Readers and their Rides

Ed Mouse - Stationed in Japan but Riding American Iron

Written by  December 31, 2003

A couple of days before Christmas, while leaving my house I heard the distinct rumbling of a Harley in my next door neighbor’s garage. I knew my neighbor’s father owned a ’58 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide (which just happens to be the bike on our January cover), which he’d stored at his place while another neighbor did some work on it. But I was pretty sure that bike had been returned to his dad’s place a couple weeks prior.

Being the nosey neighbor that I am, I walked across the yard and there in the garage was a brand new 100th Anniversary XLC 883 Sportster. I figured Christmas must have come early for someone, but since I knew my neighbor didn’t ride, I had to snoop some more. Rock, my neighbor, introduced me to his son, Ed, who is a Hospital Corpsman for the US Navy and was home for the holidays.

Ed told me this was his first bike and that he ordered it through the Armed Forces Exchange where he is stationed in Okinawa, Japan. The Exchange had the bike delivered to Worth Harley-Davidson North, who promptly delivered it to Ed’s house in Blue Springs, Missouri. Ed says that when he returns to the states in April, he’ll be home for about a month and plans to enroll in the Riders Edge Motorcycle Safety Course offered by Worth Harley-Davidson North. After that, he plans to load up his bike and haul it to Twenty Nine Palms, California where he’ll serve the remainder of his active duty. Drew Stevenson, a good friend of Ed’s, is also stationed in Okinawa and ordered a 2004 XLC Sportster through the Exchange and they plan on riding together when Ed gets his bike to California.

I asked Ed what made him decide to get a bike and he said, “I’ve always wanted a Harley, especially since my grandfather has one.” Like most of us, Ed said he’d also watched Easyriders a few too many times and told himself that once he had enough money, he was going to get a bike. Ed had never ridden before, so lucky for him , the weather over the holidays was nice enough that I was able to give him a few pointers and we ended up riding together a couple of times before he had to put the bike back in his dad’s garage and catch a flight back to Japan.

Since I never pass up the opportunity for a good story, I asked Ed a few more questions and told him I’d like to feature him in the Readers & Their Rides section of our January issue.

CC: Other than motorcycling, do you have any other hobbies?

Ed: I like playing rugby and ice hockey.

CC: What is your dream bike?

Ed: A new Harley-Davidson Night Train.

CC: I know this is your first bike, and you just got it, but do you belong to any motorcycle clubs yet?

Ed: When I bought by new bike, I automatically received a one year membership as a member of the National Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.).

CC: When you get back to the states, are there any rallies or events in your future?

Ed: I’d really like to ride to Sturgis, South Dakota and to Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida.

CC: Do you have any tattoos?

Ed: I have a total of 11 tattoos. I have 2 on my neck, 1 on my arm, 4 on my chest, 2 on my right leg, 1 on my left leg and 1 on the inside of my lip.

CC: Wow! On the inside of your lip? Didn’t that hurt?

Ed: Yeah, a little.

CC: Of all your tattoos, which is your favorite?

Ed: My favorite is the 'She Dogs' on my chest.

CC: Do they have any biker bars in Okinawa?

Ed: Yes. Actually, Harley-Davidsons are very popular in Japan. There are two biker bars that I hang out at sometimes. They are owned by former US Marines, and one is simply called The Harley Bar and the other is BK’s.

CC: When you get back to Okinawa, could you send me more information and a couple of photos of you and your friends at these hangouts? I’m sure our readers would get a kick out of reading about a bike night in Okinawa, Japan!

Ed: Sure, no problem.

I didn’t want to take up any more of Ed’s time, and I’m sure his family wanted to spend as much time with him as they could, so I told Ed to open up the January issue of our online magazine when he got back to Japan and we’d make him a star! I also included a group photo at the end of this article that includes three generations of the Mouse family standing behind Jack Mouse's 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. Left to right, Jack Nead (Ed's Godfather), Rock Mouse (Ed's Father), Ed Mouse and Jack Mouse (Ed's Grandfather).

Take care, Ed, and we'll see ya in April!

Interview & Photos by Mike Schweder