“The ’49 Indian” by Craig Moody— The Summer of ’83

Moody, Craig. “The ’49 Indian”, Vivid Imagery. 2017.

The Summer of ‘83

Amos Lassen

In the summer of 1983, twenty-year-old Dustin Thomas’s curiosity and naiveté took him into the shadows of Fort Lauderdale’s seedy underground, where his innocence suddenly found violent and traumatic consequences. Everything was quickly transformed when a handsome and mysterious new next-door neighbor arrived in the personage of a the tattooed, multi-talented, youthful and exuberant Midwesterner, Gauge Paulson. Gauge is passionate about restoring his late father’s classic 1949 Indian motorcycle and he finds the young women on the South Florida beaches to be exciting and enticing. Even with their differences, Gauge and Dustin begin an unlikely companionship and they spend every hour together for the remainder of the summer. However, after several disturbing circumstances they are forced to leave home and they begin a journey across the country on the back of the antique motorcycle. It is their friendship and a and a shared dream of relocating to the magnificent California shores of the Pacific Coast that leads them west. As they travel, they have to deal with
trials, tribulation, turmoil, and misfortune” yet they manage to do so.

However, when an unexpected outsider tries to enter their world, they are confronted with an impossible fate that challenges them to fid ways to use the selfless sacrifice and commitment that they need to end their journey on the Pacific beaches. This is a beautiful coming of age story that wonderfully shoes us a deep bond. We face emotions as we read and we often laugh and weep at the same time. I also found that I was looking deep within myself thinking about what I have accomplished in my life and what is still to be done. I wax totally enchanted by this story of unconditional love between two people at a time when ignorance and hated seemed to be the rule. This is a beautiful story that is beautifully told.

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