Guess what I did 4th of July weekend…Part 2; American Motor Drome Company’s “The Wall of Death”

To my knowledge, I have never witnessed the “Wall of Death”, although, my father disagrees and says I saw it as a small child. Apparently I was concerned that the motorcycles “will get hurt”. Aw, to be three again!
As I wrote in my prior blog, my friend Christina Shook, author “Chicks on Bikes”, was my house guest and I became her shadow while she was on her west coast book signing tour. I had the most amazing time and met the most amazing people! 
Latus Harley Davidson, Gladstone, Oregon, was hosting their 2nd annual “Wall of Death” event and I had been fortunate enough to make contact with Migon Flemming, the event coordinator, and suggest that Christina come by and sign books. They knew her book well and jumped at the chance.  

In awe as we listen to Cookie

The day couldn’t come soon enough for me! I had read about Cookie Crum, the eight year veteran of the “Wall of Death” and couldn’t imagine what it would be like to actually meet her.  I had read everything there is to read about her and all the amazing women that had blazed the trails before we women of today. I was NOT disappointed! When I finally met her, I think my voice cracked a little bit when I first spoke. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out, and took the time to share stories and anecdotes about her life on the wall. She was amazingly casual about something that I found incredible. 

Christina did a wonderful “Wall of Death” slide show and presentation with Cookie as her guest and subject. You just couldn’t put two more perfect motorcycle women together! Strong and confident, there was plenty to go around that day.


Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I was introduced to Jean Davidson, granddaughter of one of the original “Davidson” brothers in Harley-Davidson, Walter,  and the author of “Growing up Harley-Davidson”, among others publications. My head was spinning! 

And then, the coup de grace, I met Jay Lightnin’, proprietor of the American Motor Drome Company, his Wall of Death, and all his crew. There I was, taking care of Christina’s table and talking about the book when I sat looking at the legendary Jay Lightnin’. He had been ill for the last few years and I wasnt sure I was right about his identity until he looked up from the pages of the book and said with a grin, “Well, I’ve been with at least three of the ladies in this book”. Then I knew…. but, I asked just in case!  He and his friend and fellow performer, Charlie Ransom, were wonderful. They accommodated Christina and put up with me. They even posed for pictures!

Then it was time to see the drome in action and all its wonder. It all started with an exhibition on the steps of the drome. The talent of every one of the performers was breath-taking.


I don’t remember this young man’s name because while he was doing his show and being introduced, I was standing there with my mouth hanging open in total awe!! If you had told me the ground was on fire around me, I would have missed it!

Then the real show started inside the drome. And, start it did. I couldn’t watch because it made me dizzy!! Literally! But, it was well worth trying and the several minutes I did get to watch. Apparently I did better at age 3!!


Christina took some awesome pictures from inside the drome. She is one brave photographer!! 

Cookie's daughter Michelle

 This was a day that I will always remember and I will surely never duplicate. Thank you, Christina, for letting me tag along… you really rocked the place!  A big thanx goes to Latus Harley-Davidson for the fabulous event!  A huge thank you goes to Cookie Crum for being so lovely and her daughter, Michelle, for providing so many of the pictures that I used for this post. What wonderful ladies you are. Last but, not least, thank you American Motor Drome Company, for making my heart go pitter-patter. But mostly for keeping this precious piece af American history alive.  Jay and Charlie, you were a hoot!  Until we meet again…. 

Lady Godiva on wheels, with a head still spinning! 

Next up; Cookie Crum gets “remarried”!!


2 Responses to “Guess what I did 4th of July weekend…Part 2; American Motor Drome Company’s “The Wall of Death””

  1. August 2, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Very cool that you get to hang with Christina!

    I saw the Wall of Death with Charlie Ransom last year during the Sturgis Rally! Amazing!

    • August 3, 2010 at 12:59 am

      Wasnt it something to see? Charlie was the nicest guy! In fact, the whole crew was. Stephanie…. ur the best! Thanx for stopping by.

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