Dmitri Turin was born in Russia. His mother was a mathematician. His father was reputed to have been KGB. Natalia Dmitrievna Svetlova left him to marry the legendary Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Politburo exiled the writer and his family in 1974. They moved to America.
Vermont to be exact.
Dmitri left the family compound and moved to Boston.
He drove taxi there.
So did I, but we never met in my hometown.
By the late-1970s everyone was in the East Village.
Indian Larry loved bikes.
He drove almost naked in the snow.
Dmitri did wheelies in the white powder of East 6th Street.
No one could get Indian Larry to put on some clothes.
Demmie liked racing.
So did his partner Hugh Mackie.
They opened East Street Bikes beyond Avenue B.
I helped put in the ramp.
Everyone liked riding with them.
English bikes only.
It was all too good to be true.
In 1994 Dmitri passed before a trip to Russia.
I was in Thailand.
I said my goodbye at his grave.
It was in New Hampshire across the river from Vermont.
I miss riding with him.
And my old Yamaha XS 650.
Dmitri left before his time.
Many bikers do.
My son Fenway thinks there is nothing like them.
Same as me.
It's just the way things are.