 9:00 a.m. and I knew that Jim and another buddy, Peter Meshot, were on their way to Michael’s Harley Davidson in Cotati to meet me at eleven. They won’t hear their cell phones. I can’t be a no show. I hop in the SUV and head for Cotati with just enough time to get there by eleven. My gas gauge is close to empty.

I didn’t run out of gas and got to the dealership with minutes to spare.

Jim has a tendency to be blunt and raunchy. I expected, and received a tirade. Peter, a gentleman, did not skewer me. Almost bleeding from the wounds Jim inflicted, I thought I would perish. But wait, I see a remedy. Outside in front of Michael’s was a popcorn machine with bags of popcorn. Two bags later I was cured.

We decided on the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol for lunch. Good food, high prices.

Jim said, “I won’t ride to Fort Bragg with you in a cage.” I called the hotel and cancelled our reservation.

After lunch, Peter had to head home.

Jim followed me to my house. We took the battery out of the Ultra. I live thirteen miles from Livermore Harley and seventeen miles from McGuire Harley in Walnut Creek. He asked, “Whose closer Livermore or Walnut Creek?”

“It’s thirteen miles to Livermore, seventeen to Walnut Creek, let’s go to Livermore.

Those of you who follow this blog know who Jim Bob is. For those who don’t, Jim Kennemore, alias JAK, sometimes goes off the rails. When that happens, he says and does strange things. He becomes Jim Bob.

As soon as I said Livermore, Jim Bob appeared. “Let’s go to Walnut Creek. It’s closer.”

“Jim, it’s only thirteen miles to Livermore.” We went back and forth several times before in exasperation I said, “I’m going to Livermore. Get in the car.”

Harley batteries are usually good for two years, sometimes only one. Mine was four years old. For only $190 the Ultra was back in business.

For the almost spur of the moment ride, that wasn’t, we had a good day.

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A Ride To Remember

Welcome!

In my initial post, I promised you a series of pieces about a motorcycle trip my friend Jim Kennemore, affectionately called JAK, and I took last summer. We try to take an extended trip on our Harley-Davidson Motorcycles at least once a year. Our rides are usually connected to an event. In 2012 we decided to head north and see where the road took us.

Over the next few weeks I will post about our travels. Some of the posts are bit on the long side. I will spread the longer pieces over two days.

To break things up even further, I might throw you a curve.

July 30, 2012 I left Dublin and headed north to Anderson, California. This was the shortest ride of the trip. JAK met me there.

Day 1 – Dublin to Anderson, CA 202 Miles – July 30, 2012

This was a great day, not because of the ride. I pushed the start off until after lunch so I could attend my Polish Your Writing class and meet my wife Cathy for lunch. The folks in the class leave me in the dust when it comes to talent. Besides our regular instruction, three or four of the group read a small part of their WIP (Work in Progress) during our last hour. This can be tough; you put yourself and your work out in front of the 15 or so aspiring writers. They provide a critical, but supportive review of ones work. That day we had four very talented participants. Here is my take, not in the order presented.

Stacy – Writes for the Dublin Patch. She writes in a humorous vein. She described her struggle with the daunting task of facing all the food available on a cruise. I was in her shoes all the way, my eyes were full of tears, as they say, and I laughed so hard I cried. Like some others, I’ve not gone on cruises because I know I cannot resist the 24 hour a day food.

Jordan – She is writing a novel set in modern Ireland complete with good and bad people, and real live dragons. Christian and Devon are her main characters; of course Christian is an older man and Devon a younger woman. Today he dreamt of a threat of a murder attempt on Devon, couple this with sexual tension. Christian is in the shower trying to compose himself when Devon throws the shower curtain aside. They have not had sex yet. It was awesome writing. The next time Jordan reads, she will be presenting a sexual encounter from the male’s point of view. Jordan looked at me and; “I’m glad you won’t be here,” my loss.

Sonia – Germany 14 years after the end of WWII. She moved with her brand new Army husband to a small village in Germany. Her description of village life during these terrible times of recovery and of her home, complete with a downstairs pig sty, was gripping. Her “scene” work, especially the slaughter of two hogs in front of the house, was painted right into my mind.

Ann – Was a Protestant teacher at Catholic school. She is working on her third book, a collection of essays. She read the preface to her second book. Ann is another of those writers who grab you and brings her story to life. I want to read her books.

Heck, I want to read all work in the class. I am such an amateur compared to all the talented people that Juliana Kleist, our teacher, is nurturing.

Anyway, after class, Cathy and I enjoyed a very nice lunch before I saddled up and headed out.

The ride to Anderson, California was just what I expected, miserably hot, boring, and necessary.

When I arrived, my buddy Jim Kennemore was already there checking in. When we finished, I had paid for the room, but somehow he had gotten my frequent guest points. He does that more often than not.

We decided to get up early and be on the road around 5:30 a.m.

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