Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Santa’s Helpers_’08

with one comment

Saturday, a.m. and the National Weather Service has predicted a high of 73°F./23°C. with the wind expected to gust to around 40 mph (64 km/h). Not bad for mid-December.

I rode around the bay to Aransas Pass, TX, to support the tenth annual “Santa’s Helpers” toy drive. The luckiest woman in Flour Bluff followed in the truck since our friend from the band,
“Johnson Grass” (entertainers for the event), had called and asked if she could fill in for their bass player. I hated to lose my pillion and photographer but it was for the cause.

The event was moved from the former Dawg House bar , in Ingleside, to the  Moose Lodge in Aransas Pass,  a couple of miles down the road.   A change of place, but no change in the relaxed, jovial attitude of volunteers and supporters.

After howdies and shakes I had about five minutes to register for the poker run an be off. Since I didn’t know  the exact location of the first stop I fell in behind some American Legion riders and began following them toward the ferry landing at Port Aransas.
I figured I’d lost them when I pulled over to say hello to a lady I know  and would just have to look for bikes to find the stop.  They were still  at the landing when I arrived, though, since  traffic was very light  and the ferry pilots  will wait rather than cross the channel with only a couple of vehicles aboard.


The deck hand parked us together on the boat and one of the riders walked over and introduced himself and we chatted for a few minutes before he remounted. I was watching the dolphins feed when two ladies walked over from their car and asked if I’d take a picture of them propped up on my bike (seems it was some kind of mutual dare). Well, its a sin to turn down a reasonable request from the honeys so I accommodated them, then asked that  they let me take their picture with my camera.


They were a hoot.  The Legion guy was agog.  I told him he should get a yellow motorcycle.

The local VFW hall side-tracked the Legionnaires
and I went down the street to find the first stop.   There, the nice lady behind the bar turned me on to a coffee and we talked about local matters. A few riders were already there.   One  of the women spoke when she passed, they seem like nice folks, so I asked if I could ride along with them. It turned out that the  gal is the  daughter of a fellow (GBNF) I used to play music with, and her husband, the son of the lady I’d stopped to say hello to, earlier. I was in good company.

We rode back across the ferry, still half empty, perhaps because the transients who call themselves, “Winter Texans” (snow birds), haven’t arrived in force, yet.


 We rode  way down a State highway to Bayside, a town of 400 population, made a turn, then things got rural. From the parking lot of the next stop, only plowed fields were seen in every direction. We were all the way out in the country. County Roads follow property lines so you know there were some turns that must be a trick to navigate at night, after a few drinks.

From thence (thence?) we crossed Nueces Bay back into Corpus Christi for a stop at the “Blue Marlin”, on North Beach. This bar is so popular with bikers that there is no way of knowing how many of these bikes were being ridden in the poker run.


There were many more motorcycles parked across the street and along side the bar. We ended up slaking our thirst on the patio since the barroom was full.

There were a couple more stops to make on the way back to Aransas pass and I arrived just before the band ended their  break. I harassed the front man and the percussionist, kissed the bass player, then scored some barbecue about the time they cranked up.

Making announcements is Cindy, one of the tireless Santa’s Helpers volunteers.


And then, like a flash, I was gone.
I had this strong desire to  stretch the big yella bike’s legs while crossing  windy bays,  so I took my leave, and left.



Written by fiddle mike

December 14, 2008 at 4:38 am

One Response

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  1. One of the things I love about being a motorcyclist are the toy runs. We have several in Atlanta, GA and I try to participate in all that I can. You meet a great bunch of riders and you always have a good time.

    We also have several toy drives for the local children hospitals. On some of these you actually get to give the toys to the kids themselves (the hospitals even let some of the kids great us when we ride up)…that will tug at your heart strings! Best of all the kids really get a kick out of it.

    Ride safe!

    She Rides Motorcycle Apparel

    December 18, 2008 at 10:30 am

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