On Texans, jobs and building baggers

Publish Date: 
Jun 27, 2012
By Rick Fairless

DEAR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA,
I hope y’all are doing good up there in Heaven. We are doing swell here in Dallas, which is as close to Heaven as I’ll get for a while.

I have traveled all over the country, and Texas folks are the nicest people I have ever met. I think most of the people in Texas aren’t from here, but they got here as fast as they could. Ya know, Grandpa, you always told me that bikers were kinda like farmers and that bikers feel a special kind of kinship with their fellow bikers. You’re right. Bikers seem to mostly be good, hard-working, God-fearing people, and I am proud to be a lifetime biker myself.

I do know a few people in our industry that aren’t bikers, they’re just sh**heads trying to milk a dollar from the bikers (sorry, Grandma, but its true). Last year while in Sturgis, I pulled over on the side of the road to wait on my ugly sister, Joe T. While I was waiting, hundreds of bikes and cars passed me without so much as a wave. I only had two people stop to see if I needed any assistance — the first guy was in a beat-up Ford pickup with his ole lady and dog in the front and a shovelhead in the back. The second guy was riding a cool-looking old Panhead that marked its spot when he stopped. Super-nice people. I’m not sure what that says, except that they were both long time, older bikers — real people.

I hope y’all can see how I have expanded my Strokers Dallas “empire” over the last 17 years. I’m on 2.5 acres, and this place really does a swell business. I have gone from five employees when I first opened my doors to 52 employees that I babysit now.

Grandpa, I know you had lots of employees when you ran the road construction crew for Beckham County, Okla. How did you manage all those people? Maybe it was different back then, but didn’t it drive you nuts? It seems like every day one of my employees has a major catastrophe that prevents them from coming to work.

It’s almost impossible to find good employees these days. It seems like these young people all want a free ride, and I’ll be danged if I’m gonna let them take a free ride on my f’n nickel (sorry, Grandma). I don’t understand, with all this “supposedly” high unemployment, that almost every applicant I interview reminds me of a reform school dropout. I do have some really good employees that have been with me for many years, and, boy, am I glad to have them.