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Horny Toads & the Budweiser Flu

Dear Ma, I hope you’re doing well up there in heaven. We are doing fine down here in Dallas. We have been really busy lately. I have been going crazy trying to manage all my employees. We own six businesses and employ 80 people. Managing all these people is the hardest/worst part of what I do every day.

I mean, I have to be a combination of a boss, dad, big brother, psychiatrist, head coach, cheerleader, architect, bookkeeper, mechanic, accountant, salesman, clerk, bartender, waiter, plumber, electrician, computer nerd, secretary, cook, and truck driver!

I have to know what every single employee is supposed to be doing so that I can make sure they are performing their duties correctly. Thank God I have some really good employees that I can count on to help me fight this battle. Without the good ones I’d be just spinning my wheels!

I have been in this business so long that I have seen pretty much everything. Rarely does anything happen that I don’t have experience in because I’ve seen it all before (at least once). Like the employee that says they will come in and work on a weekend that we are having a big event and then doesn’t show up even though they know I am counting on them.

He finally calls me at 5 p.m., “Sorry boss, I wasn’t feeling good last night and I couldn’t get out of bed this morning. I slept right through my alarm.” Me, “Until 5 p.m. you slept?” Him, “Yes sir, I’m sorry boss!” Me, “It’s OK, between me and my good employees, we did our job and yours, too!”

Then I added, “Go ahead and take the week off without pay and let me decide if I really want you back or not.” Him, “I’m really, really sorry boss, I didn’t do it on purpose.” Me, “Don’t worry about it, lots of people can’t get out of bed to make it to work; the unemployment office is filled with them!”

The sad part is that this clown got drunk as a stinkin’ skunk the night before and his hellacious hangover is the real reason he can’t make it to work! It makes me so mad that I want to fire people whenever this happens. But I usually don’t, I just try to counsel them and hope they get their act together, you know… I hope that they suddenly grow up. Most of these people are in their 20s, 30s or even 40s, and still act like they are teenagers.

Some people don’t ever catch on to the fact that you get out of life what you put into it. In other words, as I like to say, partying don’t pay much! So if you party all night long then you better be man enough to get your ass to work the next day! I know I’m beating a dead horse with some of these cats, but I keep trying.

So Ma, last weekend I went to Temple, Texas to work with my daughter Lena (Bigun) and her husband Jordan. Jordan and his dad George Lee own Horny Toad Harley-Davidson in Temple and they also own Horny Toad Harley-Davidson of Fort Hood, Texas. They just hosted the Southwest Regional HOG Rally. So they invited me to come out and bring a few custom bikes and shake hands with their customers.

So I got to see my sweet daughter and grandkids, and hung out with a bunch of good people talking about American motorcycles the whole day. The joint was packed! It was cool because pretty much everybody I talked with had either been to Strokers Dallas before or they at least knew who we were.

Rick in Daytona with his Allstate motorcycle build.

One of the coolest things was that we got a bike build out of it. I met a gentleman who has a cool chopper he started several years ago and it’s been sitting, unfinished. So after talking to me he decided to let us finish his dream bike. Actually, it’s a dang cool chopper and I am excited to bring his vision to life!

All in all, it was a swell weekend and I want to thank George and Jordan Lee for inviting me to come hang out with them during their big shindig. George even brought in the Hooligan Racing series and lots of people turned out for that! I actually enjoyed working for the Harley-Davidson dealership for a day!

Oh yeah Ma, I was gonna tell you something cool that happened to me last week. I had a nice couple that came to visit me all the way from Norway. They said that they had been to the U.S. a few times but never to Texas, and they saw me on a TV show and the husband also remembered me from a magazine article he had recently seen.

They decided to come to Dallas to visit me at Strokers! How cool is that Ma? It is so humbling to think that so many people plan their vacation around visiting my little Custom Motorcycle shop and beer joint here in Dallas. I stand very humbled.

I gotta go for now Ma. My air conditioner guy just walked in and told me that two of my units are completely out and need replacing. It’s a never ending battle being a business owner.

Love ya, Ma!
Your boy, Rick

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