Travis G Black & Associates January 2020

JANUARY 2020

916.962.2896 | TRAVISBLACKLAW.COM

AND HELPED ME FIND MY FATHER’S CHILDHOOD HOME HOW MOTORCYCLING OPENED MY EYES

A few years ago, I took a motorcycle trip on my own for an entire month touring the United States. During the trip, I made sure to pass through Missouri, where my father was born and raised. I never knew what town he grew up in or where it might be, but I wanted to see if I could find it. The only thing I had as a reference was an old newspaper clipping of my father when he was around 18 years old. When my dad was younger, he and his brother were barnstormers around the time airplanes started to become pretty popular. They owned a World War I fighter plane, and every once in awhile, they’d fly over to a nearby town, land on either the main street or a strip of land, and take people up for a ride for a penny a pound. During one of these excursions, someone snapped a picture of him on the plane and wrote a small article about him, which included an address. But there was nothing in there that told me what city it had taken place in. As I passed through Missouri, I found myself in the town of St. Joseph and, as I settled into my hotel, decided to put the address and the nearest intersection into my GPS “When I was younger, I had always been interested in motorcycles, but I didn’t get my first one until I was 16.”

device to see if anything popped up. To my surprise, I got a hit — the address was only 1.5 miles from where I was staying. The next day, I drove my motorcycle over there, and this little old lady came to the door. She was very understanding and let me take a look at the house my grandfather had built in 1890, the house where my dad grew up. Motorcycle touring has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’d have missed out on a lot of experiences in my life, like visiting my dad’s childhood home, had it not been for jumping on my motorcycle and taking a ride. When I was younger, I had always been interested in motorcycles, but I didn’t get my first one until I was 16. In high school, I remember telling my dad how much I wanted one, and he thought I was nuts. But he let me have one with two conditions: I had to buy it myself, and I couldn’t get in an accident. I’ve been motorcycling ever since and have owned a lot of motorcycles. In 2006, I joined Blue Knights International, an organization of active and retired police officers throughout the U.S. I’m part of the branch here in Sacramento, where we have about 88 members. Before joining, I had no idea who the Blue Knights were until I heard a couple of guys talking about the group at a local motorcycle store. I didn’t pay much attention to the conversation until I heard, “We need to get more retired cops.” At that point, I walked over and said, “I’m a retired cop. Tell me

what you’re talking about,” and they invited me to attend their monthly Blue Knights breakfast. I met some awesome people, and that first experience was so great that I joined immediately. Over the years, I’ve gone on some great trips as part of the Blue Knights. One of our main goals is to enjoy the beauty of the country, and to do that, we avoid the highways, freeways, and interstates. We made a trip a number of years ago where we drove around 450 miles, only 7 of which were spent driving on the interstate. We also never speed. We believe that if you’re riding a motorcycle, then you’re riding for fun — you’re never in a hurry. The experiences I’ve had thanks to motorcycling are ones I remember fondly. I’ve always been passionate about motorcycling, and I always will be. For 2020, I look forward to heading out on new adventures and making even more memories. – Travis Black

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