Monday, August 10, 2020

Harley’s Story

With the weather planning on being hot and sticky all week, I flipped the script and spent most of the weekend working on the garden, and I’m feeling every bit of it today.

Oh, and I think I might have bought another minor grail this weekend, too? I’ll know for sure when it arrives, presumably by the end of the week. I usually go on something of a shopping binge after BreyerFest anyway, but this is absolutely nuts…

I think I might have forgotten to tell you the story about why I purchased a Harley as a part of my pre-BreyerFest shopping binge. And it’s not just because he’s a really nice example with extra mottling around his lips and crisp masking (though that doesn’t hurt!)

The first time I visited the Kentucky Horse Park in 1979, near the end of a particularly infamous family road trip, I bought a Black Appaloosa Running Stallion from the Gift Shop, which happened to be in the International Museum of the Horse at the time. I still have him, of course:

Several years later, I purchased a second Black Appaloosa Running Stallion at BreyerFest, nominally as an upgrade. I was pretty sure he was from 1968, the year he was first issued, since he had a small Blue Ribbon Sticker and no USA mold mark.

Several years after that, I was gifted another Black Appaloosa Running Stallion – this one, a Cull – by a friend who saw I was having a particularly rough time of it at BreyerFest that year. She had no idea, of course, that that particular model had any personal historical significance to me. She just assumed (correctly!) that I’d appreciate a vintage, Chicago Era Cull. 

Early this year, when it looked like a road trip was still a possibility – not just to salvage Summer, but maybe even as a way to recreate the “Redneck Road Trip” that gave me my first Black Appaloosa Running Stallion – I had planned on purchasing another Breyer Black Appaloosa Horse during the “visiting the Kentucky Horse Park” portion of the trip.

The obvious choice being… Harley! Even more obvious because when I purchased my original Running Stallion, I named him Sandman. 

This was not an intentional comic book riff; this was ten years before Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. In fact, I was on a hiatus from comic books until late 1981, when I randomly bought The Legion of Super-Heroes #284, and The Great Darkness Saga made me fall in love with them all over again.... 

To honor the coincidence inherent in Harley’s name, it’s only fitting and right that I am going to name him Quinn. (BTW, if you get a chance to watch the recent animated Harley Quinn series, I highly recommend it. They somehow managed to make Kite Man… kind of adorable?) 


Corky said...

When I was a kid, I was utterly and completely fixated on the Black App Running Stallion. I circled his picture in the Breyer manuals I had, and looked for him everywhere I went that had Breyers, but never found one. I finally obtained one when I was in college; bought him from someone in the classified ads in Just About Horses.

Suzanne said...

How I love the black appaloosa Running Stallion! He wasn't my first Breyer, that was either Misty or a Stablemate Thoroughbred Mare. But he was the first Breyer that I was fascinated with...I still have him in one piece, against all odds. I love trying to draw him from memory :^)