A LOOK BACK AT 25 YEARS OF CLASSIC HARLEY-DAVIDSON - Through Dottie B.’s eyes!
After 21 years at Classic Harley-Davidson, Dot has retired and is coming back to help celebrate our big Birthday Bash for one last Hurrah!
To Learn More About The Birthday Bash CLICK HERE
HERE ARE DOT’S – DID YOU KNOWS - about Classic Harley-Davidson. An interview with Dot.
Jax: Hi Dot, we just had our Monday meetings. Are you excited for Classic Harley-Davidson’s 25th Anniversary Party this weekend – AND your final farewell send-off to retirement?
Dot: Yes, of course. I miss everyone already!
Jax: OK, I’m going to type this out as an “interview-style” write up so it doesn’t sound like I’m writing your Obituary! …Dottie B. spent 21 years at Classic Harley-Davidson…. (laughing)
Dot: Oh my god…You’re ridiculous!
Jax: Oh, by the way, I put your name in our radio commercials this week.
Dot: Cross that off the bucket list. Now I can officially retire!
Jax: OK, here we go…How long have you worked at Classic?
Dot: 21 years
Jax: Do you remember what month you started working?
Dot: It was October of 2001.
Jax: What jumps out in your mind about your first day of work?
Dot: It was chilly outside. My first day was at the old store off of Rt. 724. It was quite hectic.
Jax: Why because you were a newbie at Classic?
Dot: No. Well, kind of. But I walked in and it was like someone had called out, “All Hands On Deck”!
Jax: What do you mean?
Dot: People were moving things around, boxing things up, and sorting everything in preparation for moving to the brand-new location (current location). You don’t realize how much is inside a dealership until you have to pack it and move it!
Two things that stick out in my mind: Caryn had a Cow windchime in her office and I wondered if that was going to make it to the new office. Also, the old building had a HUGE life-sized replica of a train station water tower in it. I was like, “how are they going to get that thing over to the new location?” Needless to say, the cow windchime and water tower made it to the new location but the water tower didn’t last long. It was too heavy for the ground and started sinking. BUT the wind chime, I believe is still hanging.
Jax: The windchime is still hanging. I can’t imagine moving a dealership. You’ve pretty much been with Classic since the dealership opened it’s doors 21 years ago on Rt. 183. Pretty awesome!
Dot: Yeah. I remember thinking it was a great location to take test rides. Great access to backroads, Blue Marsh Lake, and close to the highway. Thinking back, there really wasn’t too much around our building back then!
Jax: I know you’ve worn a lot of hats at Classic over the years and not just because you were the head of the MotorClothes department. Can you list all of your job titles?
Dot: Oh my. You’re putting me on the spot but here goes nothing.
1. Promotions Director
2. Coordinator of Fun & Entertainment
3. Marketing Manager
4. Buell Riders Adventure Group (BRAG) Coordinator. (That was short lived) haha
5. Riding Academy Manager
6. U.S. Director of Retail Integration
7. MotorClothes Manager
Jax: That’s amazing. You’ve pretty much done it all except being a technician or Motorcycle Sales.
Jax: Speaking of motorcycles, have you ever owned a motorcycle?
Dot: Nope, but am a great passenger!
Jax: What was the best trip you've taken on a motorcycle?
Dot: My favorite trip(s) was Americade, a week-long motorcycle festival which tours through the beautiful Adirondack Park, and the Green Mountains of VT. It partners with the Ride For Kids and the Wounded Warrior, as well as numerous local and regional charities; it has helped raise well over $600,000 and counting.
Jax: That sounds amazing.
Dot: That’s my style. Getting out and enjoying Mother Nature. Best trips were always the fall rides with no agenda. I just sit back and enjoy the ride. The guy up front was in charge!
Jax: Any crazy stories from the road (on a bike)?
Dot: Trusting my driver so much that he would ride side-by-side with his best friend at a spirited pace on route 183 from Reading to Schuylkill Haven.
- Then I’ll always remember riding with a group that always said, “Looks like rain but we’re gonna ride right out of it.” And we never stopped to put on rain gear but always finished up soaking wet.
- Another thing that sticks out. There was this Fall group of riders that I used to ride with. We would start in Fogelsville, and always end up at Alaska Pete’s in the Poconos for every ride. Makes you kind of wonder if there was a connection with one of the people in our ride group. It was okay though, because they had great steaks, ribs, and seafood!
Jax: Dot, what's the craziest thing you ever witnessed over all those years? More than one story is acceptable.
Dot: I’ve seen a lot! I’m not sure if this is the craziest, but it is one that shows the strength of the motorcycle community.
- In 2006 I got a phone call from Shane Ott and he wanted to put a ride together in memory of fallen Officer Scott Wertz. We pulled it together in maybe 11 days. We had at least 900 people show up. Every inch of that property was filled with motorcycles and supporters. One thing that we hadn’t taken into consideration is that that morning, there was a safety class on the training lot where we stage rides. We couldn’t use the big lot so we were staging people out on the access road, in the back alongside of where the receiving door is, and in the front parking lot were our customer’s park. As soon as the class was done at noon, we started filling that lot. That’s why I enjoyed my job and loved what I did!
- There are random things that stick out in my head like the Christmas decorations above the two sales offices with the train tracks. We got up there and did an amazing job of decorating. The thing was you had to climb up there to turn the train off. They were running non-stop. Apparently, it was annoying for the sales people whose offices were directly below it. But the decorations look nice.
- Then there were the times that Caryn and I would attend chamber events and then we’d party with the Reading Symphony Orchestra afterwards.
- Who can forget the infamous Classic Harley-Davidson Golf Tournaments and Classic Harley Poker Tournaments that we hosted multiple times. All I can say is… “If you know you know!” And, there are a few other things I can say that about!
Oh, and let’s not forget, sitting on a sheet cake on a cold March when we had the Polar Bear Awards and a fundraiser for My Gut Instinct during Colorectal Cancer Awareness month!
Jax: Dot, I’m pretty much speechless and that takes a lot for me! All I can say is, you’re the only person I’ve ever met who’s sat on a Sheet Cake!
Jax: Let’s switch gears. What was the most rewarding part about your job?
Dot: There’s just so much stuff going through my head right now. Here are two major ones:
- Being involved with the Black and blue ball. I’ve been on that committee since the beginning which is 19 years. With the help of the Jeremy Carroll foundation, that event has raised over $3,000,000 for MDA. I have been a member of the Ride For Life committee for 24 years and that also benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
- The Eastern PA Toy Run came together when the USMC Reserves from Kenhorst were deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom and their Toys for Tots was disbanded. A few of us got together and put The Eastern PA Toy Run together which from Classic Harley to FirstEnergy Stadium. It has been going strong ever since. This toy run combined several toy runs, including the Blue Mountain Jeep Alliance, Berks County Mustang Car Club toy drive. This toy run supports Children's Home of Reading, Berks & Lebanon County Toys for Tots. It is the kickoff for the Toys for Tots Campaign which I was coordinator for 10 years. Berks Toys for Tots supports over 5,000 children in Berks Count. With the help and generosity of our community they collect thousands of toys each year. Through community agencies and churches, we’re able to match toys up with kid’s wish lists and give hope to those families in need during the Christmas season.
Those two take the cake. Besides that, the most rewarding job over the course of my time at Classic was creating amazing friendships with customers and Berks HOG members that are still quite active today.
Jax: That’s incredible.
Jax: What will you miss about working at Classic?
Dot: Seeing Caryn and her support. Kevin’s knowledge. Tony’s wisdom! Plus, my daily interaction with our staff and customers.
Jax: What do you plan to do with your time in retirement?
Dot: My plan is to enjoy the journey! Stay in good health and fitness because this 5-year-old wears me out! (niece).
Jax: Does fitness include continuing pickleball?
Dot: Of course!
Jax: If you could have any person as a pickleball player who would it be?
Dot: Chase Utley! I heard he plays.
Jax: Will you pick up any new hobbies?
Dot: I guess bird watching. I’ve been watching several Eagles and other birds at my sister’s pond. Oh, and the turtles are cute.
Jax: Since you live near the beach are you going to start surfcasting?
Dot: Not sure but I do have a fishing rod so it’s not out of the question!
Jax: Do you plan on making guest appearances at Classic (like Holiday season gift wrapper)?
Dot: Most definitely.
Jax: Do you think working in the Harley-Davidson culture has changed your life in any way?
Dot: That’s a tough question. I think the Harley-Davidson lifestyle is something that you really can’t describe unless you’re part of it. Because everyone has that common denominator, Harley-Davidson. It’s different to everyone. For me, it’s having a good time with friends and enjoying mother nature. There are other aspects. It’s about community and being kind to everyone. When you’re in the Harley community, you’re just a person who enjoys motorcycling, who enjoys Harley-Davidson. I’m not sure it changed my life, but you sure see things differently and it helps you enjoy life.
Jax: Anything else you'd like to add?
Dot: I’m very appreciative of the people that I have met along this journey and I wouldn’t change anything. It’s been fun, exciting and I will miss the friends I’ve made through the dealership. But I’m sure our paths will cross again!
Jax: Dot, Thank you for your time, your stories, and your insight. You sure have made an impact in our motorcycling community. When’s your book coming out! Haa Haa.
- Don’t forget. You can come on out and celebrate Dottie B.’s illustrious career in the world of Harley-Davidson this Saturday, January 28th from 9:00 – 5:00 at Classic Harley’s 25th Anniversary Party. You can win $1,000 Classic Harley-Davidson gift card, a Harley-Davidson locker, along with other amazing prizes. For more information go to www.classicharley.com/events to get the entire scoop on what’s going on at the Birthday Bash!