Oh, boy; do I ever have mixed emotions about this. After 19 years Tom Watson has sold his shop, Tom’s Cycle Works on Union Way in Vacaville. Tom was one of the most sought-after Harley mechanics in Northern California. Folks new to the area were told by friends to take their Harleys to Tom—“if you can get in.” Yes, he was always that busy. He said, “In my 19 years at that shop, I made a lot of people happy.” No kidding! Solano County is really going to miss him. But, you know, the thing I liked about going to Tom’s was the conversation. Tom has been around a while, and we had a lot of friends and experiences in common. When asked why he sold, Tom said there were a couple of reasons. He has a serious blood disease that is not leukemia, but is very similar. Doctors can’t cure it, but they can slow it down, and Tom says as long as the chemo he is on keeps working, he feels pretty good. Also, Tom was simply ready to retire. He has an acre in Dunnigan and likes working on his house, as well as the new mother-in-law house out back. Tom’s wife, Connie, will retire the end of July and they plan to load up the toy hauler and travel a bit. One of their favorite places to go is the beach down south. So, yeah, I am happy for Tom that everything is working out so well for him, but on the other hand, I am going to miss him. At least Tom is not going to get completely lost to us. He will continue to live in the area and we can see him at ABATE #17 meetings and events… Sincere condolences go to the friends and family of Ray Nowakowski. Ray died in late June in a boating accident on the Delta in San Joaquin County. Ray was president and a longtime board member of the California Motorcycle Dealers Association. You may remember him as owner of the now-closed Golden Gate Cycles in San Francisco. He will be sorely missed… Happy birthday to all Harley riders who celebrate in August. Happy birthday to IHR members Patty Brassfield in Los Gatos and David Kinchloe in Wilderville, Oregon. In Santa Cruz, happy birthday to Paul Fletcher, Bob Warren and Angel Kraten. Happy birthday to Mike Landers, Rich McDonald and Frank Lukachinsky in Iron Steed H.O.G. Happy birthday to girlfriend Debbie Macdonald in Boulder Creek and to “LoDown” Dan Parker, my former bureau chief. Happy birthday to Richard Barton of the Hot Chocolate Gang in Santa Nella, to Erin Simmons of the Hangtown Motorcycle Riders in Placerville, to Pat Pine of the Redwood Empire H.O.G. in Chico and to Pat’s stepson, Travis Lorenzo, who is turning 17. A really special happy birthday to that lady I cannot do without, Cristy Pazera, THUNDER PRESS associate editor and to Kyle Dalton, managing partner of Monterey Bay Harley-Davidson. Another very special happy birthday goes to John Galvin, our THUNDER PRESS managing editor in Minnesota… Hey, Joelene Downey! Yes, you up there in Oregon. Congratulations on your retirement, but we should have had a party before you took off, don’t you think? I have to let you know that I was talking with Frank and Kathy Lukachinsky a couple of days ago. Kathy said to tell you that she bought your Heritage and she loves it. How are you doing on your new Harley trike? Stay in touch!… Don’t forget to sign up for the Jamestown Topaz Run. It is a whole weekend of fun and riding. Leave Jamestown Harley-Davidson on August 10 for a ride over Sonora Pass to Topaz, followed by a poker run on August 11. Rooms are blocked at the Topaz Lodge and the Best Western. For more information, look up Jamestown H-D or give co-manager Karen Aldridge a call at 209.984.4888… Wouldn’t you know! Gossip sometimes gets ahead of reality. I recently saw Linda Taylor from Fairfield, and she said my congratulations on her marriage to Gary Darville were a bit premature. Yes, they are still a happy couple, but no nuptials. Still, I got to help Linda celebrate her 60th birthday and her retirement with one really fun party… We were all sad to hear of the death of John Lehman in January. John was the founder and director of Lehman Trikes, Inc. in Spearfish, South Dakota, and he was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame several years ago. After his death, the company was forced to suspend operations, but it is now up and running again. Craig Larrojo, CEO of Champion Investments and Champion Trikes of South Dakota, announced that Champion has acquired Lehman and they will continue to do business as Lehman Trikes USA



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