John P 1976 FXE Harley Davidson

The Mingus Mud Jam, M/C Rally, Searchin for an Indian Chief.

Ok, so lets start with the basics. Partying, yes sir, that and motorcycle ridin is what life is all about, right. Not a question but a fact. Every year back in the 80's our crew would go out west of Fort Worth, Texas about 70 miles to a little mining ghost town called Mingus. A rough place full of rattlesnakes, cactus and honky tonk bars. A local magazine called the The Texas Scooter Times would host a M/C rally called the Mingus Jam. and every year without fail, it rained. Now all the land out that way is called Black Gumbo Dirt. it get's hard as a rock when it's dry and slippery, sticky and generally nasty when it gets wet. So, as you can guess it rained this weekend makin it one slippery slidin nasty mudhole. We rightly nicknamed it the Mingus Mud Jam. People still would flock out there regardless, with their Motorcycles, packed with camping gear, The venders showed up to selling everything biker including, t-shirts, leathers, jewely, tattoos and some great Texas barbeque. My self and my lady were camped out with some very colorful characters, They nicknamed me JohnBoy (The Walton's Days you know) and some others carried wild biker names like, Sleeper, Cactus, Fletch and Burnout. What a fun bunch of folks. And fun we did have, the bands set up and played all day & late into the night, we danced and played bike games and drank some good ice cold beer, what a weekend we had, you know as we like to say "We had too much fun" Hahaha.

OK, on with the story, It was gettin late on Sunday, everyone needing to get back to the work week grind. Loaded up the camp gear and firing up the Harley's we all said our goodbyes, big bear hugs all around. But before we hit the highway, we needed to fuel up our Fatbob & Sporty gas tanks, so we pulled into a local gas station and that's where we met Bubba. Go figure, a Bubba in Mingus Texas. Hey you boys ever heard of an motorcycle called an "Indian" ? says Bubba. Well yes sir I have, they were an American classic from the great war days started in the early 1900's, but shut down shop in the 50's. Well Bubba says, I got a few of them old Indians out there in an old barn of mine. Everyones ears perked up then, thinkin about those "rare, found in an old barn, discoveries" everyone hears about and wishes it was them. You know and old 32 Coupe or a split window 63 Corvette some guy bought for peanuts from an old widow who only drove it on Sundays to church. You wanna sell it ? I said. That's why I'm askin you fella's, ya seem to know your way around them motorsickles. Well let's go take a look at em, we all seemed to say in unison. Well I'm a ways out there in the boonies says Bubba. Lead the way says Cactus, our new best friend in bib overalls loads up into his old 64 Chevy pickup truck, shotgun hangin in the back window rack. And off we go.

Well the concrete turned into asphalt which turned into gravel then dirt then just 2 ruts with grass growin in between. We pulled along side each other gettin kinda worried. We had been ridin for what seemed an hour or more and gettin more and more remote, and it was gettin dark. You know, we started thinkin about movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverence you know. No sweat, were all packin some kinda heat. Everything from a little .22 derringer pistol to a full blown .45 cal. in a saddlebag. Who know what might await us out here on these old Harleys. Could be a set up to rip us off ? you never know. As we pulled up to the house surrounded by smaller sheds and animals and all sorts of farmin implements of plowing destruction, our fears subsided as Misses Bubba came out all smiles to greet us. As we followed Bubba out to a remote barn our anticipation was growning in hopes of seeing a pristine old Indian Chief or Scout all together just sittin there covered in dust. Bubba swings open the barn doors and we all peer into the darkness. Nothin is visible but piles of hay and the ground is covered in hay. It's under all this stuff he says and heads over to a corner and starts tossing the hay around. And there they are, their Indians all right but these were just in pieces and were the small ones that the company made. Small CC's ,some were for dirt riding and maybe the ones parachuted out of planes in the war. Hummmmm, well, not what we expected but still classis Indians, maybe 3 bikes in total all in pieces, I recognied the famous Indian head horn cover among the many parts. Well, I said how much would you want for all of it ? And then he really shocked us. I guess it's worth about $10,000, dont ya think ? Our jaws just dropped, NO ! I don't think so. Well that's what I want for em and someday I'm sure I can get it. Now this was back in the 80's mind ya. I sure wasn't gonna drop that kinda bread and started gettin a little erked for having traveled so far. Fletch said, let us think about it and Cactus handed him a phone number and said kinda sarcastically, "when you come way down off that price and gather and clean it all up, give me a call. Maybe we can make a deal. So with that we fired up our sleds and headed back to the big city. As the sun set behind us we headed east to Fort Worth wishin in the back of our minds that we would have found that needle in a haystack, that Indian Chief Motorcycle hidin away in an old barn just waiting to be restored. Oh Well, at least we had "Too Much Fun". Hahahaha.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    Johnboy Burleson, TX October 8, 2014 at 23:05
    Great story even if I do say so myself.

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