JEFF DUNAWAY - CURRENTLY NOWHERE
Jeff Dunaway and I met in a bar at Myrtle Beach’s 'Suck Bang Blow' during South Carolina bike week.
I was totally out of it. Engulfed in the culture of baggers and bagger babes—which for those who aren’t privy, means ladies in bright lace thongs, neon fishnets, frilly mini-skirts and rubbery implants—the kind of girls you see on the cover of your local grocery store's motorcycle magazines. Myrtle Beach Bike Week is the disastrously tacky, white trash paradise for weekend warriors, those in a mid-life crisis who crave to be bad, and a few regular Joe’s like myself that came to bathe in the spectacle.
A short, balding, barrel-of-a-man walked around in a Ted Bundy “No Ma’am” shirt and caught my eye, followed by the Trump propaganda stapled crookedly onto the dirty dive bar wall. I was on my second shot of whiskey when I shook Jeff’s hand. We passed each other earlier that day on the road to Definition of the Chopper, and even though I was out of it I recognized him immediately. He drove a short school bus painted military beige with three bikes in tow. His rig looked as if it was pulled straight out of Mad Max. Although relatively quiet, he wasn’t the type of person that had to say too much, or anything at all, to make an impression.
J.K: Ok, Jeff. Tell us a little about yourself. What led you to pack it up and get on the road?
JD: "Marijuana. Weed is why I left Colorado. Don’t get me wrong, legalization is a great thing and I smoke more than most, but I think the influx of people has driven housing process sky high. NC, where I went to high school, hasn’t gone up so much."
So when I met you, you were on your way to NC, then Traveling to shows in between?
JD: "Yes. I had no idea bike week was on going. After Definition I put the bus in storage in NC then rode back down to SC, then made my way to the Congregation before hitting the Blue Ridge PKWY up to DC to visit my brother."
Can you tell us about the bus? How and why did you get it? It looks like a lot of work went into it.
JD: "The Charley bus – I wasn’t looking for anything but when I saw it for sale I had to have it. I ended up trading a ’69 VW Bug I had $200 into for it. The 18-inch lift was an accident, really. It was around 2004 when this all started. I was looking for a donor truck for a motor (original flat head was locked up) when I found a 1992 f700 and did a body swap basically.
Around 2005 when I had it roadworthy (-ish) I decided I needed to go because I had a bus, and snow was taking away from riding time. I had a 2003 r6 at the time also, so in a trailer it went and down to Arizona to start my first real trip with Charley. I found it in the middle of Colorado Springs."
That’s amazing. silly question – Charley bus because the type of bus or Charley bus because it Travels with Charley? is that when it all started? Have you been traveling on and off since?
JD: "Because Travels with Charley, yes. [I traveled] for a few years then settled back to Colorado Springs. Charley became a weekend camper and party bus then. Charley even got dressed up as a pirate ship and we shot Roman candles out the window. That bus had liquor spilled EVERYWHERE even on the ceiling. Sails on the roof blowing in the wind. Jesus, we even had pirate music on a cd playing! Sorry, I can go on for days about that thing."
we Love hearing about it. What about the three bikes you were trailering when we met in SC? tell us about the Honda/Harley?
JD: "Yea, I packed up everything I could. The ’97 Sportster has been my daily driver and so much more for probably 8 years. I found the beat [up] but running ’74 cb450 a few years ago, did a quick café job that didn’t suit me so I put it into the frame from a Triumph basket case I’d been sitting on. The front end is from my Sportsters 10 over now. The ’97 Softail is the newest addition of less than 2 years and I can’t bring myself to chop it so Im looking for another big twin. Let me rephrase – wishing for another big twin. I'm still kinda homeless – at my parents now while I start working."
Hell yes. And that Softtail is totally beautiful as is. So are you just winging it now, Or do you have some sort of loose travel plan?
JD: "Loose plan is to get into a house and get my garage / personal shop going again now that my cross-country trip is over. It seems like one of ‘em always needs a tire or oil change!"
So how was that trip in general?
JD: "Stressful. Haha. The front of the trailer had a box that was so loaded down with anything that would fit from my old garage it ripped the hitch off the frame as soon as I started the trip. I even stuffed nooks and crannies with scrap metal. I'm an idiot. So this big ass heavy box was blocking my view of my three babies on the back and I was driving a giant rat bus I built when I had less experience."
would you do it again?
JD: "I’m a sucker for adventure, so, fuck yea I would! Only with less scrap metal…"
any wise words for future travelers?
JD: “Being scared means you’re about to do something brave.” –Unknown