Sunday, March 01, 2009


Martin sent this great photo of his Grandfather and Mother on the family sidecar outfit. Here is his tale:

"My Grandfather, Barth Hompa was born in Germany in 1901; my Grandmother, Marie, was also from Germany, born in 1902. They both came to San Francisco in 1922, and were married in a small church near the San Francisco Mint on Church St [the church is still there...] They bought a home on 20th St. near Dolores St. in 1924 - Grandpa had his own machine shop, and was a machinist for Burgermeister Brewery [unfortunately, long gone...although there used to be punk shows in the empty vats]. He bought his Harley as a used S.F. police bike, complete with a sidecar. Looks to be an early '30's model. He loved to go fishing on the Feather River and would take my Mom, Lorraine, along for the ride; hence the Catfish painted on the tank [click on the photo for a better look]. She's only 10 in this picture.
The whole family would ride together on occasion; on one memorable ride Grandfather and Mom had some fuel supply problems, so my Mom had to sit in the sidecar, feeding gasoline from a can into the fuel line while they rode. My Mom said they were doing 90 mph heading home. I believe this because my Grandfather had a wilder side; my Grandmother was really upset the hear about this adventure.
On another ride with Grandpa, my Mom was found walking back home. "Where's your father?" my Grandmother asked. My Mom replied, "Well... uh, he will be home in a little while." Turns out the fuel system gave them more trouble. This time the bike caught fire a few blocks from home. Nice. Because of his wilder side, he nearly killed himself on the bike once. That was enough for my Grandmother. She sold the bike one day while he was at work. He later thanked her when he calmed down. "


Anonymous said...

Thanks! Looks good.


Erik Lucien said...

That’s such a cool story! It kind of feels to me the Harley was just as much a member of the family as anybody in the family. I’m sure Martin’s grandfather freaked out quite a bit, when he found out the Harley was gone though! I probably would have as well, haha! But hey, his wife was just looking out for everybody’s well-being. After all, no matter who you are, it’s always important to drive SAFELY, no matter how wild your wild streak is.