When Julian Portugues-Hallam turns 18, he will inherit a legacy passed on from two previous generations.
Hallam’s grandfather, Curtis, was a motorcycle buff and once was a member of the Screaming Eagles Motorcycle Club. He bought his first Harley Davidson in 1985. At the time of his death in 2011 from injuries sustained in a car accident, he had a blue Harley Davidson Softtail motorcycle, which is son, Dustin — Julian’s father — bought from his estate.
“Dustin, at a very young age, loved riding with his dad on his motorcycle,” said Dustin’s mother, Debbie Barnes-Hallam. “Dustin grew up loving Harleys, and that’s what made him feel the closest to his dad after his death. Whenever he was missing him, he would go out riding in the country.”
Three years later, Dustin died from an overdose at the age of 20, when Julian was 19 months old. Dustin’s mother knew what she needed to do with the motorcycle.
“Because of Dustin’s addiction, which he tried to valiantly to beat, he know he was at risk of dying,” Debbie said. “He told me if anything happened that he wanted his son to have the motorcycle. He wanted it entrusted to a family friend, to maintain it until Julian was old enough to have it. Darrel Daniels has the motorcycle in Wisconsin. I plan on taking Julian up this summer to visit the bike.”
Daniels has returned the motorcycle to working order, having spent eight hours in fixing it.
In the meantime, Debbie’s goal is to maintain an awareness in Julian’s mind of the link the motorcycle is to his dad and his grandfather.
“Julian knows the bike was his daddy’s and grandpa’s and know it is his,” Debbie said. “He still calls it daddy’s bike. I kept the bike in the my garage for a while because I wasn’t able to part with it. Julian always wanted to go in the garage and sit on it, while making motorcycle noises. He wasn’t happy when the bike left, but I don’t have the knowledge to maintain it.”