The '60's began as a real decade of promise for those of us who were kids then. For me it was very much the world of Loony Tunes, Donna Reed, Roy Rogers and Leave it to Beaver. In time, I could understand why young people were rebelling against the Viet Nam War. What at first seemed to be a noble cause, soon turned into President Johnson's "War of Attrition." He chose to fight a defensive war.

Yet, out of the dust of all of this turmoil, violence and national division rose a new hero for me. Unlike the others, he was a TRUE non-conformist. He was his own man. His name was Jim Bronson. I was an athlete in High School, and therefore I didn't like the drug abuse among the Hippies. For that matter, I didn't care for too much alcohol either. I only knew a couple of guys that I played football with who weren't using drugs. If I had friends, it was those guys. I didn't consider myself a leader, but one thing for sure, I wasn't a follower either.

I was virtually living on my own by the summer before my junior year of High School. I worked in a supermarket and had just enough money to keep gas in my '61 Pontiac. I was buying my own clothes and most of my meals. I wanted a Harley Sportster in the worst way. But when it came down to it, I had to choose the car over the motorcycle. The winters in Maine required it!

By my Junior year though, I was dressing like Jim Bronson. I had already been wearing a black watch cap... but now I wore it more like Jim Bronson wore his. I wore either a black tee shirt or a navy blue tee shirt, light brown Lee cords or worn out Levis and tan work boots. I found a short brown leather jacket in the Sears Leather Shop and bought it even though it buttoned down the front. My father had left behind a black nylon police jacket. I removed the zipper from it and I learned to sew. I removed the buttons from the jacket and installed the zipper. That's how I dressed until I found myself in Navy in 1971.

I rode my 350 year round for two years in North Carolina, until Navy life made it impractical for me to keep it. But I never forgot Jim Bronson and I looked forward to the day when I could own a Harley and ride it cross country or into the sunset. I'm happy to say that day has arrived. I'm also pleased to say that I now own the TCB movie and all the TV episodes. I now get to watch in color what I once saw only in black and white.



Kim is a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain and is ordained as a Baptist Pastor, visit his page with views of TCB with a spiritual outlook here.