QUOTES FROM THE AUTHOR
"Each of our lives comes full circle only as we discover the journeys of our fathers..."
“A man's useful life is over when, instead of looking to the future with optimism, he begins to dwell on the past with regret. Could the same, I wonder, be said of a nation?"
“I wanted the Old Man to see America one last time—but I secretly womdered if he would still be proud.”
“The Old Man’s ride was during the gilded summer of 1939—when America unknowingly teetered on the brink of an irrevocable transformation. So many pivotal events took place within a few short months: two World’s Fairs, Einstein’s A-bomb letter to Roosevelt, The Wizard of Oz, The Grapes of Wrath, Lou Gehrig’s farewell to baseball, Glenn Miller’s rise to fame, Gone with the Wind, Of Mice and Men, and Hitler’s invasion of Poland—which marked the beginning of World War II.”
“I didn’t set out to write a book—I just wanted one last ride with the Old Man. But along the road it became clear that a lot of good people made a lot of sacrifices to bring me this freedom; I wanted to pay tribute to them in some way.”
“Every American needs to take a casual, back-roads, coast-to-coast road trip. It’s the only way to see what we’ve inherited.”
“Why do so many Americans see guilt as a virtue? Guilt is not repentance—it’s indulgence, and to wallow in guilt is like nursing those extra few beers at the bar instead of riding back home where we belong. Feeling good is not the same as doing good—and nothing good ever came from relentlessly revisiting the bad.”
“I was struck by the respect the Old Man was given along the road. 'Greybeards’—older riders—are held in the highest esteem in the biker community.”
“Of course America isn’t perfect—and neither are our fathers. But we shouldn’t cast off our country any more than we’d write off our fathers when we inevitably discover they’re not the flawless heroes of our youth. We make mistakes, we learn, we improve—and we move forward.”
“The biker believes America is the world’s last, best hope for liberty’s ultimate triumph.”
“I am a biker. I stand by my opinions. I stand by my convictions. I stand by my people. But a 10,000-mile ride has smoothed my rough edges, as it rolls me through a thousand lives of every shape and direction.”
“The term ‘Old Man’ in the title has multiple meanings, but it essentially refers to the man I was before the ride.”
“They say the Old Man represents our ‘Greatest Generation’ - but that almost implies it’s downhill from here. I don’t buy it. As long as we stay true to the principles that brought us here, America's ‘Greatest Generation’ can be yet to come.”