PORT ANGELES, Wash. — It was a long lifetime ago, and he drove an Indian motorcycle with his wife on the back and his two little girls in the sidecar. The girl on the right, the one with the curly hair, loved it. And she never, ever forgot it.
At the Park View Villas Senior Living Home in Port Aangeles, Elgin Skewes eats lunch with her friends. And maybe if you look hard enough you can see that she was the little girl with the curls. The man with the Indian was her dad.
Elgin is 104 years old. She’s seen enough of life that she doesn’t have time for small talk. We asked her if she was looking forward to her birthday.
“Heavens no…why would I be looking forward to that?” she said.
We asked about her favorite part of the day.
“Going to bed,” Elgin said.
But if you ask about motorcycles, she lights up.
“I was raised on one. I was on a motorcycle before cars. And then they got a car when I was eight, and I swore I’d never ride in a car. Just motorcycles. I changed my mind,” Elgin said.
The last time she road on a bike?
“Oh, when I was about eight,” she said.
That was 96 years ago.
For the lucky ones, long after the flesh wearies of life, the soul thirsts for more.
“I was sitting up there with her and I had asked her, ‘What do you want to do now? Want to go on a Harley Ride?’ and she said, ‘Oh, you can do that?’ and I said yes, I can have 15 bikes out here and give you a ride. She said, ‘Oh, let’s do it!’ And that’s where it began,” said Diana Crawford, a member of the Hooligans Bike Club.
Her name is Elgin. She is 104 yrs old. She was born to be wild. And, she just joined The Hooligans motorcycle gang. Need I say more?
So Crawford made some calls, and on a quiet Saturday as the residents rested, the Hooligans made their presence felt at the Park View Villas.
And out came Elgin. She wanted noise, and noise she got.
It was then that this stoic, tough old bird started to cry. A big guy approached and took a knee.
There were formalities to be taken care of…Elgin received her “Harley Mama” patch, her new road name.
Elgin was outfitted in leather chaps and a jacket. She was fearless.
Her new brother hoisted her up and dropped her onto the Harley, like a queen being placed onto a litter.
It was obvious to all of the Hooligans: Elgin Skewes hadn’t seen enough. She hadn’t done enough. Not even after 104 years.
The engines roared and off they went…and the ladies left behind at the Park View Villas looked on in wonder.
They traveled in a pack and Elgin felt the wind in her face and the vibration of the Harley…and she soaked it in…they way one does when you’ve missed something for the better part of a hundred years.
Later on, back in her room watching TV, thinking back to her ride with the Hooligans…the lady known now as “Harley Mama” said the most extraordinary thing.
“I’ve got to figure what to do next? What can you suggest besides running with the bulls?” Elgin said.
Elgin Skewes. 104 years old. Still thirsty.