Northlake Harley rider restores trailer, hope
BY MARK LAWTON | firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTHLAKE – Children who have been burned in fires in Colorado will again be able to ride a motorcycle trailer thanks to a Northlake man.
Barry Lederer has restored a trailer in the shape of a fire truck. The trailer belonged to a firefighter in Denver who was a member of Wind & Fire, a Harley club for firefighters and former firefighters.
“He used to take it to hospitals and burn camps and stuff,” Lederer said. “He would pull it behind his motorcycle. It was an icon for the club itself.”
In 2009 the firefighter and his wife crashed while riding in Texas. His wife died that day and the firefighter was paralyzed and died of his injuries in January 2011.
Lederer, a former Northlake firefighter who belongs to the Chicago chapter of Wind & Fire, knew the firefighter from motorcycle rallies where they’d compete.
In 2010 Lederer saw the damaged trailer in the garage of the firefighter’s family. Later that year he offered to repair it.
“It took some time to get it from Denver to Chicago,” Lederer said. “Someone going to Michigan for Christmas (2012) dropped it off.”
The trailer was in worse shape than Lederer thought. The frame was twisted, the bumper beyond repair, the custom paint job ruined.
Over the last several months, Lederer estimates he’s put in close to 90 hours. He worked on it after-hours at the River Grove Public Works garage, where he is now employed.
He straightened the frame, put in sheet meal, fixed brass and aluminum decorations, put on a tiny ladder, brought in an electrician to rewire it, put on flashing fire engine lights on top and placed gold leaf for the Denver emblem on the door.
He’s currently looking for a siren but otherwise, he said last week, the restoration is finished.