Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hanging out with Burt...

I'd guess you'd call the photo above one of my "money shots"...it made the cover of Cycle News East in the early 1980's.

What an experience. "Cannonball Run" was filming in Atlanta, where I lived at the time, and Doug Domokos, the Wheelie King, was doing stunts for the film. Doug had become a friend of mine, and it was fun hanging out on the set and watching things unfold.

We had been promised a publicity shot, and so I waited...and waited. During this period Burt Reynolds was a very hot commodity, and getting a sliver of his time was worth gold.

But finally, Burt Reynolds - and Dom DeLuise - step out of their trailers. I had about 60 seconds to make the shot, so we crowded everyone around the Harley Doug was riding in the movie. One thing I do know - these professional actors made great cheesecake. They became animated and photogenic, but after my minute was over, they turned it off and meandered back to the set.

This was quite the life, considering only a few months before, I was a know-nothing kid from Wisconsin. My quest into the world of motorcycles opened many doors and exciting opportunities, and for that I am grateful.

Doug was killed in a hang-gliding crash several years ago. Though his time on this earth was rather short, he left a big footprint through his lifestyle and crazy motorcycle antics. He's a character I'll always remember, and when I do think of him, a smile will cross my face.

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