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Archive for August 31st, 2010

Pastor Terry Jones - Dove World Outreach Center

Luxury brands certainly have teams of brand police within Marketing to ensure their products aren’t being “Brand Jacked” or improperly positioned, but H-D is missing in action when it comes to the racially charged “N” word debate by pastors Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp of Florida’s Dove World Outreach Center.

I’ll avoid getting into the debate over the ‘church’ content, but rather I want to point out that pastor Terry Jones is wearing a Harley-Davidson t-shirt and something like this can’t help the motor company or worse can potentially hurt the iconic brand.

Here’s my take…  H-D has nothing to do with the video, and their brand is being dragged through the “N” word debate to make a, Dr. Laura-esque point about racial double standards.  H-D hasn’t done anything to draw this unwanted attention.  Terry Jones and the Dove World Outreach Center have seen a rapid rise in notoriety for their pending “Burn a Koran Day” on 9/11.  It seems show business have outruled common sense.

H-D can’t control who buys their merchandise, but they damn well sure can respond with a “cease and desist” order on both YouTube/Google and the Dove World Outreach Center/Church.  They should demand an immediate pull down of the video and the CMO should have a “not on my watch” A’tude!  If it gets reposted, at minimum the t-shirt should be blurred out.

H-D as a corporation has diligently worked and spent tremendous amounts of money on their image and brand. Watching from the sideline with a blind-eye or having a “strategy of hope”… i.e. hoping that the dust will settle and there will be no negative impact on their brand would be negligent.  In fact, I’m a bit offended with having a collateral clothing association and checking my t-shirt inventory to trash any similar Mr. Jones attire.

Photo courtesy of YouTube.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Get ready!  Labor Day is around the corner and summer school recess will soon be over.  Enjoy the final riding days while you can because after this it’s fall, La Nina and the northwest rain.

Color me skeptical, but the cooler temperatures and elevated chances of rain from La Nina may well come true so getting rides in before October will be a priority.  I’ve scheduled time to attend Street Vibrations in Reno in late September, but a day ride out to the mysterious and famous Shoe Treeis something I’ve been thinking about again.

Located north of Shaniko, Oregon (a ghost town with pop. of 25), near milepost 53 and about ten yards off of Hwy 97 is this lone, dead tree covered with old, worn shoes – “shoefiti.”

Shaniko, Oregon -- The Shoe Tree

A “Shoe Tree”, is a tree (or, occasionally, a powerline pole or other wooden object) that has been decorated with old shoes.  They generally are located alongside a major road, and may have a theme (such as running shoes). A shoe tree starts with one dreamer, tossing their footwear into the sky, to catch on a branch. It usually ends there, unseen and neglected by others. But on occasion, that first pair of shoes triggers a cascade and soon people are driving out to the tree, inscribing messages on their old sneakers and adding them to the “polymer beauty” as a work of art.  According to Wikipedia there are currently at least seventy-six such shoe trees in the U.S.   Technically to be a Shoe Tree there are rules.  The tree should have at least 50 pairs of shoes in the branches, be publicly accessible, and known as a “Shoe Tree” by locals.

So, without any explanation this strange little dead tree, located near a ghost town makes a person wonder… who started the shoe tree and why?  I’ve ridden through Shaniko in the past and spent some wind in the face time near Antelope, OR.  My previous post is HERE.  At the time I passed by this tree it had only a few shoes hanging from it and I made no mention in the blog. But these days it has hundreds, with more showing up all the time.

It’s a local mystery, but if you happen to be riding North along Hwy 97 at milepost 53 and you have an extra pair of shoes needing to be unloaded….add to the mystery of The Shaniko Shoe Tree.

Photo of tree courtesy of Flickr

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