Buster Culp always said European newspapers dubbed him ‘Bust Ass’ after his winning run on an aging 1907 Indian motorcycle somewhere in Spain. Truth is, Buster gave himself that moniker. He’d never been outside North America.
To give the man his due, that machine was as well maintained as a virgin’s honor. And just to arouse curiosity, Buster never revealed where he got it but, judging by his history, someone somewhere surely got snookered.
He arrived in Skunk Gap one hot August afternoon and spun that bike to a stop in front of Hazelton’s General Store. Red clay and mistrust mingled in the sultry air. He’d left town right after his third run at the eighth grade and most of us breathed a sigh of relief. He’d been the kind of boy who made folks keep a sharp watch on their daughters and their wallets.
He entered the store, took a seat and propped his feet on the cold pot-bellied stove. An hour later a reporter from New York City came in, sat right down and conducted an interview. Exciting and unusual business in Skunk Gap.
I doubt they kept bullshit records back in 1920, but if they did, Buster broke them all that day. He fed that reporter a line of achievement that was pure fantasy. And not a soul contradicted him.
Six months later he won the first Empire State Motorcross.
Looking back, I realize ‘Bust Ass’ Culp invented spin.