The Saga of the Peckerhead Beer Table

Shortly after my shop was built in 1988 and we began having regular Friday night Peckerhead “business meetings”, Paul Valentine built our great “Peckerhead Table”. Come to think of it, Paul built the shop too!

The table is unique…made of pressure treated wood, it is oversized at 9 ft. long, 5 ft. wide, and HEAVY AS HELL. Since it sits on a concrete slab that slopes downward in two directions at once, none of the table’s six legs are the same length to keep the thing level! Good job Paul…the table has never once tipped-over, and knocked-over beers do not roll away, they just lie there puking their cold contents into foamy puddles, adding to the both persona and patina.

We soon began a new Peckerhead tradition of both regulars and guests “signing” the table. We used a Dremel tool with a round burr. The inscriptions are as simple as initials and abbreviated date, to crummy little pictures, to rude messages, to some artsy-fartsy renderings. But alas, over the years as the effects of tree sap, Aphid piss, Grackle Bombs, beer spills, Peckerhead elbows, and dog toenail scratches have taken their toll; this fine tradition had been all but forgotten. Few of the inscriptions were even visible. Sad.

But…in preparing for our upcoming retirement move, Jay McCury pressure washed the table. This not only removed the layers of black grunge, but it exposed many of the signatures that I thought had been lost to the beers of time. I treated the old table to a 6-pack of Thompson’s Water Seal, just to preserve what is left. But as we have all learned, when we just add a bit of paint or polish to an old beater bike, it soon becomes a full restoration.

And so it was that old illegible inscriptions were studied, deciphered, and re-Dremeled. Long-lost-but-not-forgotten names began to appear. Names like Gabe, Big Ern, Dante, Victor Toogood, Daryl Bane, Wikkid Dan, Numb Nuts, Hehr John, Laid Back Lennie, Fabry, Berwyn, Daffy Duck, Captain Commando, Scooter Jay and many others, mainly from the early and mid-years of the Peckerheads. All those and many more have now been re-burred and saved for posterity.

A number of the names are of members long gone to final Peckerhead rewards at the Big Table in the Sky. For those, I took creative license and carved a border around each of them and a respectful “RIP” beneath their names. The borders and their names & dates then highlighted by black enamel for succeeding generations of Peckerheads to marvel at the legends of their wisdom, humor handsome good looks, and motorcycling derring-do.

My sweet mother Joy’s initials are also there, her motorcycling highlights include nearly T-boning a road-crossing cow on my Old Man’s Indian Chief (she “clothes-lined” the cows tail!), and almost throwing she & me off the road and into a ditch whilst I toted her on my R100SS through the Cimarron Canyon in New Mexico. She said when I leaned into the curves she was afraid we were “tumping over” and violently leaned the other way to help me maintain my balance. Thanks Joy! She being a proper church lady of the old school could not for years bring herself to utter the word “Peckerhead”. She once called me and asked if I was still having “that old…Woodpecker Club on Friday Nights”! Then she came to town and, just to be sociable came out to meet all the “Woodpeckers”. And she stayed until the bitter end, having a finer time than any suds-sipper there. And she signed the table. Then the next day did the artwork for the large Peckerhead logo on the table. Until the end of her beautiful life, she always made a point to inquire as to the health and happiness of all her Brother & Sister Peckerheads…now that she *was* one it was suddenly OK to *be* one!

My favorite crazy Uncle Billy Green’s name is there too. But his inscription does not say RIP…it says “Gone Extinct”. When he was near the end he never lost his sense of humor and described his situation as “Soon to be defunct, irrelevant, outta here, you know…Gone Extinct”. Fair enough Bill, fair enough.

For a while I did not know what would become of our old table when I moved away to form the NW Texas Peckerheads Chapter. I just didn’t have a place for the over-size table. On my last visit to Timbercreek Canyon I was lamenting this to my brother Danny (also my builder). Lo and behold, he changed the house plans to accommodate a special concrete Peckerhead Deck for the table and future meetings…so I’m taking the table. Even though it really belongs to all of us.
You will have full visitation rights!

But, many of the present day P’Heads’ names are not there. Also some of the longer-term members are not there. Some were probably there at one time but were toe-nailed into oblivion by the oversize feet of Malcolm Smith the Doberman. The same one who once nipped Peckerhead Brohan right on the left butt-cheek and made him squeal!

What shall we do about those missing inscriptions? I am moving to the Canyon May 17, 2007. The table will make its move in September when the house is done.

So…I really hope everyone can find the time to drop by this coming Friday, or any day this or next week and carve yourself a little piece of immortality. If you don’t you will certainly be missed at future Canyon meetings when I am making up all sorts of stupid shit about each of you for the entertainment of those New-Age Peckerheads who eagerly await tales of The Old-Age Peckerheads.

Thank you for all the great Fridays, Beers, Stogies, BS, Benchracing, Spring Erection Parties, good times, and great friends through all these past years.

You will not be forgotten…at least until it’s my turn to “Go Extinct”!

Dave
Geeze what’s next, GPS and ABS?


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Revised: .January 29, 2008