OFR: The Beginning.
In telling the history of the OFR I had to think how to start.
Where and when did it all start? Was it in 2008 like our Logo indicates or was it actually a few years before?
I will probably have to concede that “Officially” it was 2008. Although the concept/idea probably lies a few years before.
John F. (Father Flanagan) around 2003 era while a member of South Shore Harley Owner’s Group started what was called the “Retired Riders Group” It would meet up every Wednesday during the warm weather months at the McDonald’s Parking lot in West Bridgewater Ma. and anyone showing up would go for a ride. This went on for several years and then just kind of faded away.
In 2008 Father Flanagan and Just Jack (Jack D) and a few others started meeting for breakfast sometime during the week and then going for a ride. More and more of us joined in on these breakfasts and rides. We would meet for breakfast at two different restaurants. Sam’s in Hanson, Ma. and the Sunnyside in West Bridgewater, Ma. Sam’s loved us the Sunnyside did not, so Sam’s became the “Ancestral Home” of the OFR.
The first OFR patches were designed by Bob H. (Holm-Z) it is the distinctive yellow/black round patch found on the front of our vests. This patch first appeared on vests early 2009. If this patch has the 2008 bottom rocker and the Original top rocker then the wearer was part of the 2008 Old Fart Riders.
Holm-Z again put his artistic skills to work and drew up our unique brown/blue Logo. This Logo first appeared on our navy blue t-shirts and sweatshirts late 2009. The letters OFR drawn into a motorcycle was also on the front of the shirts in blue. This has become known by some as the blue OFR motorcycle. Since then the LOGO has been used on t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, bandanas, coffee cups, bumper stickers, patches, tank tops, business cards and computerized graphics. Trust me there is no end to what we can think of to stick it on.
In Aug. 2010 I was asked to build a website. I went to Go Daddy to buy a domain name. I of course tried first for oldfartriders.com, but to my dismay it was already taken by a group in Tasmania who were basically dirt bike riders. I thought and then typed in oldfartridersofmass.com. It was available and I purchased it. I borrowed Holm-Z ‘s blue/brown LOGO and recreated and digitalized it in Photoshop. Since our web address was oldfartridersofmass.com I changed Holm-Z’s original LOGO that had Old Fart Riders repeating and going around the brown in the LOGO to Old Fart Riders at the top and Of Massachusetts at the bottom. I eventually placed the LOGO on a picture of the American Flag and it caught on and the Banner you see on our website was what I eventually came up with.
The first website went on-line Sept 2010. It was a crude thing. Consisting of a main page and 2 linked pages. It caused some excitement for a week or two, but since it hardly ever changed interest soon faded. It was very difficult to change anything and I knew we needed something that would help us communicate with our Old Farts. So in November of 2010 I replaced the old website with what you see now. I used a WordPress blog. Made static pages that don’t change that often and we had a posting blog for the main page. Shortly thereafter I talked Don B. the SOFR (Senior Old Fart Rider) into becoming a contributing author. Well his posts are a big hit. His wry wit and sense of humor is a winner.
In 2011 some like minded individuals from Greensboro, NC decided they liked the OFR Philosophy and became a chapter. The Old Fart Riders Of North Carolina were born. They too use the same artwork for their patches only theirs reads Est 2011, and at the bottom Of North Carolina.
About a month ago a second website went on-line: ofrnation.com. Still a work in progress it is viewable and some posts are being made.
That’s our story and we are sticking to it.