Hangin’ With the Harley Guys

By: qwerty53

Aug 09 2009

Category: Bo Bice, Helena, AL, photography, RAFs - Readiness and Family Support, Uncategorized, Veterans

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Focal Length:78mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D50

This is the weekend I envisioned myself photographing the 21st Annual 127 Corridor Sale, but instead I am leaving that to my friend Jeff. I hope he will eventually have time to post his finds and photos from this year’s steamy, crowded venue.

Meanwhile, I traipsed over to the Dixie Harley Davidson where the action was closer to home as Helena’s Bo Bice made an appearance before leading a Poker Run to raise money for another local organization, Readiness and Family Support   (http://www.rafs.org/). This non-profit, based in Calera, is dedicated to “promoting the welfare and boosting morale of our armed forces and their families.”

As a somewhat irregular hanger-outer around cycle enthusiasts—my last closest photo op being at the AL Veterans Cemetery when they interred the first nine veterans—I did not know what to expect as far as actually executing the purpose of my mission.  And that mission was to secure photos of Bo Bice (I don’t really have to explain who he is, do I?) for the Helena City News. As my paparazzi practice is rusty and I didn’t know if I would be able to get close without one of those mega-telephoto lens you see the sports journalists using, I put my trusty 18-200mm on and hoped for the best.

This Poker Run stuff—another term entirely new to me just a month ago—is to bikers as Alabama football is to, well, you know, most of the rest of Alabama. The sizeable parking lot was covered with rows and rows of bikes. Organization is obviously well in hand for these events. I forgot to count, but I’m sure the numbers will be published soon, as well as the dollars raised. I had a great time just milling around capturing other participants, once I ascertained that Bo Bice himself had not yet entered the proverbial building.

Then, there was a wave of motion through the crowd and he was a few feet in front of me with a couple of tall guys and other official sorts at his side. Fortunately, I knew what he looked like, because when he came to Helena a few years back, fresh off his American Idol elevation to fame, I stood in line with my son to get his autograph on a T-shirt.

That day was hot, hot, hot under the tent and the line was long, long, long. I recall Shelby nearly passed out as we got trapped mid-tent for over an hour. To Bo’s credit, once he arrived, he was patient and kind to every fan that day. Shelby was struck almost dumb when his turn came and Bo asked him his name.  We still have that autographed shirt in pristine condition; it will never be worn or washed and Shelby is now at the age to be totally embarrassed that I am telling this.

Having no concept of how much time I might have, I started snapping. The crowd was very respectful. Some asked for photos with Bo and I took that opportunity to stand near and snap as well. I do believe he might have actually wondered at some point just who this woman dressed in orange and red was, but I must have seemed benign enough, as I was never apprehended as a potential stalker. I even think I have one photo (top, left) taken just before he rode off where he might have been smiling at me. Or, for the camera directed his way or at my dedication for shadowing his every movement for thirty minutes. Guess I’ll go listen to some of his tunes now.

See an overview of photos at:



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