Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - September 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Local Hog Owner Goes to 105th Anniversary
Houston County Courier - September 2008
By Sharron Randall
Harley-Davidson motorcycle enthusiast and biker Jerry Rhone of Grapeland and his riding buddy Scott Bergeron of Houston drove 1,010 miles to Milwaukee, Wis. to join up with the 25 members of the Cut and Shoot bikers' chapter to attend the Harley-Davidson 105th anniversary celebration, Aug. 28-31.
Rhone and Bergeron left on Aug. 16. It took 24 hours to drive to Milwaukee in a pickup truck while hauling their motorcycles behind in a camper trailer. Since Bergeron has family members living in Milwaukee, they had no problem finding a parking space.
They connected with the "tougher" biker club members who made the trip in three days astride their Harleys! They stayed at a hotel.
Rhone spent about two weeks in Milwaukee, visited the Harley-Davidson Museum and other sights, and took plenty of photographs to bring back to show the folks at home. He said if he had waited until the 100,000 expected visitors arrived for the anniversary events, he would have had to stand in miles-long lines.
Actually, the most anticipated tourist attraction for Rhone was the recently completed two-story Harley-Davidson Museum. Rhone said that never before has a Harley-Davidson collection of this size been laid out in one place, housing 105 years of history. "It was impressive," he said.
The museum builds on Bill Harley and Arthur Walter Davidson's company roots, from small-time business, supreme survivorship and reinvention, to its present major motorcycle market; from a one-cylinder motorcycle developed in Milwaukee in 1903 to "THE American Motorcycle" in 2008.
The history of the Harley Davidson lives on in the museum, a treasure chest, complete with about 200 bikes and other pieces of Harley history. Museum leaders expect more than 300,000 Harley-Davidson riders and fans a year from all over the world.
Besides the museum experience, a special exhibit at Discovery World, a Saturday parade of 75,000 bikers in signature bandana and leather apparel, which lasted almost six hours and a Saturday night performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band highlighted the 4-day event.
Loyal followers of the Harley such as Houston Countian Jerry Rhone, shared the ultimate "Hog" experience with young and old, die-hards and first timers, yuppies and veterans at the 105th anniversary celebration of an incomparable motorcycle--Harley Davidson!