MECHANICSBURG, Ohio - It's something you have to see to believe: an Ohio man is buried in a see-through casket seated atop his most prized possession: his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Bill Standley was no ordinary man. He left home at 13 to work cattle ranches out west, eventually traveling to 49 of the 50 states. He settled down long enough to raise a family, but his passion for the road never left him.
His daughter says that's why his 1967 Harley meant so much to him.
"Freedom. He could go anywhere on that bike he wanted to. My dad was a man who had the wanderlust," said Brown.
It was 18 years ago, while joking about who would get his prized possession, when an idea intended as a joke took root.
"He said what am I supposed to do, I've got two sons, only got one bike. My sister just off-handedly said oh dad just be buried with it," said Brown. "I think it was about two weeks after that that it really hit him, what a great idea. And we all just like, 'Dad!' And he goes, 'No that's how I'm going out!' We all still thought he was kidding. 18 years later, guess what."
Work to make Bill's final wish a reality began six years ago. He and his sons built the plexiglass casket that would hold him and his Harley, and he bought three burial plots next to his wife.
Mourners gathered in Mechanicsburg and gazed at a man where he was happiest.
"Obviously he did it his way, didn't he?" said friend Doug Burns.
Bill Standley as he wanted to be remembered, and be buried: on his beloved Harley.
"When you give somebody their last wishes, why be sad?" said friend Donna Laird.
His friends and family joining him for one, final ride. A remarkable sight, an extraordinary send-off.
"That's the true easy rider, right there. That guy right there," said friend Lee Cantrell.
"They placed a wreath upon his door. Soon they'll carry him away," said
Odd but fitting, offbeat but heartfelt, and his family says just how bill would have wanted it.
"If we had ever asked dad anything in his lifetime, something special, dad would do his best to do it for us. So this is all we could do for him," said Brown. "Some people walk through the pearly gates, some people ride," said