We were in Santa Paula last weekend and got to talking to one of the guests at the hotel breakfast. Turns out he was an old bike racer, MSF instructor, nice guy and retired FAA inspector. He said he was traveling around this summer meeting up with old friends, one of whom lived in a hangar at the Santa Paula Airport and would I like to go over and meet him. Well, we went to the temple of motorcycle racing and flight stuff. As we approached the open hangar door I could see a few sets of leathers with our host's name on the back with sponsors' logos stitched on. A few bikes were spread around the room new and old. On the work stand was a Norton 850 Commando being restored. Around the walls were paintings of WWII aircraft and photos of all of your racing heroes including our host. Hanging from the ceiling was a 15’ model of a SR71 Blackbird in flight attitude. While gawking at all of this stuff a light plane pulled up to the hangar door and out jumped our host the owner of all of those leathers, track day instructor and AMA Champion Reg Pridmore. We had a great chat and left knowing that we had walked through motorcycle history.
I sent this report to my friend Mush Emmons who was a race photographer and still is a Norton owner now living in Brazil. He took the "oops photograph" of Reg at Sears Point in the '70s.
It's always fun to see a photo reproduced. Back then, Reg commissioned me to make up a flyer using this photo and a cameo portrait in the corner with the title, "Reg Pridmore, 1976, 1977 AMA Superbike Champion". We printed up 500 and he distributed it. I'm sure he still has that sense of humor which has endeared him to generations.