My life is split into three different sections
[dropcap]D[/dropcap]ear Ma, I hope you are doing good up there in Heaven, we are fine here in Dallas. Now that fall is here, things are cranking up. The 100-degree temps are gone and we are in the 80s every afternoon, so that is great for business! My bar is rocking, which is great for my motorcycle business. Customers may come out to drink a beer or three, but usually they take a stroll through my motorcycle shop while they are here. And usually they’ll buy something like a t-shirt, hat, Koozie or maybe a new Victory motorcycle! So I love the cooler temps!
We started having a Friday night “Bike Night” It seems crazy because every night is bike night here at Strokers Dallas. But, I got with some friends that own a social media riding group and we figured out that Friday nights are good because people tend to stay out later, figuring most people don’t work on Saturday. Plus, most other Bike Nights around DFW are during the week. The only problem with Friday Nite Bike Night is that I feel obligated to be up here to make sure everything goes smoothly and to visit with my customers.
As you know Ma, I already work 16 hours a day, 3am-7pm, every day, 8 days a week. But now on Fridays my 16-hour day goes to a 20-hour day. I don’t get much sleep and even less now. BUT, I did treat myself to a new futon in my office. Sometimes I just need to close my door and turn off the light for an hour or so!
[pullquote]Hey Ma, the big news is that I have a new granddaughter! Lena (Bigun) gave birth to Pearl Fairless Lee on Oct. 4th. She is a beautiful baby and thank goodness she looks just like Bigun![/pullquote]
I got to be in the room when Pearl was born. Watching a mother give birth to a child is witnessing one of God’s miracles. I can’t explain it, but it’s a spiritual feeling that I will never forget!
I’m glad that Bigun and Jordan allowed me in the room to welcome Pearl into the world! I will remember it for the rest of my life! Speaking of the rest of my life, I have been doing some heavy thinking lately. Ok Ma, listen, I recently had my 60th birthday and it’s causing me unwanted reflection of my life to this point. The way I figure it is that if this was a football game, then I am in the 4th quarter of the game. That’s kinda scary to think about Ma.
[pullquote]My life is basically split up in three different sections, roughly, of 20 years each. The first 20 years of my life were growing up and learning to become the man I am today.[/pullquote]
As a young man, I did not always make the best choices, but I learned from every choice I made, both good and bad. I was introduced to motorcycles when I was 9-years-old by my Great Uncle who owned a ranch in East Texas. He had a Bonanza mini bike that my brother Randy and I learned to ride on. Little did I know that mini bike would light the fire that would eventually launch me into a passionate career in the motorcycle industry!
The next 20 years were spent in the paint business. That same Great Uncle that introduced me to motorcycles owned a string of paint stores called Roach Paint Company. I got a DWI when I was 19 and that’s when he put me to work in the Roach Paint warehouse in downtown Dallas. Nobody liked me because I was related to “the old man” and they figured me to be a snitch and I pretty much was because they were screwing the company and I was not gonna stand around and look the other way while they cheated the company.
I worked my way up the company ladder and eventually, the regional Roach Paint Company was bought out by international Glidden Paint Company. I continued to climb the Glidden corporate ladder to the #1 Sales Rep in the entire country. But I wasn’t happy with all the rules and regulations that corporate life brought. During these 20 years I was extremely passionate about riding and customizing motorcycles, that was what kept me going in life!
So, after 20 years with the paint company, at 39 years old, I decided to take retirement and start the 3rd quarter of my life. So I opened Strokers Dallas Motorcycle Shop & Strokers IceHouse Bar & Grill. Was I scared, no, more like TERRIFIED! I was leaving a dang good job that had supported me and my family for 20 years. But I felt confident, kinda, that I could make a living following my passion of custom motorcycles.
My dream was a custom motorcycle shop and a bar on the same property. I wanted a place where custom motorcycles were focused on and catered to. A place that welcomed all people no matter what kind of bike they ride or if they even rode a bike at all. A place where people could hang out with like-minded individuals.
So Ma, the one constant of my 60 years on this great planet is my love for you…and motorcycles! I guess that even though the 4th quarter of my life has begun, at least I’m still here, working hard and enjoying the motorcycle industry!
I love ya, Ma!
Your boy, Rickey