good morning bigmoose chums, live from the bunkhouse at the alpine club in london.
yep, the rab 1200 expedition sleeping bag and i spent the night again in the famous alpine club, and as i unfurled my toasty red friend i notice some of the reading material on the wall adjacent to my shoreditch based bunk.
in a place like the alpine club stuff is just there on the shelves for you to read, and as my eye scanned some of the musky and dusty books and magazines i spied hillary and tenzing on the cover of a glossy mag, which closer inspection showed that it was actually a programme for the royal gala performance, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of mount everest, in the presence of hm the queen and hrh the duke of edinburgh at the odeon leicester square, london.
reading material sorted.
there is something about this place, and it’s history, that i love, and just unearthing this programme, which felt untouched, and the pages unread, for me, especially with my task ahead, is thrilling.
everest, wow, reading and thinking about it scares me the closer it gets, especially after having my knee op this week, but as i sit here now, progress is good, my range of movement is improving, and i am trying to stay calm and focused, geez it’s a good test though, and if/when i summit it will be pretty mad to think that this week i had surgery on both knees, the human body is pretty amazing dontcha think?
so my op was monday, and prior to that i was in london again last saturday, where i attended a seminar by a chap called andy harrrington who is a public speaking coach, and i learnt a lot just in one day, and have now signed up to a three day course to improve my methods and style, rather than just blabbing on unstructured, as if i am going to do a few bits of speaking i would like to be the best i can be, so that should be interesting.
what andy talked about was storytelling, and how to tell stories effectively, and with no prior training that i am aware of, one of the bigmoose crew, the adventure mad kris king rang me last week to have a chat and a catchup, and told me a very interesting story, which has nothing to do with bigmoose at all, but i just thought i would share it with you.
kris has recently been working as the event co-ordinator and race director for beyond the ultimate, extreme race company, and was head hunted to run some events for bear grylls.
now kinger recently received a ransome worthy of his name for this work, and had some decisions to make, the main one being should he deposit this bag of swag into an isa, or buy a jaguar car.
so, decision made, kris is in the jaguar garage with his new car, getting some adjustments made to it, and he tumbles into conversation with another chap in the waiting room, and they start discussing their cars, and how they got to where they are.
now kris’s story of growing up, and his background, to end up with a car that growls is a pretty cool one, but his compadre in the dealership’s story was a bit more involved.
so dear reader, we shall start, on what might appear to sound like a shaggy dog story, but please, bear with me.
the fellow jag owner, we’ll call him mr jones, starts to tell kris that he has a couple of motorbikes, nothing flash, but he is now looking to get a new bike to add to his collection, but his wife insists they don’t have enough room, and if he must continue his collection, he must build a shed or suchlike to house the soon to be three speed monsters.
our hero of the story, decides the best thing to do is invest in a metal shipping container, which will be dry and secure, and can be positioned at the end of his garden, and his wife will be happy as it will be out of site.
he does his research, and after some time discovers a suitably priced container locally, and upon telephoning the owner, discovers it to still be for sale, and available for inspection.
the chap selling it informs him that it is watertight, but a bit dirty, and has some old bike parts inside which need to be cleared before he sells it, but he’s welcome to come and have a look.
the thought of bikes parts sounded interesting to the two wheel enthusiast, as he set off to view the metal storage device.
as the doors creaked open, the light cast shadows over an array of bike parts just as the owner had said, and as our man shone the light from his phone on them, he felt his heart beat a little faster when he saw that they were in fact harley davidson parts, his dream bike manufacturer, and there appeared to be quite a lot of them.
the price of the container was discussed, and no haggling was done, this was the north of england, not some moroccan bazarre, and our man agreed with the seller that he would take the unit without needing to clear the parts, as he loved harley davidson stuff, and would enjoy checking them out, so the deal was done.
the container was delivered, and as it was lowered into mr jones garden he was excited to start look at the dusty old parts that were contained within.
with more light on the situation, it transpired that, there were actually parts from a fully dismantled bike, and the excitement grew every moment he found another piece in a crate or strewn on the floor.
after spending quite a while putting the machine together he knew he had struck gold, and as he turned the key in the ignition, and the beast growled into life with a huge puff of smoke from the engine he couldn’t believe his luck.
aware that he had been extremely lucky to have been almost gifted this dream bike, he decided to find out its history, and set about ascertaining its heritage.
he dialled the nearest harley dealership, where his story wasn’t received quite so well as he had hoped, and they didn’t seem quite as excited, until they asked for the chassis number of the bike.
he had this number already, and read it out slowly to the chap at the other end of the phone.
“mr jones can you repeat that number please?”
once repeated there was a short silence.
“can you bear with me mr jones”, and a longer silence.
“mr jones, my dealer principal and i would love to come and have a look at your bike if we may, would that be possible this afternoon?”
and so they arrived, that afternoon, and played a canny game of poker with our hero, but as they offered him four thousand pounds for the bike there and then, he knew it must have been worth more, so he thanked them for their offer, and said he would think about it.
it was literally seconds after they left that he was dialling the harley davidson head office in milwaukee, and he repeated his story, which kind of panned out the same way, ‘can you repeat that number please mr jones?”
“would you be willing to send us some pictures of the bike mr jones?
half an hour of calls and e-mails resulted in another call to our boy.
“hi mr jones my name is lawrence g hund, and i am the president and ceo of harley davidson in milwaukee, and i believe you have a bike that would be of interest to me, would you mind if we came over to the uk to have a look at it?”
a date was agreed, and the american party of three arrived to look at the bike in the metal container.
as they entered the unit, the ceo told mr jones that he though he might have a very special bike in his midst, and as they approached the bike he asked mr jones to lift up a secret leather flap on the bikes seat, and to read what it said underneath.
as he lifted the flap, he read the engraved words “to bob dylan from elvis presley” out loud.
as his heart nearly burst out of his chest, the ceo explained.
“mr jones, back in the early days of his career elvis presley bought ten harley davidson motorcycles for ten of his friends, and over the years i have managed to find and buy nine of the ten for my own collection. yours is the tenth, and i would very much like to buy it from you and ship it back to america where it will go on display, and if you would be willing to sell it to me, i will pay you a quarter of a million pounds, and i will also pay for you to come to the states, and you can pick any harley davidson motorcycle you like, and i will shipit back to the uk for you”
and that was why mr jones was in the jaguar dealership that day as he was collecting his new car that he had bought, and was getting ready to drive it back to the new extension he had built on his house to house his toys.
cool story kinger!
i definitely can’t top that, but just wanted to update you all that we have found another possible coffee shop site, and will be making a return visit next week to see if we think it can work for us, the bigmoose coffee co. is raring to go, we have so many ideas, we just need a premises that will work, keep yer fingers crossed.
on a final note, we will be announcing a bigmoose challenge for 2017 next week if you are looking for something to push your boundaries, and this will be our first event outside the uk, so check back then for more details.
until then have a fab weekend, keep doing your monthly moose’s, and as december is now upon us, don't party too hard, and think of those less fortunate than yourselves, and until then i’ll be seeing ya.