The Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man film, starring Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson, was released in 1991 when I myself was busily chasing the white picket fence and existing, not living, in a then unbeknownst, barrow and spend, Matrix-like battery state of involuntary servitude to creditors and struggling paycheck to paycheck.

In 1992 I finally picked up a VHS copy of Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man and was immediately mesmerized by the character that was a variety of Harley Davidson motorcycles: Rourke’s FXR 98 Inch Stroker used in the opening scenes, and the FXLT 80 Inch Evolution stunt bike.

In the opening scenes, Harley, played by Mickey Rourke, packs his saddlebags and tears out of town to roll through several states free as can be. Later, Virginia, played by Chelsea Field, expresses in her police uniform that she essentially admired the come and go freedom enjoyed by Harley and Don Johnson’s character, Marlboro.

This simple exchange between two film characters, while seemingly inconsequential in the bigger picture of life, was, nonetheless the catalyst that sparked an epiphany within my own way of thinking; I woke up and realized that I was shackled by not just debt but a Honda motorcycle that just didn’t have that “...better to be dead and cool then alive and uncool” vibe. So, I immediately returned the VHS and, just one more time, purchased a custom Harley Davidson FXR on credit.

Since then, I slowly but surely escaped the chains of debt and have been self-employed since 1996. I can choose to get up and work or mount up and ride; it is my choice to live as I choose and not exist to pay interest on loans.

To celebrate staying self-employed, I worked with Mentor to build the profiled replica of the famed Harley Davidson and Marlboro Man Chopper Motorcycle and no payments are due.

Shiny Side up Folks ~ Rex

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