I have ridden a 500-pound Vincent through traffic on the Ventura Freeway with burning oil on my legs and run the Kawa 750 Triple through Beverly Hills at night with a head full of acid.
I have ridden with Sonny Barger and smoked weed in biker bars with Jack Nicholson, Grace Slick, Ron Zigler, and my infamous old friend Ken Kesey, a legendary Cafe Racer.
Some people will tell you that slow is good-and it may be, on some days-but I am here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble its caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba.
Hunter S. Thompson
Song of the Sausage Creature
Cycle World; March, 1995
Juan Trippe Back at the Helm: On January 23rd, 1940 Juan Trippe was voted back into a position of authority by the Pan American Airways Board of Directors: He was CEO once more.
Since March 14, 1939, he had been stripped of much of his executive powers by that same board in favor of C.V. Whitney - known to all as “Sonny,” who as Chairman of the Board had been granted overall executive power. The board - a group who saw Pan Am through a financial lens - had been nervous about Pan Am’s financial situation. It was saddled with debt from the new Boeing Clippers, much affected by continuing losses from the Pacific Division, and the shrinking cash balance in the company’s accounts was alarming. Earnings per share were a paltry 3 cents. They blamed Juan Trippe. As was his usual approach, Trippe had kept his confidences to himself, and the result was a nervous board of directors.
They soon learned that they had made a big mistake! Sonny Whitney was no Juan Trippe, and Trippe was in no mood to be recruited as an executive assistant to him. So after the ten months of what turned out to be a rudderless ship for Pan Am, the company’s directors restored Juan Trippe to full executive powers as Chief Executive Officer.
It was a timely move, as the war in Europe had already begun, and it wouldn’t be long before the US was in the fight for real. America was going to need Pan American’s critical capabilities as never before, and there. And only Juan Trippe was capable of running Pan Am.