Waid “Scooter Daddy” Parker
We first met Waid Parker in the 1990s, when he offered Stuart Lanning and I (both former editors of Scootering) the loan of two scooters for a rally in San Francisco. We’d never met him before, but through contacts in the US scooter scene, he offered to help.
This was more than Waid being kind to magazine reporters from overseas. He’d show the same kindness to anyone. I remember him cheerfully handing out business cards, offering to collect any broken down scooter within range of his San Diego home. And, I suspect, sometimes a bit further away than that.
He was affable far beyond what we in Britain consider normal. I once asked him why he was so happy to help others that he barely knew.
His answer was a phrase I heard many times. Simply:
“I get a kick out of it”
For a man of such senior years in our scene – he started riding on a Salsbury scooter in the 1950s – he also had a very cool taste in scooters. Who wouldn’t envy a Malossi-powered Vespa GS with a flame paintjob? Few would expect someone like Waid to build or ride such a tasty machine.
The surprises never stopped. We weren’t the only people on this side of the Atlantic to receive boxes of generous and unexpected gifts at odd times through the year. Scooter snow-globes, clockwork Santas on a scooter. All of these would show up on the doorstep, unannounced.
I guess he just got a kick out of it.
VIDEO: Vespa Motorsport interview Waid Parker
After Waid loaned me another scooter – an Italjet Dragster – for High Rollers rally in Las Vegas 2003, I was finally able to repay the compliment.
Waid and his daughter Jennifer borrowed a Vespa to ride with us to Isle of Wight rally. He dropped the over-loaded scooter in the wet at the end of the road, but he got back on and carried on. By this stage Waid was already in his sixties.
We saw Waid for the final time in London last Christmas with his kids Jennifer and Matt – still travelling and seeing the world.
It was a privilege to know the scooterist Santa from San Diego. Like many scooterists all over the globe I’m proud to say that I could call Waid Parker a friend.
More than that, I got a kick out if it…
As another former editor of Scootering, I too first met Waid when working with Stuart Lanning on the magazine in the 1990s.
Not only did Waid loan us scooters when visiting the USA, but he’d often pick us up from the airport and have already helped us formulate an itinerary of places to go and people to visit within the scooter scene over there. Through Waid, we were all fortunate enough to make plenty of new friends in America.
When Waid first borrowed my Vespa for the Isle of Wight rally here in the UK, I was unable to go myself due to my leg being in plaster. Sticky collected the scooter from my house before heading to the airport to meet Waid and supply him with bikes to ride over the August Bank Holiday.
Waid had not only accepted the favour being returned but also searched for extra scooters so other Americans could experience the enormity of the Isle of Wight on two wheels.
I recall Waid not only being grateful, but being very proud of the fact my battered PX200 had his son Matt’s band sticker on the panels, The Donkey Show!
Along with the numerous scooter related gifts in my possession that Waid kindly sent over the years, I also have plenty of fond memories of the man they called Scooter Daddy. RIP Waid.