History of the 'ThomJoy'

In June 1967, I was completing my training phase at the Army Signal Corps base at Fort Gordon, Ga. I had orders for 'Nam and one month's leave. Joyce and I had been living in a rented room off base and had shipped our few meager belongings to her mother's by bus. With most of two month's pay we bought a used honda 90cc motorcycle that had been special ordered by an officer's wife and used to run around town. We named it 'the ThomJoy' and took off for Carolina on it. Joyce had a drivers license, but mine had expired, and while I had changed my residence to NC, I had not been there to get a driver's license.

We quickly learned that Joyce could not handle the cycle, so I drove. We weighted a lot less then - maybe 275 lbs together. At first the cycle would not go over 30 mph, until we ran into a shower and some water got into the carburator - it coughed and a cloud of black smoke came out and after that we had no problem cruising at 55.

We rode the cycle from Augusta, GA to Dobson, NC then up into the mountains to Piney Creek. From there we rode to Bristol, Tenn to see my aunt Hazel and then to DC to visit Joyce's sister Carol and my aunts Edna and Bytha. Thence back to Piney. I left bike there when I flew to Washington state to report in, but took with me an album full of Polaroid photos that we had shot while on leave. They, and the regular 'care packages' from Edna helped greatly to preserve my sanity during the year in 'Nam.

After returning, we recovered the bike and took it back to Augusta when we moved. I had originally had orders for Germany and managed to get them changed to stateside duty. When I got out of the service, we decided to move to California. We left the bike to a friend in Augusta with orders to sell it. The clutch was shot and she needed some work and as usual, we were nearly broke...

-Thom Sturgill