Back in the mid 1980’s, California (fascist, liberal, left-wing state) passed a law. People who chose to ride a motor-cycle had to wear a helmet or face tickets, fines, etc. It had just become ‘unlawful.’ This did not sit well with a college class-mate named George; He was very upset over this law and decided that he would ‘buck the system’. George was in my Drama class, so, I thought perhaps he might be doing this just to get attention. This was not the case, and how wrong I was about George, laws, etc. Many people made fun of him, I did not. I would sit and listen to him and how mad he was, day after day. I told him one day “George, why don’t you just ‘let this go?’” (George had been receiving many tickets, fines, etc AND paid them all.) “Let this go? Have you gone crazy, Pauli!!??”” “Don’t you understand that if they take away my right to not wear a helmet, they will come after another freedom and another, until we don’t have freedom, anymore, Pauli.”
George had so many tickets, fines and it just added up, everyday, more and more. Finally the news-papers took notice and George was pictured in the news-paper without his helmet, standing next to his motor-cycle. I was happy that he was fighting so passionately for this. I realized early on, after I unrighteously confronted him, that he was not just fighting to ‘look cool.’
He was fighting for FREEDOM.
George was also married and had a few children; I believe 3. His wife was a wonderful lady, she worked as a waitress. She stood by him, 100%- for many years to come. They did get divorced and I believe the fines caused much economic strain. Every so often, I would see George, without a helmet and I would smile. It was him that helped begin my own anger at fascist governing and gave me the strength to stand up to them in my town. (In 1989 & on to this very day, I have been involved in my own town, city, country for our freedoms in our streets, govt and nation.)
Many years later, I saw George’s wife. She was working in a different restaurant and I asked her “How is George?” She said; “We are friends now, but we have gotten divorced.” I told her: ‘Sweetie, George was right’. I began to explain to her the many things that the dictatorship of Calif had passed since George’s stand. She just looked at me slack-jawed. I said: “He was right. To him, I owe much.” She smiled and said: “I will tell him this, Pauli, he is still fighting the governing powers of California”
I dedicate this song to a brave soul and patriot, George:
It does not matter if it is dangerous to ride without a helmet. It should be left to the person that chooses to ride the way he/she wants to ride.