Doug was working in radio in Lexington, Virginia, back around 1980, and money was always tight. He wasn’t making big money, but neither was he saving anything up. About what you’d expect for an independent 18-year-old kid. One weekend, he and his buddy Jojo found themselves at the corner station wondering what to do next. Sure, they could chat up some radio groupies or maybe start a fight with the local college kids, but the weather was nice, and besides, it was still early. “Let’s go riding,” Doug suggested. He and Jojo emptied their pockets of cash and loose change onto the seat of Doug’s well-worn 1971 Triumph Bonneville — they had just over ten dollars between them. Doug went into the gas station to buy them a pack of cheap cigarettes; the rest went to buy enough gas to nearly fill up both their motorcycles’ fuel tanks. It was all they really needed.

 

Doug Shaw and I worked together for seven years. The man could do anything, and by age 40 had already done most anything you could dream up, and he was still picking up new things and doing them well. (Photography was the last.) He died two years ago at age 46; the memories are still fresh.

Disclaimer: I forget a lot of the details of stories my friends tell me. So I’m making up the finer details to make it more real, hoping it’s vaguely as entertaining as when I first heard it. It’s short enough that at least I can’t make it boring.

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