Sunday, January 18, 2009

More on Bob Ross

I mentioned Bob Ross' passing a little while back and through our buddy Rich have come up with some more info to share with you. The above picture features a Bob kneeling beside his 1940 HD Knuckle with side car. Seated next to him is Ernie Skelton who used to work for Al Crocker. That's Ernie's Crocker in the foreground. This photo was taken in 1979 on a ride from Redondo Beach to Palmdale for a CAMA meet. Rich also set me an article he wrote about Eddie Ryan's shop in San Pedro and the passing of the torch to Bob Ross and subsequently to George Hood. I'll summarize the article for you. When Eddie Ryan opened his shop in San Pedro he was an Excelsior-Henderson man. In the mid 1920's Eddie had a falling out with Excelsior and became a Harley man. So from then until 1962 it was a Harley shop. In the 20's Eddie decided he needed a table to straighten frames and forks, so he made it, dug a hole in the shop floor and there it sat out of the way recessed into the floor. What Harley dealership would dare straighten a frame today! Enter Bob Ross. Bob used to purchase parts from Eddie's shop and the two became good friends over the years. One day Eddie announced to Bob, "Tomorrow will be my last day! If you want the shop, it's yours. You just pay me $2,500 when and if you get it someday." As they say "an offer you can't refuse. So Bob was at the helm of the shop now. Just before the deal was done H-D took away the franchise to start up a new dealership closer to Orange County. The city of San Pedro also wanted the shop to start revitalizing downtown San Pedro. Revitalize San Pedro! Yeah right. So Bob at his own expense moved the shop to Gardena, but took the frame table with him. Several men and a couple of days later it was free and on it's way to it's new home at "Motorcycle Only" Bob's new shop. 1970ish, enter George Hood. He started coming around Bob's shop and over the years they became friends and George was a good customer so in 1998 Bob made George an offer he couldn't refuse! Bob told him that over the years he had made enough money off of parts and equipment so it was time to move on and he passed the shop and the frame table on to George. These are true gentlemen of the sport. Thanks so much Rich for the info, you too are a true gentleman of the sport.


1 comment:

deep diver said...

By chance would you have any old photos of Eddie Ryan in those days, thanks his grandson.