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The Over The Hill Gang

The Over The Hill Gang
Let's ride! Riders are Jerry Cole, Billy Niverson, John Nave, Jack McClain, Larry Davis, Larry Burk, Merle Combs, Charles Thomas, Art Adrianson, Larry Miller.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Crop Dusters

We road up to The Red Apple (intersection of IN 15 and IN 114) for lunch. After lunch, we rode east to North Manchester. Leaving North Manchester we traveled east to Ritterhouse Road. We went north along the river to Liberty Mills. We then went east to South Whitley. Before we got to South Whitney we saw two crop dusters spraying soybeans. One of the pilots must of saw us and made a "dry pass" down the corn field near the road we were on. I didn't realize what he had done until my wife watched the video and brought it to my attention. After being entertained by the pilots, we rode in to South Whitley and then home on IN105.

Nice ride today. Riding today were Merle Combs, Steve Smith, Larry Burke, and myself, Larry Davis.

Nice weather with a high of 88 degrees.

Here's a video of the crop dusters: Crop Dusters

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lary, the Minion

I saw a news story on Channel 21, a few months ago, about a farm that had painted their grain silo like a Minion. After eating lunch today at "Carrie's Restaurant" in Montpelier, Indiana,


we rode over to Berne, Indiana . Berne is in the center of "Amish Country". Even the furniture store in Berne looks German:

After a little searching east of Ossian, Indiana, I found the Minion grain bin. it was so exciting (for me at least) as I love "Despicable Me" and "Despicable Me2". Also, the "Minion" movie.

Here it is in all it's glory:

It looks just like "Lary Minion"! (One R for Lary) or maybe "Kevin Minion". I'm not sure! :)

Here's a link to Channel 21's story about the Minion:

Minion Story

There must have been too many visitors to see the Minion since the news story was shown, as the driveway was blocked off, and "No Trespassing" signs were up.

We stopped at Bluffton's McDonald for chocolate sundaes on the way home.

Six of rode today..Merle Combs, Jerry Cole, Charles Thomas, Larry Burke, Larry Davis, and Billy Niverson.

We rode 139 miles in very nice weather (82 degrees).

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Elwood Airport

Merle led us down to Elwood Airport Restaurant for lunch. The air was very hot (89 F) and still.

None of the wind farm windmills were moving in the still air. I noticed one windmill was turning on the way home. I can only believe that this is the biggest hoax perpetrated on the American public (wind power.)  The only ones making money from them are the installers, the energy companies, and the farmers that lease the land for them.

Anyway, we had a nice lunch at the Airport Restaurant. (Click on pictures to enlarge them.)

The gang going in.

The menu with the top of Larry Burke's head!

Riding today was Merle Combs, Larry Davis, Jerry Cole, Steve Smith, Charles Thomas, and Larry Burke.

I rode about 66 miles today. We only rode to Elwood and back due to the heat.

Elwood Airport when we use to fly in there. I took this shot as I was flying over in my Challenger Ultralight airplane (2001).

Now, there's nothing but corn! So sad!

Web page link to my Airplane site:Airplane website (click here)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I'm back!

I've been away for a year and decided I'd start blogging again. With the loss of a few members, the "Over The Hill Gang" rides on. It's funny, really, how the rider's group has lasted so long, way before I started riding with them, and still continues today. I've talked to some of the older riders, one, Charles Thomas --86 years old and still riding-- tells me they use to ride with 20-25 members. Today, we are lucky if six or seven riders show up.

Anyway, six of us rode to Huntington yesterday, and ate lunch at The Country Post Restaurant. After lunch we road River Road along the Wabash River to Andrews. From Andrews we rode to Lagro, and then on to Wabash. Since it was so warm (near 90 degrees), we made a short day of it and rode on Old State Road 15 south to LaFontaine, and then home. We rode about 55 miles today.

Riding was Merle Combs, Charles Thomas, Larry Davis, Steve Smith, Larry Burke, and Bill Niverson.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Francis Slocum Gravesite

Only four showed up this past Wednesday. It was a little chilly, which might have kept some away. Merle Combs, Jerry Cole and I rode over to Chism's Corner for lunch. Billy Niverson drove his car over and joined us there. After lunch, the three of us who were riding rode up IN 13 through Swayzee, Meir, Somerset to county road 950 south and turned west until we got to The Indian Cemetery where Francis Slocum is buried. We walked around the cemetery and looked at all the graves. Here's a map where the cemetery is located:

And here is her tombstone:

Here are links to who she was if you haven't heard of her:


She is fairly famous around our area, and we have a school in Marion named after her: Francis Slocum Elementary. A school system near here, Moconoquah (one n) School System, is named after her Indian name, "Mo-con-no-quah" meaning "Young Bear."

Her two daughters are buried with her (the two headstones to the left in the picture.)

We enjoyed the visit to the Indian Cemetery and learned some things.

I rode 56 miles this day, and the temperatures were in the 70s.

I rode home on The Francis Slocum Trail which runs from Somerset, Indiana to near my home, which is north of Marion. A very nice ride today.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Back to Burlington

Merle wanted to ride over to Ugalde's near Bunker Hill for lunch (I objected venomously) as I thought it was someplace we should skip. I read this review online and see I'm not alone:

    Pingback by Ugalde's Family Restaurant, Peru (Bunker Hill), Indiana « All … | Indiana | August 16, 2010 | Reply   

"I tried that restaurant on Valentines Day – 4 years ago – brought my English family there for a SPECIAL dinner. It was special all right. NOT. Salad bar was completely spoiled and disgusting. Had to pay for it even though we pointed out all the spoiled foods to the waitress. Didn’t mind paying the fresh entree we ordered, but threw it up after eating the spoiled salads. No discounts or refunds. I will never eat there again. This is March 23, 2012."

    Comment by Suzanne Taylor | March 23, 2012 | Reply


Anyway, it turned out not to make any difference for as soon as Larry Burke arrived, he told us they were closed and had moved to Peru.

I suggested we travel to Burlington, Indiana as the Dinner Bell there encourages motorcycle riders to come and eat. So, off we rode.

When we got to Burlington, we found out The Dinner Bell was closed for remodeling so we ate next door at Beck's Pub and Restaurant.

I had the fish (Pollack) sandwich with French fries:


I took a bite before I remembered to take a "food porn" picture! We had a great conversation over lunch and then rode home.

Riding today was Merle Combs, John Nave, Jerry Cole, Larry Burke, Billy Niverson, Charles Thomas, and myself...Larry Davis.

The weather was unseasonably cool...64 degrees in the middle (16th) of July.

I rode 101 miles and had a nice time.

Our route:


I took some videos with my helmet camera and placed them on my YouTube channel, Mr. Oldandslow. They can be found here:

You can click on the "Load More" at the bottom of the page to see videos I've taken back a few years. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Red Apple

We met at our usual place, Gabriel's, and my daughter Ann brought my wife out there to eat, and to send us off. Merle led us north through Wabash, and then on north to the  junction of St. Rd. 15 and St. Rd. 114, the home of the Red Apple Cafe, where we had lunch.

Getting off our bikes:

At our table:

Larry Burke and I ordered the fish sandwich special:

Leaving the Red Apple:

I laughed out loud a couple of times at lunch, especially when Jerry Cole told me about the flying squirrels in Fairmount. I really enjoyed being out with the guys. I should tell them that more often.

We rode over to North Manchester on St. Rd. 114 and then north on St. Rd. 13 to North Webster and Syracuse where we stopped at McDonald's for coffee and ice cream. After the stop we rode around Lake Wawasee and then south on St. Rd. 105 to St. Rd. 9 and home.

Eight of us road today: Merle Combs, John Nave, Jerry Cole, Larry Miller, Charles Thomas, Larry Burke, Billy Niverson, and myself, Larry Davis.

The weather couldn't have been nicer at 77 degrees, little wind, sunny skies with pretty fluffy clouds ( I was sitting on my bike looking at the clouds thinking what a beautiful day this is!) I rode 152 miles. I left home at 11:00AM and got back home at 5:00PM.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I've been away for a while..

Due to family illness, I've been away for a while. I've only ridden three or four times this year, but I got away for a ride with the gang yesterday. Five of us rode down to Gaston to the Mill Street Inn for lunch. It was hot, 91 degrees, but as long as we were moving it wasn't bad at all. After lunch, Merle lead us over to IN 3 and then north to Eaton. We rode the back roads to Hartford City, then Upland, and home. I road 77 miles total, and enjoyed being back riding with the guys. There were five of us riding today..Merle Combs, Charles Thomas, Larry Burke, Billy Niverson, and myself.

Sorry, no pictures of us. Maybe next rime.

Mill Street Inn:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Antwerp, Ohio....

Today, seven of us rode to Nick's restaurant in Roanoke, Indiana for lunch. Larry Burke, Larry Davis, Jerry Cole, Billy Niverson, John Nave, Merle Combs, and Charlie Thomas.

After lunch, six of us rode over to I-469, then north around Ft. Wayne to the New Haven exit. Larry Burke left us for errands in Ft. Wayne. We went east along the Maumee River toward Antwerp, Ohio. We stopped in Antwerp for a break, and then rode US 24 back to I-469. We turned off I-469 and went south on IN 1 through Ossian and then Bluffton, where we stopped at McDonald's for coffee and ice cream sundaes. After McDonald's, we rode west to the junction of  IN 3 and IN 124. I continued west on IN 124 to Mt. Etna, and then home on IN 9 to Marion. The rest of the group turned south on IN 3, and then home. No pictures today, as we didn't stop much or see anything unusual.

I rode 171 miles and the weather was very nice. We saw lots of Amish farms with large work horses. Very nice ride today. Thanks Merle, for leading.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Trip to South Bend, Indiana

Jerry Cole suggested we ride up to South Bend, Indiana to visit the Studebaker Museum. Merle Combs was nice enough to lead the seven of us up there, and back (safely), Wednesday. We started out at 9:30 AM at The Five Points Mall parking lot, and rode to Ugalde's restaurant across from Grissom Reserve base near Peru. We had "brunch":

After we ate we rode up US 31 to South Bend and the museum. The museum is located at the corner of Washington and Chapin streets in South Bend.

Here we are getting off our bikes at the museum:

And the entrance:

If you are too young to know about Studebaker, here's a link to the company:


Checking in: (we are all over 65 years old, and received a "senior discount"..I kidded Charles (red jacket at counter), and John (black shirt at counter) that they should get a double discount as they are over 80 years old!)
The museum is actually three museums in one building: A Studebaker Museum, Raclin Museum of Notre Dame History, and "Kids First" Children Museum. There are also several galleries there, as well. We looked into the Notre Dame History Museum, and saw these two drum majors:

But, we were here for the Studebakers!

 First up:

A 1904 Model C Studebaker.

This car with the blue wheels is like the one that a lady drove in Marion many years ago. Several of the guys recognized the car and said it set by the courthouse square many days. It's an electric model Studebaker, and the battery weighted 975 pounds. It has a short wheelbase and is very tall. I believe this was a 1904 model. Here's a link:

There were hundreds of cars here, so I took pictures of the ones that meant something to one of us, or was unusual (or was very pretty!)

As it was explained in the museum, the Studebaker brothers started out making wagons, like this one, and wooden wheelbarrows for miners. Then, they started making carriages for people, some famous. They made the carrage that President Lincoln took to Ford Theater the night he was assassinated. On with the cars:

I liked this one because it had a "split windshield" you could open to let air in.

This is one of those cars that you have to see in person to appreciate how pretty it is. We saw one like this that had a compartment, near the back wheel on the lower side, that you could store your golf bag.

This was an "advertising car." One that they used in the newspaper and magazine ads to sell the cars. On the side, it says, "Studebaker Commander''" then "23,000 miles in 23,000 minutes." Not quite, 16 days, they drove it 23,000 miles.

Here's another:

A Studebaker model "Big Six" going strong after 475,000 miles.

They had a picture of the Studebaker factory back in it's hay-day. We rode past the place where the factory was located on the south side of South Bend. It's now a big grassy field with no sign of a large factory complex.

I'm not sure what this strange car is. It has tiny pieces of metal spot welded all over for a skin. There are many face shapes with eyes. Next, was a VW Beetle covered in metal "lace":

Casa (house) Linda Lace.

This car was a favorite. A 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner. Jerry Cole had one just like this one, and my brother-in-law, Delmus Duckworth, had a 1954 model like this in green. Designed by Raymond Loewy, this was a car way ahead of its time. What a beautiful automobile!

A super-charged Packard. Studebaker joined with Packard in 1954 in an attempt to save Studebaker, but it ended with both companies going bankrupt.

John Nave looks at a 1950 or 1951 "bullet nosed" Studebaker Starlight Commander that was modified to look like a Lockheed P-38 fighter of WWII. My family owned one like this (it was green and a Champion model) that my Dad drove back-and-forth to work.

A 1940 Champion Coupe. 

I looked for a 1947 Studebaker Land Cruiser, but didn't see one. Our family had one, and we drove it to California and back in 1948. Three adults (my Mom, Dad, and older brother, Don) two teenage girls (my sister Ilene and her friend, Janice Roach), and me, a nine-year-old.  Of course, we had our dog, "Tippy," with us. My "job" was to take care of "Tippy." I "fell down on the job" and we left "Tippy" in a motel in Arizona. My Dad was furious when he had to drive back 60 miles to get our dog. The dog was happy to see us! :)

1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk 400.

"The Last Studebaker" A 1966 Cruiser.

They had many cars in the lower floor stacked up:

Here we are checking out of the museum. 

We were ready to hit the highway home. We rode down to a McDonald's on the south side of South Bend for afternoon late lunch, and then on south to home.

I rode 219 miles today. The weather was nice, although a little chilly in the morning. We all had a good time.

Riding today was Merle Combs, Jack McClain, Larry Davis, John Nave, Jerry Cole and his friend Jerry, Charles Thomas, and Art Adrianson.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September, 11, 2013... Lest We Forget..

It was a short ride today, and only three riders rode. The 94 degree heat may have been a factor. Merle Combs, Jerry Cole, and Larry Davis rode down to Elwood for lunch. We rode through the windmills north of Elwood on IN 13. Looks like this:

Windmills (Click for video)

We ate at the Airport Cafe on IN 37 north of Elwood. I used to eat there when they had a runway, and we would fly our airplanes in there, and eat. The runway has been closed for five years, and it's now a soybean field. I knew one of the waitresses, there, from my flying days, and she caught me up-to-date on what's been going on. The food was good and the service better.

After lunch we rode down to Strawtown, and then turned left and rode along the White River over to Anderson. We then turned north on IN9, and rode to McDonald's at Alexandria for ice cream and coffee. The flag at McDonald's was at half-staff for Sept. 11. We saw several flags at half-staff along the ride:

I rode 98 miles and it was hot!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


We rode up to Lake Wawasee, yesterday. We rode to The Red Apple Restaurant, House of Pancakes for lunch. It's located at the junction of IN 15, and IN 114, north of Wabash. They have the best food of all the places we eat. Just delicious!

After lunch, we rode over to Syracuse, and Lake Wawasee. We rode around the lake, and I took pictures. After the picture taking, we rode back into Syracuse to McDonald's for ice cream and coffee. After that, we rode home.

We started out with seven riders, Merle Combs, Larry Davis, Charley Thomas, Art Adrianson, John Nave, Jerry Cole, and Billy Niverson. John Nave had to leave after lunch and ride home. Somewhere going around Lake Wawasee, we lost Billy. We never saw him again.

I rode 159 miles, and the day, and weather, were perfect. 80 degrees and very little wind.

The Red Apple:

Dismounting for lunch:

Lake Wawasee: