New vehicles to ride in Saturday’s parade

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Tomorrow the Downtown Business Association will offer a gift to everyone who loves a parade.

In conjunction with the Department of Parks and Recreation, the DBA will introduce its 2003 Holiday Parade complete with Santa Claus and a sight never seen in Virginia – a motorized four-wheeled bicycle.


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William Henry &uot;June&uot; Willie is the owner and creator of the specialized bike and he’s proud to be a part of the Holiday Parade. Willie, the owner of Willie’s Grocery on East Washington Street, will be riding the bike, which will be decked out for the occasion, and he’ll be riding next to his new best friend, Carroll Davis.

Davis’ bike is a motorized two-wheeler and it was that bicycle that inspired Willie to create the four-wheeler.

&uot;A fellow was going to throw it out because it was such junk,&uot; said Willie. &uot;I had the idea that I could rescue the vehicle and so that’s when I took it over.&uot;

After a trip to the repair shop, Willie was impressed with his gleaming new bicycle. It was about two weeks later that he introduced himself to Davis.

&uot;I saw him riding his two-wheeler on Carolina Road and when I saw the motor on it, I asked if we could motorize mine,&uot; said Willie. &uot;Carroll told me sure we could do it and I went to work on it. It just fascinated me and I am so pleased that we are now friends and we’ll be in the parade.&uot;

Davis, a retired tank truck driver for Columbia Propane, and Willie, with 51 years as a business owner, both admit they are getting a little long in the tooth. However, they still love to ride bikes and they decided they could put on a good show in the parade.

&uot;Almost everyone loves bicycles, but this four wheeler is a site that’s never been seen in the state of Virginia,&uot; said Willie. &uot;Carroll’s bicycle is beautiful with all its chrome and we just thought that children of all ages would love to see these two vehicles. I was in the parade last year, but I’m getting too old to peddle, so Carroll solved that problem!&uot;

As for the parade, it takes place at 10 a.m., tomorrow, and after being stalled for a week by inclement weather, they are geared up and ready to go.

Parks and Rec works in conjunction with Suffolk’s Downtown Business Association (DBA), and the president of the organization, Andy Damiani, said he expects the parade to be a big hit with children of all ages.

&uot;This is a tradition that every American, especially our kids, enjoys and it just brings the spirit of the holidays to the forefront,&uot; said Damiani. &uot;We also hope that people will take advantage of the special sales taking place all day Saturday. There are some really nice shops and they’ve planned some great sales.&uot;