The Reunion – Reviewed by Skids Poppe
Happy New Year!
Well, it’s over. We only have forty-nine weeks left until Christmas comes again, but for now, we all have a temporary reprieve in which to collect our thoughts and pay our bills. Hopefully, if you all live charmed lives like I do, you all got what you wanted from loved ones and family and are right now hurrying through this column (can’t miss this column, right?) to get back out there and play with your new stuff.
This one is for all you Harley enthusiasts out there. Like me, you probably can’t get enough of watching good ol’ American ingenuity and know how thundering across the tarmac of this great country. Am I right?
I know that by the time you read this, it’s well into February, thoughts of holiday cheer are long gone and the above is just a painful reminder of what they were. Thankfully, I got a few gifts which keep on giving, and I’m gonna tell you about them.
The first one was a gift from the new leading lady, Franki. She knows how to turn me on and this did it. I mean, anyone who reads me regularly (like all of you and her) knows there are two routes to my heart: 1) videos; 2) Harleys. So guess what I got? That’s right. What I’m talking about is the new documentary which spends forty minutes celebrating the “Road to Milwaukee,” last June’s North American ride home.
I’m sure everyone reading knows the reason for the celebration, but for those who are new the mythology, let me explain. On June 12, 1903 a few guys got together in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and decided to build the best American motorcycle ever. On June 12, 1993, Harley owners from all over the country and Canada found themselves with over 100,000 friends riding through the streets of this town.
The video, The Reunion, (which is the gift I got; thanks, Franki) covers the ride and the riders in forty minutes. Starting at the beginning, the photographic team from (award winning) NFL Films were all over, interviewing bikers as they started the long ride as early as the 4th of June. They were even there as a group of hog riders from our neighbor to the north took the hour-long ferry ride in order to plant their rubber firmly on American soil.
Every night, the riders would stop and fundraising events were held to help support the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Since Harley first chose MDA as their charity, riders from all over the world have raised over $16 million. In fact, proceeds from the 20 bucks you’re going to pay for this video (available exclusively at Harley-Davidson dealerships) go directly to MDA. A reason in itself to treat you or someone you love.
When the rolling party hits town, Milwaukee sees something it has never seen before: The largest parade of motorcycles ever assembled in one place. It is truly an awe-inspiring sight. And, just because old H-D knows how to throw a party, this top vid has music by the likes of Steppenwolf and ZZ Top and comedy from Penn Jillete, Wild Willy Parsons and the Goddess herself, Judy Tenuta. There are even guest shots of Jay “I should own the company by now” Leno signing autographs and Peter “does anyone remember me” Fonda donating what he can. The most heartfelt moment in the show is Jerry Lewis’ thank you for the years of generous support and donations.
All in all, this is an entertaining video. The only thing else I could have asked for would have been a little bit more history on the company, but I guess there are books for that.
Skids wants to make plans now to ride up for the 100th anniversary.