Sue, AKA "Ma".
BIKERS INSPIRE WIDOW TO GO ON
Calimesa woman keeps up shop after the death of her husband; when her husband of 43 years died, Sue Paver (AKA “Ma”) needed someone to help fill the void in her life now that the love of her life was suddenly gone.
She didn't have to look far. It was her customers ~ her dozens of sometimes rough around the edges but softhearted - bikers who came to her rescue.
"After my husband Jim died in December 2005, they became my extended family," said Paver. "They keep me going."
Paver owns Buckle & Belts (now in its 18th year), which sells quality leather goods, along with motorcycle parts and accessories in Calimesa that she and Jim started in 1991. When Jim died, she thought briefly of calling it quits. But her family of bikers soon wiggled their way into her heart, and, now she wouldn't think of selling and leaving them.
They roar in on their motorcycles to visit "Ma” as they call her.
For Paver's daughter, Michelle Rice who works in the store, the bikers are far more than customers. She vividly remembers how they showed their caring nature when her dad died.
"The night of my dad's wake the parking lot of the funeral home was filled with motorcycles --' there were only about five or six cars," said Rice. "They hugged mom and told her how sorry they were. Mom told me once that motorcycle riders have it heart of gold. They are very loyal friends."
She says they are especially kind and generous when it comes to children. They raise money for various charities, all to benefit children in need.
Paver's family of bikers extends far and wide. They come from all over California, Hawaii, Montana, and Idaho, even from as far away as Russia.
Kristen Fredericks, whom along with Paver’s daughter helps run the store said, “If we put up a map, I could pot tacks all over it where they come from.”
Fredericks said that they had a real surprise one day when a Russian biker walked in. The story goes that he was traveling in California and heard about the store. When he left, he was outfitted head to toe with a jacket, chaps, pants helmet and boots Fredericks said.
“He said he wanted to take a part of California back to Russia with him.” Paver added “We outfitted him well, I didn’t want him leaving looking like a Raggedy Andy.”
Buckle & Belts has aisles and shelves filled with every motorcycle accessory imaginable. From Jackets, pants, chaps and vests to boots, patches, helmets, hats and gloves. What is not shown or in stock can usually be ordered in a short amount of time.
On a typical Saturday or Sunday, the stores busiest days, Paver can be found sewing patches on leather jackets and vests.
It’s also on the weekends that most of her extended family comes to visit, sitting down to coffee and donuts. Often 30 or more motorcycles fill the parking spots in front of her store. There are days where the bikers fill half of the parking lot.
One of them is a 1991 Goldwing. It was Jim’s. Ironically, Sue never learned to ride the Goldwing. It stayed parked until recently, and at 63 Sue finally got her motorcycle license, and the Goldwing stays parked no longer. She said “I just learned and only ride locally, I don’t get on the freeway as of yet, but maybe someday.
So to all of you bikers out there drop by one day and check out the shop. If it happens to be on the weekend, drop in and have a hot cup of coffee and a donut. Sue and the girls will be glad to help you get what you need.
Buckle & Belts
1007 Calimesa Blvd., Ste. #S
Calmesa, CA 92320:
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Paying the tab
Trying on jackets
Getting fitted for chaps
Shopping for clothing
View from front door right
View from front door left