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Mile Marker: August, 2013

By Fred Nabkey


I am just a tad miffed that THUNDER PRESS Editor-in-Chief Terry Roorda didn’t send me to Rome to cover the Pope’s blessing of the bikes, as I think I would have done a fairly decent job; even with a little wine buzz. Still, it would have been nice to get the old scoot blessed by the Pope. Maybe he would have let me ride one of his new ones and we could ride off into the Seven Hills together… Congratulations to the organizers of the 25th annual Indiana State H.O.G. Rally held in Terre Haute (for the third time) this year. The weekend event culminated with games in the parking lot of the Zorah Shrine (Shriner’s Temple) where, according to Stan Hawthorne, H.O.G. rally coordinator, they raised over $4,700 for the Shriners’ yearly events to help support their children’s hospitals… In Milwaukee a guy parked his Harley outside the Mad Dog Saloon on 76th St. and when he came out somebody had stripped parts off his ride. He got a little nosey and started looking around and saw his air cleaner, both mirrors and his blinkers in the back of a Ford Mustang parked in the lot. The police were called and they arrested Aaron Kuhnke, 29. He faces $10,000 in fines and nine months in the slammer. Plus, when he gets out he has to deal with his two buddies who he ratted out. Don’t touch another man’s Harley… Dan Dixon from the Niagara Falls area won the 2011 Harley Street Bob that was raffled off by the St. Lawrence County Chrome Divas. The raffle was held in conjunction with their 2013 Have a Heart Ride (to help combat heart disease) in May. If you don’t know about the Chrome Divas, they are a ladies-only motorcycle organization founded in Tallahassee, Florida, in 2002. They stress that they are not an MC, and there are over 45 existing chapters located throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia… I guess you could call it a Super Moon. Officer Brandon Sparks of the Chickasha, Oklahoma, Police Department received a call to investigate a guy driving nude on his motorcycle down a main street in town. When Sparks pulled over the driver, Billy Buckley, he got off the motorcycle with a shoe—a shoe—covering his genitals and asked the officer for clothes stating that someone had taken his. On further investigation it was uncovered that Billy-Boy had a $50 bet with some of the boys to ride through town in the buff. He was charged with openly outrageous public decency and displaying behavior injurious to public morals… Almost 500 motorcycles took part in the 11th annual Ryan Consolver Memorial Run from the St. Joseph, Missouri, Harley-Davidson store. Ryan died in an accident when he was 24 years old, and his mother Janis organizes the run in his memory to help raise money for college scholarships in the construction trade. Since its start, more than $100,000 has been raised for more than 100 students wanting to get started in the construction business… Mat Ratliff is the new owner of Lawton’s Harley-Davidson in Lawton, Oklahoma. Mat has changed the name to Wind River Harley-Davidson. The last two owners were from out of town and Mat has been trying to buy it for more than two years. He felt a local owner would make a big impact, and I think it does, too. Improvements have been made to the service area that he feels will bring buyers back to the shop, as well as vacationers trusting his shop as the place to stop. Congrats, Mat… Folks, you just can’t fix stupid. James Francis of Mason City, Iowa, was out with his 6-year-old son Jonas taking a little ride when he crashed into a ditch near Rock Falls in northern Iowa. What, you say? Try this on for size! The son was taken to the hospital for injuries and he should be alright. Dad was charged with third-offense drunk driving, child endangerment, failure to maintain control, no insurance, no ignition interlock, violation of a restricted license and driving while suspended. I am just a little curious, brothers and sisters; where was Mom when all this was going on?… The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial in Madison held its 23rd annual Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony on May 8, and among the five officers added to the memorial were three motorcycle officers. Inducted were Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputies Frank Heup whose motorcycle crashed into a horse-drawn buggy in 1915 during a pursuit, George Pazik who crashed into a street car in 1917 during another pursuit, and Sergio Alema who crashed into a wrecker in 2012… Josie Snider-Basalla of Zanesville, Ohio, finished her bucket list one day before her 92nd birthday. Dressed in black boots, a Harley T-shirt and belt, and the first pair of blue jeans she had ever owned or wore, she took a ride on the 2000 Fat Boy piloted by her youngest son, Jerry Snider, around the block of the VFW Post 1058. Along in the pack were Josie’s grandson Lance Lawson, great-grandson Seth Brock, and granddaughter Lynne Brosie and her husband Rick. I bet she looked sharp. Way to go, Josie… Please be safe out there. I keep saying it, but you have to drive like they are all trying to kill you. I like to write about fun and funny stuff, folks — not obituaries… That’s it for this month. It’s all about you, the Midwest biker. Ride fast, but ride safe.


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