Columnist spin-cycles through KC
By TIM ENGLE
The Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star)
She can help you get stains out of clothes
but shes also Heloise on wheels. Heloise was in Kansas
City last week tooling around in her Russian motorcycle.
Well, its not every day you find yourself zipping around
downtown Kansas City in the sidecar of a camouflage-green Russian
motorcycle driven by a celebrity with one name.
Sorry to disappoint you, Fabio fans, but were talking Heloise
here. Heloise, queen of household hints. Or, as she calls herself
these days, Americas No. 1 lifestyle manager.
We dont know what Martha Stewart was doing back in 1977,
but that was the year the first Heloise this Heloises
mom died, and Heloise II took over her newspaper column.
These days Hints From Heloise runs in 450-some papers (look for
it periodically on FYIs Solutions page). This Heloise, 55,
has also written 11 books and contributes to Good Housekeeping.
Next year the silver fox who can get any stain out of anything
will celebrate 30 years as a columnist.
But none of this explains what she was doing in Cowtown last week
on that Russian motorcycle or how a certain FYI reporter ended up
riding shotgun or machine gun, as the case may be.
Heres the deal. Between them, Heloise and husband David Evans
hes a retired plumbing/heating/AC contractor, builder
and risk evaluator have five motorcycles at their home in
San Antonio. Heloise has been a biker babe, or at least had a motorcycle
license, since 1975.
Three of their cycles are sidecar models. Now, granted, you could
argue about whether a motorcycle with a sidecar is a real motorcycle
or an ATV putting on airs, but we wont do that here. Anyway,
one of the sidecar bikes is an Italian job (a Moto Guzzi; Heloise
calls it Sophia), and it needed some adjustments. As it happens,
theres a place in this neck of the woods that works on them:
Harpers Moto Guzzi in Greenwood in Jackson County.
So Mr. Heloise thought hed bring his bike up here. Later
the couple decided theyd bring their Russian cycle along because,
what the heck, they might want to do some off-roading. Heloise thought
the trip would be a good chance to drop in at some of the papers
that carry her, so she started making calls and promising sidecar
rides to editors and such.
But once they started loading up their SUV and trailer for the
10-day adventure, there was so much stuff Heloises
office-on-the-road stuff, their miniature schnauzer Cabernets
stuff, la la la there was no room for the Italian motorcycle.
You know, the reason for the trip. The Russian cycle couldnt
stay behind, because then Heloise would be a welcher.
Kansas City Star)
Its safety first for Heloise (here with
reporter Tim Engle) when she offers rides on her Ural motorcycle
with sidecar. She brought an extra helmet and gloves, and
her bike has a spare tire, gas can and shovel.
Heloise Full Throttle arrived at The Star on a gray, chilly morning
and immediately introduced us to her bike. Its a Ural. Like
the Ural Mountains in, yes, Russia.
I call her Svetlanya, says the chatty, good-natured
Heloise, launching into a Texas-ized Russian accent. She no
sexy. She no pretty. She sturdy and stout.
Svetlanya is also accessorized. She boasts a gas container, a spare
tire and a shovel (when youre in the Ural Mountains, you never
know when you might get stuck in snow). Oh, and a place on the front
of the sidecar to stick a machine gun. Or an extra spotlight.
Svetlanya also does something most motorcycles cant: goes
in reverse. Heloise demonstrates this in the parking lot, going
backward in circles until you start seeing two of her.
The bike may look straight out of World War II, but it is actually
new, a 2005 model.
And on the open road, she purrs like a kitten.
OK, so we exaggerate. Our 10-minute ride through the Crossroads
area over to the West Side and back to Star Central is smooth enough,
though, despite Heloises warning that gear changes could be
a little clunky.
Actually, the best part about riding in a sidecar besides
pretending that Heloise is a grime-fighting superhero and you are
her sidekick is waving at people. Most folks waved back,
were happy to report. One guy, a passenger in a pickup truck,
lifted his hands and applauded.
All in all, a Hel(oise) of a good time.
As for the domestic goddess, she and the hubby would be headed
back to Texas, via Oklahoma. She had a speaking engagement with
some lucky Girl Scouts in Amarillo and a few more newspapers to
Theres no Heloise III in the wings Heloise has a stepson,
who as far as we know is not famous for his household hints
but H-II has no plans to retire. Shes adaptable; she keeps
up with technology. Plus, as she has discovered by speaking at colleges,
the kids may know how to text-message, but laundry is still a mystery.
My thinking is, with each new generation that comes along,
theyre still gonna need me, Heloise says. Probably
Undoubtedly. But in the meantime, can we please go for one more
spin in the sidecar?
Dear Heloise: How can we aid literacy?
Army Team Falls for Heloise
Hints Powerhouse Heloise is Popular American Icon
'Hints' Heir Takes Hawaii to Heart
Columnist spin-cycles through KC
Have no fear: Heloise's hints will keep you looking good
Columnist Heloise Appeals to New Generation
Famed columnist brings insights to Texarkana