Politicians, Flowers, and Motorcycles

by Ben N on August 11, 2012

Evolution Marketing's Nissan Leaf

Today is Saturday, and summer Saturday mornings means the Farmers’ Market.

While I am not much of a morning person, and was working late last night, once I woke up, I remembered that our friends at Evolution Marketing were going to be showing off their new Nissan Leaf at the market today. So, I thought I would ride over there on my electric motorcycle to lend a hand and show my support for clean transportation.

At the market, we had a steady flow of folks walking over and asking all sorts of questions about the electric vehicles. It’s a beautiful not-too-hot summer day, just perfect for it. I did notice on person in particular making his rounds that seemed to have an entourage, and was taking photos with people. Some sort of local celebrity?

Close to it. Turns out it was long-running former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, who is now running for the Senate. He came over and said hello to me and shook my hand. My little girl was right there as well, and while politicians don’t really kiss babies any more, he shook her hand as well.

I told Governor Tommy that this was my home-built electric motorcycle that runs on renewable energy. While most Republicans don’t usually comment positively on renewable energy, he did seem genuinely impressed with the DIY and can-do attitude of the project, and even took one of my cards. One of his followers snapped a photo of us together.¬†

For the rest of the morning, I spoke with plenty of other people about my project. My Little Girl did want to sit up on the motorcycle, but refused to do so unless she also had the helmet. She can’t even reach the handlebars or foot-pegs, but balanced herself nicely on the seat. I had the gas cap cover open, as I often show how the charging plug goes in there. The girl sometimes gets “treats” from the farmers, usually a small crunchy cucumber. Today, she got a pretty cut flower.

Staying Safe - SHE requested the helmet to

As a still relatively new father, I’m constantly amazed by the things small children do. It’s impressive how young they really understand advanced concepts, and yet they aren’t already jaded and have minds that are boxed in the way adults are. She was sitting on the motorcycle, a flower in one hand, and saw the open gas cap – so, she filled it with a flower.

Instantly, I thought of Flower-Power, the VW Beetle with it’s built-in bud vase, and war-protest art-work where gun-barrels are filled in with ¬†flower-buds.

In one simple act, it said, “Make Peace, not Pollution”.

Maybe we all need a few more flowers, and a few less fuel tanks.

I hope that me being out in the public this morning has at least some small effect, getting people to think different, to be inspired, and to change our world for the better, whether that’s politicians, common people, or just some guy like me, with a wrench, a library card, and a can-do attitude.

Take care,


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