It is with a heavy heart that I pass on the news that Juan Majan has died. Juan was a loyal and caring friend. He was born, raised and lived in Santa Cruz. He loved riding his Harley and was a top-notch mechanic. After a distinguished service in the Army in Vietnam, which included a Purple Heart, Juan became the long-time president of the Freedom chapter of the Viet Nam Vets MC. The Vets threw Juan a big-bash birthday party in Callahan’s every year. Juan and I shared a birthday of December 4, and Juan and I shared the heartache of losing a child. Juan lost his son, Johnny, in 1999, and after my daughter died in 2006, he called me. He frequently went to church to light a candle for Johnny, and he promised that from that day, he would also light a candle for Jennifer. Then, Juan suffered a crushing blow with the death of his second son, Terry, in 2008. Juan was my friend, and he will be truly missed… Happy birthday to all bikers who celebrate in December. Happy birthday to Mike Oliverio in Shingle Springs and to my good girlfriend, Colleen Ferrigan in Santa Cruz. Happy birthday to Forrest “Trees” Linderman in Watsonville, to Beth Ubil in Kernville and to Linda Fernandez in Vacaville. Happy birthday to Alice Warren in Santa Cruz, to Nick Yee in Palo Alto and to Duwayne King of the Hot Chocolate Gang in Santa Nella. Happy birthday to Reg Kittrelle, founder of THUNDER PRESS and to Dennis Hinsz in Lovell, Wyoming. Dennis and I share a birthday on the fourth. Dennis, we have lost our other birthday partner, Juan. We need to find a few more December 4 birthday bikers. Happy birthday to celebrity riders John Walsh and Brad Pitt… Well, what do you know! I finally caught up with Forrest “Trees” Linderman. The rumor of his living in Nevada has been greatly exaggerated. Trees and his wife, “E”, still live in Watsonville. He said that they did buy a condo in Reno some 10 years ago, but they don’t live there. They rent it out. The bad news is that “E” is suffering greatly with MS. She gets around with a walker or a wheelchair. Another bit of bad news is that Trees had a heart attack in March. The good news is that he has recovered, and he still rides occasionally. I am still waiting to hear from Gene “Taz” Thompson, or his wife, Peggy. We cannot continue to be the three musketeers when we are missing a musketeer… A while back someone asked me if I knew where Brian “Buzzard” Aylen is. At that time I didn’t know but assumed he is still in the Bay Area. Yep. I located him. Buzzard is living on his boat in Alameda. He moved back to California after hurricane Katrina wrecked his job in the VA Hospital in New Orleans. Buzzard is a professional in prosthetics. So, from New Orleans, he moved to the VA Hospital in San Francisco. After about a year, Buzzard moved to Oroville, and about five years ago, he returned to the Bay Area. Right now, Buzzard is wearing an arm cast and is bandaged for road rash. He and a friend were riding side by side on Interstate 880 when the car in front of them slammed on its brakes. The friend managed to pull right and avoid a crash, but Buzzard clipped the fender as he was trying to get around. The car kept going. Check this out. Buzzard got back on his bike and rode home. He drove his car to the VA Clinic in Oakland where he was put into an ambulance and taken to a hospital. Talk about tough—and lucky! Sure, he broke an arm and got severe road rash, but no cars ran over him, and his helmet saved him from a head injury… Yippee! California Assembly Bill 1932 has been approved by Governor Brown and chaptered by the Secretary of State. This bill allows motorcycle riders to take an approved motorcycle safety training program to keep a violation from affecting their driving record. It becomes effective in January 2017… Heartfelt sympathy is extended to the friends and family of Robert Dam of Milpitas. Robert was killed in Palo Alto on Highway 101 as he was riding his bike. At first, the CHP believed that he was splitting lanes at a high rate of speed when he hit the rear end of a car and lost control. However, further information is indicating that Robert may not have been splitting lanes when he was run over by a truck. Road work has created extremely tight lanes, and traffic was heavily congested. The accident is still under investigation… For several years now, Jack and I have worked the North Bay Stand Down at the Dixon fairgrounds. This is an annual three-day event that brings together hundreds of homeless and needy veterans. The vets are housed in tents, given sleeping bags, warm clothes and fed three meals a day. Many services are provided during their stay. Some services are medical, dental, vision, legal assistance and live band entertainment. As you can imagine, it takes a squadron of volunteers to pull this off. Since motorcycle clubs are frequently in pursuit of charities and purport to honor our veterans, why not show up at a Stand Down? They do not want your money. They want your time. I think there are many vets in attendance who would love to see a bunch of motorcycles parading at the flag raising. Think about it.


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