Valhalla Garage

San Francisco, California, 1947!

Mecca of the Market Street Commandos, Benares of the Booze Fighters..

Francis Guadalcanal’s Journal, June 31, 1947

X. Johnny had those goggles on when he got back to the San Luis from Henderson Field. There were 147 bullet holes in his Hellcat. He ain’t dressed unless he’s got those goggles on.

The Medicine Leg divines our path. That silk stocking looks and smells like pure sex. When we really need to know, that jitterbug heel and toe will just speak to us, man! The first time X. Johnny pulled it out, he called it the Medicine Leg. Like he’s an Indian Shaman or something and we’re his tribe. His grandpappy or somebody got killed at a place called Wounded Knee in the Dakotas so he’s always talkin’ like an Indian. That makes sense anyway, ‘cause he rides that Springfield Motocycle like he was born on it.

A big two wheeler is just like a horse - an iron horse you feed gas and oil and air like you love him and you do. But it’s different too: the flesh and hair and blood horse was enslaved by his rider - forced to carry him. Now, the iron horse is built by his masters. He’s a machine honor- and duty-bound to carry his rider right up to the Gate of Valhalla. We're like Scythian cavalry comin’ off the steppes, man, lookin’ for booze, fuel, and women! Now's the Machine Age, so I ain't buyin' no farm: I’m ridin’ my Iron Horse to the Valhalla Garage!

(c)1997 Pete Ahrens