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Chewin’ the Fat Boy: June, 2012

By Susan Swan

Easton, Washington, is just a stone’s throw from Cle Elum, and close to the first lake I ever enjoyed waterskiing on as a kid off Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass in the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. It’s here on June 14–17, at Silver Ridge Ranch, where ABATE of Washington will again hold the state spring opener, calling it “Party in the Woods.” The gate opens at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday and the ranch features camping areas, a lodge, rooms for hire, RV sites and it’s a pretty down-to-earth place—major bonus to be just a hop over the hill from Seattle’s population too. The ranch hosts a lot of charity events, many with equestrian and family focus. This is not the first year in this location and the ranch staff easily made the leap to iron horses. Enjoy bike games, a bike show, live music and vendors. Fires are allowed in designated pits, and they’re understandably firm on this point. Tickets are $35 at the gate for members, and $5 more for non-members. No one under 21, only service animals allowed and putting a best motorcycle foot forward will keep this location viable in the future. Contact Lyle at lacoy@live.com with general questions, abate.treasurer@comcast.net about camping, and vendor questions should be sent to jamesgeorge5@comcast.net. Oh, then there’s always the phone, 253.475.4944… A few months ago Diane Gouin wrote in with a guess for the Where am I? game. I’d met her before, but this was our first e-mail exchange. Her guess for the game was correct, but she failed to hit the magic number (fifth correct answer) and yet, we began a string of e-mails. She dropped the name of a fellow we both know, which broke even more ice and then I asked her how she got into the patch business. You see, she’s Patch Lady; a Bikers Fighting Cancer member from North Sound and Washington ABATE #17152 member. Diane had stories of patches and people and laced every stitch of our conversation with humor such as, “Sometimes I feel like a therapist, because of the candid conversations that occur as folks wait while the work is undertaken.” Diane’s been married for 27 years to Dick, explaining “who I kidnapped from the Duvall Tavern and couldn’t find anyone to pay the ransom, so I had to keep him.” In ’76 she was a quarter shy of a teaching degree from Eastern in Cheney when she was diagnosed with MS. Because she can’t work a regular job anymore, she supplements her disability income by making and sewing patches. You’ve all seen Diane the Patch Lady before, but knowing about her ambition and resilience in the face of challenge is such a compelling example that I couldn’t imagine others being any less impressed. She now has six sewing machines and uses her car boot or sidecar to stow the machine she takes on the road. And my, she has stories to share—no secrets or confidences compromised, but the colorful stuff of a life lived. She’s pretty funny and will tell you she’s not real sure but thinks patch sewing is a calling revealed after a vision in July 2002. Then she’ll as quickly admit the epiphany came while on pain pills for a broken arm. Was it the Messiah or McKesson? Stop by her booth when you go to events in the Northwest. Ask her about the patch she made for the Jack Russell terrier. That’s a story best told in person… Highway 101 Harley-Davidson of Coos Bay is having its 12th annual Lighthouse Run July 29–30. This is a ride I’d really like to take, full of the illustrious history of the lighthouses on the Oregon coast. There will be wonderful photo opportunities, a great ride, normal poker run bells and whistles, entertainment (comedy) and some good folks too; all inclined to give a hoot about historical structures. My being the executive director of a 100-year-old school-turned-theatre, the lighthouse ride is a putt that would make my cultural heritage-lovin’ heart sing. The ticket isn’t inexpensive at $70, but it includes normal stuff (ride pin, T-shirt, etc.), a great dinner and the comedy show. Heck, we’ve all spent more money than that on ventures of a lesser merit, right? If you have questions call 544.266.7051 and you can look up the details online at www.highway101hd.com/default.asp?page=lighthouse… June 22–24 Lake Selmac, Oregon, will be hosting the 19th Iron Horse. Last time I went, sadly, was ’96. Debbie Macdonald from THUNDER PRESS was there, up from Scotts Valley. That was my first solo trip far from home on the Fat Boy, singing to stay awake on the last 200 miles of the trip. What a fine time, and a beautiful spot too at Lake Selmac. The 2012 event raises money for the Downs Syndrome of Southern Oregon. Music will be provided by Blind Lion and The Hog Wild Band. Organizers are hoping to take it back to the beginning and invite kids, camping, fishing and swimming. Pre-registration is recommended and cost is $35. Questions? E-mail ironhorserun@hotmail.com, or phone 541.951.4766…


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