We advertised to sell Apple Hill and had several “nibbles,” but nothing really tangible until we were contacted by the New England Huns, a motorcycle “club”. We set up an appointment to meet them at Apple Hill, and on the appointed day about 50 motorcycles appeared on our property, complete with police escort. They looked kind of wild, most of them wearing the 1% symbol on the back of their leather jackets, that same 1% made famous by David Suskind, a TV personality of long ago, who announced to his national audience that he had just bought a motorcycle, and to make this more palatable to his audience, who only thought of bikers as criminals, drug addicts, drunks, etc, he pointed out that most, 99% of all motorcycle riders, were law-abiding citizens. Hence, the 1% emblazoned on the back of the leather worn by many of the bikers of that period.
In any case, Linda and I met the leaders of the club, and they were indeed interested in buying Apple Hill. We did have some misgivings, because we weren’t sure that our closest neighbor (about a mile away, the publisher of Yankee Magazine and the Farmer’s Almanac), not to mention the population of Nelson, New Hampshire, the post-card pretty New England village down the road, with all its houses and its church painted the cleanest white, would appreciate this wild bunch. Nelson also had the prettiest cemetery in the world, the kind of a place in which you could wish to be buried, small, neat, and shaded by bright red sugar maples in the fall. Would Nelson’s “silent majority” appreciate our onepercenters as new neighbors? These things were very much in our minds, and we did have some doubts as to the desirability of these particular “prospects”.
Linda stayed out of the way, somewhat intimidated, preferring to stay in the house. I, on the other hand, had great fun with these guys. Some of them were off in the woods, and at times the sound of gunfire could be heard, but nothing fatal happened. They were just exercising their rights as red-blooded Americans, and there was plenty of space. As a matter of fact, I thought this a good time to sell my trusty Springfield ’03 rifle because I would never need it again, and sell it I did.
The president of the club offered me a ride on his motorcycle, my introduction to the pleasures of motorcycle riding. I enjoyed it so much that when I got back home to Teaneck I bought a motorcycle (although not a Harley) and enjoyed it thoroughly, commuting to work on it in all kinds of weather, until the day I was hit, head on, by a slow moving car.
Well, we parted on good terms, and the Huns left, all of them, complete, with their police escort. Unfortunately, the purchase was not to be. A couple of weeks later I was surprised by an article in the NY Times that said our prospective purchaser had been shot by a rival gang member. Two thousand bikers from all over New England rode in his funeral cortege. They drank beer and poured some of it in the open grave, and at the end of the service they threw their empties in it. And that was the end of our sale of Apple Hill to the president of the Huns. R.I.P.