PRIEST RIVER — A tribute to the opening days of America’s involvement in World War II is on display at Panhandle Pizza here. Store owner Rebecca Richardson said that regular customer David Weston set up a 1990 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Fat Boy, along with other war memorabilia, June 23 as a way of honoring that war’s veterans and to show the connection between Harley Davidson and WWII. Weston said that the motorcycle is silver like the Enola Gay, an American B-29 bomber that dropped the first nuclear bombs ever used in wartime on Hiroshima, Japan August 6, 1945. Like the rest of the Army Air Corps planes were in those days, the Enola Gay was a beautiful silver — as is the Fat Boy sitting in Panhandle Pizza, said Weston. He said he’s tried to get to corporation to corroborate the link between the motorcycle and the Army Air Corps, but so far the company has remained mum.
Richardson said the pizza shop has plenty of regular customers who enjoy motorcycles, and that the display is a good addition to the restaurant. She invited locals and tourists to come visit the display and enjoy pizza on the adjacent shaded deck, or book a birthday party or other gathering in its upstairs event room.
Harley-Davidson began its involvement with American warfighting in 1916 by producing motorcycles for Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing’s troops to use in cross-border skirmishes with Pancho Villa. Harley-Davidson produced tens of thousands of military motorcycles for the Allied powers during both world wars, and supplied parts and vehicles to the U.S. military until discontinuation of military motorcycle production in 1998. For more information on Harley-Davidson’s partnership with the U.S. Armed Forces, go to http://www.harley-davidson.com/content/h-d/en_US/home/community/military-riders/military-history.html. Panhandle Pizza is open Monday-Thursday 3-8:30 p.m, and Friday-Saturday 3-9:30 p.m.