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Lightnin' Jack Stillar (standard:drama, 2426 words)
Author: WaltAdded: Oct 19 2006Views/Reads: 2240/1094Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Ever meet a one-legged motorcyclist? Meet Lightnin' Jack Stillar... ( language!)

Lightnin( Jack Stillar 

It was a muggy Friday afternoon last July when I noticed the old Harley
with the sidecar. It is not often you see a Harley Davidson motorcycle 
with a sidecar, sidecars being considered 'sissy' for most motorcycle 
riders, and this is especially so for Harley riders. The rider was the 
dirty-looking, longhaired, leather-clad individual you immediately 
associate with Harley Davidson machines, a Hollywood image that has 
stuck ever since Brando and his Wild Bunch rode into town. That image 
is slowly changing as the price of Harleys attracts the yuppie crowd, 
but this fellow was the image of the Hell's Angels or Outlaws if ever 
there was an image-maker. His black leathers had fringes along the arms 
and across the back, he wore a Nazi style helmet that just borders on 
being illegal, and the bike was dirty. He was big and fat, running to 
at least 120 kilos. There were streaks of grey in his beard, which was 
uncut and ragged. 

I sat there, two cars back and called in the licence plate on my
portable telephone to see if there were any wants on the machine. At 
the next traffic light I was right behind the rumbling bike and that is 
when I noticed that there was really something different about the bike 
and the rider. The guy had no left leg. Hence the sidecar. He had a 
crudely fashioned hand lever to work the shifter. 

After a short pause, the dispatcher said that the bike belonged to one
Lightnin' Jack Stillar. No wants or warrants. Owner thought to have had 
connections to Outlaws but no recent information. 

The light changed and the bike lurched forward with the familiar Harley
belch of complaint that soon settled into the famous trademark rumble. 
We were on the outskirts of the city now and the biker was moving along 
right at the speed limit. Jerry, my youngest son, had a softball game 
that evening so I pressed the accelerator and slipped the beat-up Monte 
Carlo that the drug squad supplied for me to ride around in past the 
bike and was on my way. I glanced in the mirror as I flipped the turn 
signal lever and saw the puff of blue smoke as the big Harley 
backfired. The machine lost speed and drifted over onto the shoulder. I 
glanced at my watch and said to myself that I might as well go back and 
see if he needed any help. With only one leg, I thought he might have 
problems fixing his machine, and the odds were that no one was going to 
stop and help a Biker. I guess it is a hold over from the days when I 
rode with the OPP motorcycle division before I took this undercover job 
on the drug squad. You hate to leave your bike on the side of the road 
and walk to the next garage for help. Some idiot will try to rip it 
off, or push it over on its side just for the hell of it. And Lightnin' 
Jack Stillar would not be a fast walker with only one leg. 

By the time I turned around and found a break in the traffic to let me
turn again, Lighting Jack was fastening on his artificial leg. The 
sidecar was obviously there for more than balance - it carried his leg 
and cane. 

"You need any help?" I asked as I walked towards the biker. 

He glanced at me, taking in the long hair and moustache, torn jeans, 'No
Fear' tee shirt and cowboy boots that made up my undercover disguise. 

"Fuckin' bike! The goddam points froze again!" 

"You got a spare set?" I asked. 

"Yeah, I always carry a spare set. Fuckin' old bike goes through a set
about every thousand miles. Jesus Christ, you'd think they could make a 
decent set of fuckin' points!" 

"Yeah, I know what you mean. I rode a few years ago. Same fuckin'
problem on my bike. I can give you a hand, if you want - your leg . . 

"Yeah, man, I appreciate it." He was digging in the sidecar, ferreting
out a small tool kit and then the box of points. Reading my mind, he 
said, "Lost my leg five years ago. Fuckin' car rode me off the road. I 
flipped over and my fuckin' leg was jammed between a rock and the bike. 
Nearly killed me, that sonofabitch." 

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