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My stint as a “biker chick” has been long overdue.
So when organizer Jerome Munna invited me to ride along on the Brunswick County Motorcycle Enthusiasts’ toy run last Saturday, I responded with enthusiasm and wonder.
I wondered: Where is all my leather stuff?
All my closet could yield that cold morning was an off-white cardigan sweater to don over my jeans and black Ugg-like boots. The bottom part was acceptable, but the top, I soon learned, didn’t fit in at all.
I’m pretty sure I was the only person in Shallotte—and quite probably the world—at a biker event Saturday in a preppy cardigan sweater.
If the truth be known, it wasn’t doing much to deflect the cold, either.
I’d only been standing in the Walmart parking lot looking out of place for a few minutes when I caught the attention of a kind-hearted, blonde-haired biker chick who didn’t even know me—Terry Morgan of Concord, who’d come in with her husband, Randy, to ride as they usually do in the seasonal toy run.
That’s the way it is in bikers’ world—they look out for you before you even realize you need looking out for.
She was so nice, she even told me what HOG stood for—Harley Owners Group. I almost felt like part of the fraternity now. Bikers, she said, do lots of toy runs. That’s the way they give back to charity.
I wasn’t going biking like that, was I? she asked—because I would freeze my biker seat, if it wasn’t already.
“We have someone who can loan you a helmet,” she said.
But she’d have to dig a little deeper to find me suitable attire so I could endure the ride. I needed one of those black-and-orange Harley jackets like all the other cool bikers were wearing, along with a set of those nifty black-leather chaps. It was too late to cruise the Harley store on U.S. 17.
I soon learned I wasn’t going biking after all. I was going to accompany Munna and his family in his classic 1951 black-and-white Mercury, which has everything—power windows, a set of fuzzy dice suspended from the rear-view mirror, and a heater.
That, my friend, is the best way to cover a biker event on a cold day in December.
Munna praised the crowd gathered outside Walmart for braving the day’s iffy weather. Then he asked a blessing for the lunch they’d be having a couple of hours later at Brunswick Islands Baptist Church, “so when you get to the church and start eating, it’ll already be blessed for you.”
Settling behind the wheel of his car, Munna recalled the first toy run they had 19 years ago involved riding 100 miles in 30-degree weather. The bikers and drivers shopped for 10 children that year instead of the 100 they do now.
The Munnas’ niece, 11-year-old Kara Westmoreland of Jacksonville, riding in the back seat, said she’d made 43 glittery hair bows the night before in all colors for the children the bikers would shop for that afternoon.
Munna’s wife, Shawnna, said they had glitter all over the kitchen table and countertops. “It looks like fairy dust.”
With his engine and mufflers revving, Munna, a lifelong biker, was ready to rumble.
“Feel the rumble go through your heart and soul,” he said with the flourish of a biker-poet after the procession stopped at a local service station before heading out again.
“It makes you want to sing ‘Born to be Wild,’” Munna said.
It kind of did.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.