One of those files just says, "Andy".
For the last five years we've been vending at Andy's Classic & Vintage Motorcycle Show & Swap Meet. With good reason, it's been our home base event since the beginning. If you've been, and you've met the eponymous Andy and his better half Heidi, then you know why. Want to brighten up your day? Just show or tell Andy something cool and get him to say, "Awesome!" you'll know you've shone some light into this here world. The man just owns that word, pretty sure he's got a trademark for it in the trunk of a classic Impala somewhere. His event is always something special, even when it gets rained out like the last couple of years. Hell, the show still set a record for donations at the gate last season even with Noah's Ark floating across the field. Only show organizer I know that stands at the gate, welcomes folks in and thanks them for coming.
Comes down to people. Lots and lots of good folk, coming together to make some magic happen. No one works harder than Andy though, that wicked bastard would probably smile in a hurricane. So here's the story of this year's show, Best as I can remember it anyways, for reasons that will become apparent in a bit. Seems like a fun time to give you all a peek behind the curtain.
I almost backed out this year. Just been crazy busy, scheduling has been a bear and I've already had to give a couple of our favorite events a miss. Actually called Andy up a few days beforehand to tell him I couldn't make it work. Yeah right. Pretty tough to say, "No" to a guy that's probably holding a wrench in one hand and a phone in the other, just like me. He knocked over all of my reasons, excuses and worries and had me ready to rumble in under ten minutes flat. the charismatic jerk.
Now usually my lovely and talented fiancee comes along to lend a hand and ride herd on my crazy ass. This year I was flying solo, so I decided to take Andy up on his offer to camp out overnight in the field, so I could get a jump on setup. Turned out to be a magical evening indeed. I'm not a hundred percent certain, but I may or may not have agreed to let a magical talking goat fly me to Narnia at some point in the proceedings.
The night started in Andy's compound, sitting around a campfire, meeting intriguing new folk and marvelling anew at his menagerie of ancient and amazing metal. Dude's like a magnet for cool shit. I swear I spend half my time just ogling his newest finds when I'm over there. To the point where his friends must be convinced I'm a wee bit autistic these days. Now of course you need to be sociable and have a few libations to get things started, right? I'd even oh-so-carefully planned for this eventuality by bringing myself a nice safe beer ration along, with the righteous resolution to head to bed nice and early, to be ready to finish my setup the next morning.
Take your shirt off, crank the volume and crack a beer. It's Monster truck time!
So the idear here, you see, is to drive through the other cars. Really really fast!
After getting drunk under the table by a buddy of mine's mom last year after the Tsunami Bike Fest in Port Alberni, I've come to the sad realization that I am a complete and total lightweight nowadays. Absolute cheap date material. I just do not get down and boogie anymore, too busy working to maintain a studly tolerance. I am now older, wiser and more mature.
"What's that Andy? Time to go to the races and see monster trucks? Hell yeah, let's do this shit!"
So we all finished up our refreshing beverages, and ambled off in a happy herd to continue the fun. First thing I saw when we got inside the Western Speedway was the most amazing Neon green Ed Roth style monster quad shirt. I swiftly borrowed a pair of skissors from the cutie shirt girl, (could've been a really hairy dude, I already had a nice glow on and my night vision ain't the greatest nowadays, but what the Hell, I try not to sweat the small stuff) and inside of five minutes I had the coolest muscle shirt ever!
Monster trucks were AWESOME!!! Figure 8 races were a rollicking good time too. If you've never been, get your ass to a track on monster truck night. You know that tingle you ladies get in your bum from a poorly tuned Harley? Yeah, it's like bathing in a vat of that. I should mention at this point that the Speedway has the friendliest bartenders and the most delightful ciders too. Only polite to partake with everyone else, lovely evening for it and my new best Rockabilly friends had me in stitches the whole night. Can't remember the last time I had this much fun. Andy was right, "Come to the show, get away for the weekend, you can do this shit in your sleep by now!" Total fucking blast!
After the monster truck rally it was time to head back to the compound for a nightcap or nine. Of course that meant I needed to toddle off and grab a few more comestibles, as I had polished off my safe beer ration before the races. It was great to be out and about for a change, chatting with new and interesting peeps, and watching Andy sweat blood trying to get his XLCH ready for the fun in the a.m.
(Pro tip: you can use Brasso to refresh paint)
Shot the shit around the fire until midnight-ish and then weeble-wobbled off back to my tent, ready to take on the world in the morning. Apparently somewhere during the trek back to my campsite I remembered to send off the requisite, "I fucking love you so much and look at my awesome new shirt!" Facebook messages to the ever patient love of my life and even decided it would be a grand idea to finish setup in the wee hours so I wouldn't have to take care of it when I woke up.
Thank you Type A drunkass Evil Overlord, you totally saved my sweet furry butt!
Come the dawn and it was time to rise and shine! Jump up, fall down, clamber carefully up while cursing gravity for a fickle and capricious bitch, bust open the flat of water and the jug of Alieve that we keep in our show kit for just such exigencies, and lift up the front of the tent to see a sea of wonderment and joy. It was Show day!
It is always, always like waking up in Disneyland at one of these things. As a general rule we pull our weary bones in off the road around twilight, to a bare bones infrastructure, hook up with the event coordinators, have a few delicious wobbly pops and some munchies and zonk out like the dead. The morning is a whole different story. Folks, bikes, tables, tents, trucks, cars and dragons zipping about hither and yon. It's always a full body charge and after a few years it starts to feel like home. Andy is one of the greats, there is just bound to be some cool and fascinating shit no matter where you look and this year was no exception.
The show itself was awesome, as usual. It's in our local cabbage patch, so to speak, so the day is an endless elephant parade of friends, clients, bros, sisters, well wishers and the occasional discombobulated penguin in a tutu. Got a ton of attaboys on the new logo, the recent build featured in Biker Metric and just being an all around handsome devil, (pretty sure that last part happened). Even sold some of my dear to my heart, ice dyed by hand shirts and Rally Dresses, which always gives me the warm and fuzzies and opened up some leads on a few tasty future projects. I did manage a quick boot around the field to scope out this year's offerings and of course the menagerie did not disappoint.
When the dust settled Andy swung by for a bullshit session in the shade of the Baby Dragon. We hugged it out and Holy Shitted a bit, then saddled up and headed home.
See you next year Andy, keep on being awesome!