MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It doesn’t look like much. It’s rusty, dirty, greasy and pulled all apart in every direction. The old Harley Davidson Fat Boy lies in pieces on a lift at Mobile Bay Harley Davidson. Only the shiny red tank serves as a reminder of the beauty it used to be, long before it the fenders rusted and the belt drive snapped.
But, even though it doesn’t look like much, it means everything to 66-year-old Leonard Targett, the career military vet who used to ride it and work on it himself. And that means a lot to the bikers and the dealership who are trying to get him back on the road.
Before the bike was on that lift, it was falling apart in front of a trailer at a Mobile RV park. But it turns out that spot in front of Lenny’s trailer at that RV park was the perfect place. It’s why the bike won’t sit there until it rots and rusts into the ground. That’s because of two other people who also live at that RV park. The first, a biker named Casey Stamps. He’s retired too, moved down to Alabama from Michigan to enjoy the warmer weather and the year-round riding season. The other, the brand new parts manager at Mobile Bay Harley Davidson who just moved in down the road, Garret Abney.
Casey saw the bike lying there, broke down, busted, on its way to ruin. He wanted to know the story behind it. Turns out his neighbor was a career military man. Master Sgt. Leonard Targett served in the U.S. Army for 22 years. He’s now retired and disabled. And his luck was getting worse. The veteran needed new tires on his old bike. He changed them himself, but the bike quickly broke down…too much tension on the belt drive and it snapped.
He started working on the bike again, trying to get it back on the road himself. Then, he had a heart attack…and a stroke while working on it. Both of his new tires also have nails in them. Now, unable to fix it himself, the bike seemed destined for a scrap heap.
Casey wasn’t going to let that happen. He wanted to help, and he just knew other bikers would want to help as well. He called Garrett at Mobile Harley. For the dealership, it was a no-brainer.
“We immediately jumped at the chance to actually give back to a vet. A lot of these guys deserve to get some help from time to time because they’ve given so much. They’ve given pieces of their body, and mental issues too,” Garrett said. Mobile HD agreed to donate the labor needed to get the Fat Boy roadworthy again, and help get the disabled vet back in the wind.
Now, Casey is asking that other bikers help cover the cost of the parts needed, about $600. He’ll cover whatever isn’t donated by others. If you’d like to help you can donate at the dealer or call Mobile Harley Davidson and ask for Garrett. Their number is 251-444-5646.
“We immediately jumped at the chance to actually give back to a vet. A lot of these guys deserve to get some help from time to time because they’ve given so much. They’ve given pieces of their body, and mental issues too,” Garrett said.
Bikers call it “wind therapy.” The feeling you get when you ride often seems like it does us more good than all the drugs or doctors in the world. And soon, Master Sgt. Targett will be getting his prescription filled thanks to Casey, Garrett and the other bikers in our community. Enjoy, and be careful out there brother!
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Chris Best is the News Director for WKRG. He’s a husband and father of four. He’s also a motorcycle enthusiast.
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