Friday, June 12, 2015

Coming Home to Bikes Blues and BBQ

Earl Vinson and his wife, Heather Wilson, with their 2013 Road Glide Custom aka "Sound of Madness"

We would like to welcome home Petty Officer Third Class Earl Vinson who served his country in the US Navy for the past six years.  Upon finishing his military career on May 27th this year, he and his wife, Heather Wilson, began making plans to return to NW Arkansas from San Diego, California. During his tour of duty, Officer Vinson was deployed on the USS Gridley Destroyer and was part of the 7th Fleet escorting the carrier group that went in to get bin Laden.  Prior to his service in the Navy, he served NW Arkansas for thirteen years as a police officer.  Quite an honorable record of service, we are all very proud to have him returning home and greatly thankful for his service.

Earl's hometown is Prairie Grove, Arkansas where he grew up and attended school.   Joe Giles, the Executive Director of Bikes Blues and BBQ, used to be Earl's English teacher in 7th and 8th grades in Prairie Grove Middle School where, coincidentally, Earl's mother, Verla Jean Vinson, also worked in the administration offices until her passing in 1996.  Earl and Heather will reside in Springdale upon returning to the area, to be close to his four daughters, ages 19, 18, 15 and 9.

Earl is tickled to be able to attend Bikes Blues and BBQ again this year and Heather is enthusiastically looking forward to attending the rally for the first time.  She tells us she will be posting about the rally later in the summer on her own blog, Life of a Traveling Navy Wife.  "My father rides and despite my being 39 years old this will be my first rally ever!  We are both looking forward to seeing everyone there," Heather Wilson, proud wife of former US Navy Sailor, Earl Vinson.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Battle of the Bikes from the Cover of Thunder Roads Magazine

Scotty Robertson and his Champion 2005 Custom Harley-Davidson Springer

As the crowd cheered, whistled and screamed for their favorite bike in the 2014 BBBQ Stokes Air Battle of the Bikes sponsored by Nabholz Construction, the winner was not clear the first time through.  With Earl the Pearl on the sound meter and Laramie LaFarge on the microphone, egging on the crowd to cheer louder, I called out an additional surprise for the winner of the final round of the battle; the Cover Shot of the November issue!  Suddenly, an already deafening cheer, became an uncontrollable roar as they proceeded on to declare whether the hot, big wheeled Indian Bagger or the unique, chopped and bobbed Harley-Davidson Springer would win the final round and take home the championship belt.  And the winner is... Scotty Robertson, aka "Memphis" with the 2005 Harley-Davidson Springer!

Mid-Saturday afternoon Dickson Street in full-tilt cruise mode with the gracious help of the Fayetteville police department, our photographer, Douglas Henderson was able to very quickly capture (we were given 45 seconds) this beautiful cover photo of the winning bike on Dickson Street.

The event MC Laramie LaFarge
We were honored to be able to shoot Scotty's beautiful ride and him proudly displaying the belt.  He was beaming as he held the belt in front of him saying, "this is my second Battle of the Bikes championship win and this belt will to to my second son as my first son has the other one."  Pride and humility were both standing right in front of me as I watched this father and bike builder pace and gaze at his coveted prize.  It's what winning an honorable bike show does to a man and we were happy to get to be a part of it.

Check out the interesting and unusual Bike Specs.  There are some real surprises and unique pieces to this bike that you may not notice right away.  One of the crowd favorite particulars of the bike, was that the coil cover is the Zippo lighter which Scotty's late grandpa carried in his own pocket.  The Prince Albert Can represents the tobacco he smoked.  Scotty couldn't hid that he loved putting this "Working Man's Bike" together.  He asked us to mention that it wouldn't have been possible without the help and inspiration from his dad, Danny; support of his wife, Kristi; sons, Jett and Slade; and the rest of the speed shop family.  All we can say is thanks Scotty and ask the question, "Can he make it a three-peat?"

Reprinted with permission by Thunder Roads Magazine Arkansas / Oklahoma
November 2014 Issue
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