Dear Ma, I hope you doing well up there in Heaven, we are OK down here in Dallas.
Hey Ma, as I write you this love letter, I am getting ready for Sturgis 2020. Bigun (Lena) and I leave on Friday, Aug. 7. This will be my 34th Sturgis Rally in a row. My first year was 1987 and I’ve been every year since then. For a while, this year was in question with the COVID virus going around. Actually, if I was smart, but I’m not, I’d skip the rally this year. I’m the old guy they talk about on the news; the old man with underlying health concerns. I’ve battled lifelong chronic Asthma since I was a kid, so the virus would be a scary deal for me. Not to mention my compromised immune system from the “other” battle I’ve been fighting for the last three years. But hey, Sturgis is upon us and I’m going and taking Bigun with me.
Today, I talked with one of my pals who has a house in the Black Hills, and I asked him if there was any social distancing going on up there. He said, “No, and there ain’t a mask in sight!” Well, I told Bigun that we will do our best to stay away from the crowds and social distance as much as possible. Basically, we just need to stand 6 ft. away from people when we are talking to them. Actually, what I just said sounds stupid even to me and I’m the one who said it! Because, if I’m seeing good friends that I only see once a year, how can I not hug on them, which is what I have always done? Would it make me a rude chump if I turn down a hug from a friend? I’ve been trying to do “fist bumps” instead of handshakes, isn’t that good, Ma? Oh boy, I guess I’ll just figure all that out when we get there.
Good news, Ma! I got to reopen my bar and grill, Strokers Ice House! I’ve been dealing with the TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) and they have been great. The governor closed all bars in Texas, but if you have a different license, selling more food than alcohol, then you can apply for a different license to open. So, we sent in pictures of our kitchen, Vent-A-Hood, grill, fryers, refrigerators, food prep area, seating area and also a picture of our menu. They want to be sure that we truly are a bar and grill and not just a bar with a microwave! We sent everything into the big boys at the state capitol in Austin and they finally approved us! So, after the better part of four months, we are back open and going strong. People are so happy that we are back open and they can come back home to Strokers Ice House. My customers have still been going out and drinking beer, they’ve just been doing it at a restaurant bar. Doesn’t make sense to me, but we’ll play by the rules.
The motorcycle business has actually been pretty good, considering all the shutdowns that are going on for the last five months. I don’t really know why that is, unless it’s because people are still getting paid from either their company or from Uncle Sam and they have more free time to participate in outdoor activities, maybe? So far, 2020 has been a year to forget, but I know we will never forget how bad 2020 has been to not only the country, but the entire world. Things have changed and some things will never return to the way it was through 2019. I pray that the big boys and girls come up with a vaccine pretty soon, so that we can all get our lives back!
Anyway Ma, I better go for now, I’m interviewing some mechanics for Punch Wally Garage, my classic car shop. There’s a guy here for an interview and he’s got a cigarette behind his ear, I’m thinking this interview is not gonna go so good for him! ↙
Love ya, Ma!
Rick Fairless owns Strokers Dallas, Strokers Ice House & Punch Wally Garage, as well as a few other businesses.