A FATHER’S DAY TRIBUTE – “A SPECIAL ONE INDEED”
So many of us remember times spent with our dad’s in various projects we did together throughout the course of many years. This Father’s Day Tribute is a very special one indeed where a father-son duo work, play, ride, as well as eat, sleep, and dream about Cushman Scooters and Mustang Motorcycles! This is a fascinating story and one that you will enjoy reading here in Born To Ride magazine!
To start out, this is NOT a business story; it’s a hobby story! Richard Jr. explained, “My dad is 73 years old. He has a bad hip and has had knee surgery. Now, he’s not able to ride a Harley anymore. When he was a kid, he used to do a paper route throwing the papers from a Cushman Scooter. In order to earn the money to buy that Cushman, Dad cut grass with front yards for $1 and back yards for $1 in his neighborhood back in the 1950s. Now that he can’t ride the heavier two-wheeler, he decided to get back into the Cushman.” Both Richard Reese Jr. and his dad, Richard Sr., travel all over the country buying old Cushman’s and the parts to them, restoring, rebuilding, and riding them together!
Richard Junior was born in Augusta, Georgia. In 1992, the family moved to Florida. When did the Cushman passion actually start? “We’ve always had a passion for motorcycles. We used to build Harley’s and tinker with those. Dad wanted a Cushman for years, but they are rare and hard to find. Dad heard about these Cushman meets and we started attending them.”
Currently, they have seven Cushman’s that are ready to ride and enough parts to build an additional six more! “We also have two antique Mustang motorcycles, too!” Dad always wanted one of them when he was a kid.” Currently, they are in the process of restoring a 1952 Cushman Eagle barrel springer and a 1957 pony.“Dad rides to the store every day, uptown, and just all around the area on his Cushman. Most Cushman’s run 55-60 mph wide open. We have a couple modified ones that run 80-mph.” When I asked Richard Junior if he rode the modified Cushman, he laughed and said, “Dad and I both ride it!”
Speaking of family, Richard Junior’s two girls help in the restoration process; 12-year-old Alexus and 10-year-old Teagan have absolutely no problem getting in there and helping their dad and Papa! It’s a nice, full circle of love and passion focused around the Cushman Scooters and Mustang Motorcycles!
A funny story Richard Junior shared with me about dad taking the Cushman Scooter and sidecar rig to town! “My dad put a sidecar on a scooter. On his way into town, he had a malfunction with the sidecar. The scooter went out of control and road into a ditch. The scooter was submerged underwater in the ditch – and his dog was in the sidecar! We pulled the scooter and sidecar rig out of the ditch (the dog was fine!) and brought it back to the house. My 10-year-old daughter said, ‘We have to fix Papa’s scooter.’ She refused to stop telling me we had to fix dad’s scooter. She wouldn’t stop, and I finally said, ‘Go fix it!’ She went out there and fixed everything on her own, refusing to let me help her do anything!”
Almost like a repeat of history, Richard Junior’s grandfather had a Mustang motorcycle! “My grandfather had a Mustang motorcycle when my dad was a teenager and dad used to ride it. My grandfather used to help my dad work on his Cushman when dad was a kid. My dad got his first Cushman at age 13. My grandfather rode an Army 45 Harley through hostile territories during WWII. He was a messenger in the war. It’s crazy to think my grandfather’s job in the military was riding through hell from one area to another, on that Harley to deliver messages!” Richard and his dad will be attending a National Mustang motorcycle Meet in Texas.” He added, “These bikes are very rare, and parts are very hard to come by.”
Winding up an already great conversation, Richard Junior said, “It’s just a passion for me to be able to spend time with my dad since he won’t always be here with me. He enjoys it and can’t do it without me unloading and loading the scooters, the hard work at events in picking up heavy totes and engines, etc. My dad is the greatest dad in the world and the one thing he said to us many times over (which has always stuck with me) is to always have fun and enjoy life while it’s still here because one day you won’t be able to. To this day, he lives his life that way and has taught me to live my life the same way.” You can visit with the Reese father and son duo at the Fun Bar in Bartow, Florida. They will also be at the Webster Westside motorcycle swap meet held on the first Sunday of every month! Be sure to tell them that you read their story in Born To Ride magazine!
Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers who are Born To Ride! Tell Us Your Story!