Biking enthusiasts might well proclaim “Way to go” today when they see what’s waiting for them at the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives second annual Poker Run.

David Wilson, a funeral director of Chickamauga, Ga., will be bringing his Harley hearse. The modified 2004 Harley Road King is owned by a franchise called Tombstone Hearse Company, in Pleasantville, Pa.

The Tombstone Hearse Company’s slogan, “For those of us who think their farewell ride should not be in a Cadillac,” is a reflection of the last wishes of a friend of the company owner, Jack Feather.

Feather said his inspiration for the company came after his friend Bill, “Wild Bill,” as he fondly refers to him, was diagnosed with leukemia.

“He was very creative, almost an artist. He could do anything with woodworking,” he said.

Feather and Bill were friends for at least 40 years. He said they would ride their Harleys everywhere.

“As long as it had blacktop,” said Feather.

He explains that Bill just didn’t want to have his last ride be in a Cadillac or Lincoln. Bill said his friend wanted to go out on a Harley, so that’s what they made happen.

Feather and Bill proceeded to build the first three bikes.

Their design with inspiration came from Billy Clanton’s wagon-drawn funeral procession at the O.K. Coral in Tombstone, Ariz.

Feather builds all of the bikes at his shop in Pleasantville. He always uses Harley Road Kings and modifies the bike into a trike from a kit from Motor Trikes of Texas.

“No one brings a camera to a funeral, but when these coaches turn up, everyone does,” said Feather.

“You get a lot of ‘Boy that’s how I want to go,’” he said.

The company also adds a special touch to the funeral with what they call the “Spur Ceremony.” They tell the history of the spur and give the family the spurs of their loved one’s last ride.

Now with 12 bikes behind him, two in the works, and a third series of design to introduce in August, Feather said his deceased friend would probably be smiling.

Feather said he left his job managing a construction development firm to start the company in 2003.

“I’m having fun again, and that’s all that matters,” said Feather.

For more information on the Tombstone Hearse Company in the area visit their web site at

The Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives second annual Poker Run will be from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. today.

Bikers from the area will donate $15 to buy game cards. The biker receives a card at the museum and then rides to gather other cards at various designated locations.

Whoever has the best hand at the end of the day will win the top prize of $200. Second place receives $100 and third place receives $50.

All proceeds go to the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives.

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