My BrotherA's Traub

Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff
In the AMA Hall of "Fame Museum" in Ohio exists a one of a kind motorcycle calld a Traub. The origin of the bike is a great mystery but it was years ahead of its 1917 time. What follows is the 'true' story of its inception! My truth anyway!



See this.

My Brother’s Traub

I was seventeen when Scotty died. He was part of the Allied Expeditionary Force with Back Jack Pershing in France in 1922. Then ole’ Black Jack got himself killed and Brutale took over. That’s when things went South.

Scotty’d served for nearly 4 years at the front before getting killed by that damn yellow gas. Mustard they called it. Don’t know how something that’s so bad can be named after something that tastes so good. But it got him, alright. Place called Bello Wood. Worst defeat we’d ever suffered. More American’s killed than even Sharpsburg, back 50 years ago in the Civil War.

We were all so proud of him. I was all set to join the Marines when I got out of school, but after that Ma wouldn’t let me. “Make the gov’met come get you” she said. Can’t really say as I blame her. My brother was something special. They never did call me.

War ended for us when we pulled out of Europe later that month. Just about lost all our troops. Either the flu got’em or the Kaiser did. One in ten came home. And we lost Scotty. I cried like a baby.

That’s when I started ridin’ the Traub. Scotty had bought it in ’18, just before shipping over. Top of the line. Even got that new brake. First year it came out with the Schebler carb too. And the last year it had that Bosch magneto. After the war started it just seemd wrong to have a German part.

Scotty loved that bike. He’d asked me to keep it nice for him, and I did too. Kept it covered in the shed out back, cleaned it every Saturday. I’d sit in that Troxel jumbo seat and pretend to be racin’ the boards. Spent hours polishing that front fender. Wow was it pretty. And loud. Pa’d start it every month or so. My friend’s would come over and we’d all dream about it.

Ma never let me ride it though. I was too young and it was too expensive. Scotty paid $85 cash money and Pa said that if I couldn’t afford to fix it, then I can’t afford to break it. But once we got the news, well, it just seemed right. Ma and Pa both said Scotty would’a wanted it that way. Felt kind funny at first, but the wind in my face and that roar in my ears gave me such a thrill.

I rode that thing all over Schiller Park. Even went to Schamburg a time or two. Didn’t go much further back then. The roads were so bad that I’d blow a tire and they were expensive. Went off to college and took it with me.

I was 27 and married to Priscilla when the storm hit. Two kids and a dog named Shepard. I’d finished up at East Liden High, gone on to the University of Wisconsin up Milwaukee way and got my Engineering degree. Went to work for Traub in their plant up there as an Engineer. If it broke, well I guess I could make a better one! Took a lot of work to keep the line going too. They about went under when the Stock market Crashed in ’31. By then it was down to me’n Bill Davidson in the Engineering shop. We were inside the plant when it hit. Thunder something awful. Sky lit up like the Fourth of July. Bill and I stood in the door and watched the show. Then it struck the tree in the yard. Knocked me silly.

I don’t know how long I was out. I woke up all fuzzy headed and wet. Head hurt somethin’ awful too. I rolled over and threw up. Got on my hands and knees and threw up again. I crawled to a bench and pulled myself up.

Things just didn’t make any sense. I was in a park, near the gazebo. And there isn’t a park anywhere near the plant. But the plant was gone too! I wanted to ask someone, but no one was around, what with the storm and all. I guess they were all indoors, where I should be! I started walking and there was my Traub on the other side of the gazebo! Started right up when I kicked her too. Great bike.

I drove around and started to recognize a few things. First, I wasn’t in Milwaukee anymore. I was close to home in Schiller Park. Second, things were the same, but different. I know that sounds funny, but it’s true. Things were just different, only I didn’t know how much right then!

I found Ma and Pa’s house, but they didn’t know me. Said they never had no son named Rodney. And then Scotty walked out. I couldn’t talk. I just hugged him and got slugged for it. I couldn’t understand what was going on.

I had a couple of greenbacks in my pocket, so after picking myself up from the ground (Scotty could still punch like the mule I remember) I found a hotel. At 4 bits a day, I had to figure out pretty quick what to do. All I had were the clothes on my back and the Traub, so I needed to find work and find out what happened.

Well, I got a surprise. It wasn’t 1932 anymore either, it was 1920. And we didn’t lose the war, we won it! I still don’t know what happened to me, but I seem to have the only Traub in existence.

I made a bunch of money in the stock market. Traub ain’t around, but AT&T sure is.

I bought a house around the corner from my parents. Scotty and I became friends too, although he still doesn’t know me. He sure does like the Traub, so not everything has changed. Plus I married Priscilla’s older sister, Jenny. Priscilla is just a cute little girl in this world, way too young for me. Got a dog named Sherman now and two Kids, Anthony and Samantha. And I own my own investment service in downtown Chicago, but I don’t even go to work much anymore. I’ve got more money than I can spend. I got out of the market before it crashed this time, although it happened a couple of years earlier than I remember!

Scotty died of consumption last year and I pretty much slowed down too. I hired a man to brick the Traub up behind a wall in my basement ‘cause I can’t bear to sell it and I can’t stand to see it anymore. Maybe when they tear down the house someone will figure it out. But probably not.
Get Motorcycle.com in your Inbox
Motorcycle.com Staff
Motorcycle.com Staff

Motorcycle.com presents an unrivaled combination of bike reviews and news written by industry experts

More by Motorcycle.com Staff

Comments
Join the conversation
Next