Happy birthday to all Harley riders who celebrate in February. Happy birthday to IHR member Sandi Long in Pocatello, Idaho. In Santa Cruz, happy birthday to Mike Golden, Dennis Heekin and Walt Nagle; in the Iron Steed H.O.G. chapter; Keri Clements, Dodie Dillon and Bobbie Jo Hurst; to Linda and Ernie Vasquez in Coarsegold; to Cathy Cook and Frank Calabro in San Jose; to members of the Hot Chocolate Gang Arnold Cain, Wayne Harrison and Dave Heppner; to Diana Rohrer in Sacramento, Jim Snawder of the Viet Nam Vets MC; to Jamestown H-D Co-Manager Allen Aldridge; to Kathy Statham in Spearfish, South Dakota; and to celebrity riders John Travolta and Peter Fonda. A special happy birthday to my honey, Jack Munoz… Well, Jay Westbrook, owner of Sacramento Harley-Davidson is resting a little better these days. A little more than two years ago, Judy Wilson and her husband wrecked their Harley on Highway 99. It happened when traffic stopped short; he hit the brakes and laid the 2008 Road Glide into a slide. Judy suffered a disabling brain injury and they sued Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Sacramento H-D. They claimed an icon on the bike indicated anti-lock brakes, and that their Sacramento H-D salesman said they were anti-lock. A Sacramento Superior Court jury found for all defendants. But check this out; Judy had turned down a $900,000 settlement because it was not enough… Many thanks to Greg Lindsey from Portland. Greg called to give me the website for the heat shields I have been looking for. I have been trying to find a heat shield to match my Heritage leather and to protect my thighs in slow traffic. Greg’s website turned out to be the same as the one given me by Pop and Prof from the Viet Nam Vets MC. I have already ordered the shields, and I will let you know how I like them. I appreciate the help from all of you. We have to say goodbye to Greg. He had to resign as the H.O.G. director and relocate to Louisiana to care for his grandchild while his daughter is deployed. Greg, we will all keep your daughter in our thoughts and wish her a safe return… Last month, I told you about Colleen Ferrigan in Santa Cruz who is giving up riding. Now hold onto your hats! You won’t believe who else has put their Harleys in dry dock. Forrest Linderman and Gene Thompson, better known as Trees and Taz! I first heard the news from Trees when he said, “Hey Kadie-Did! I was just reading THUNDER PRESS  and, as always, thought of our rides together. I miss those. I miss all my Heritage Softail Classics too! But, alas, those are to be no more. Last July, on a ride, it was kinda like Forrest Gump running. I realized I had been cheating the Grim Reaper for 54 years on two wheels. However, now I could feel him snappin’ at my ass at every turn. Damn. Time to hang up my spurs, so to speak. Never one to procrastinate, when I got home I put the bike up on Craigslist. I sold it right off and then sold all my riding gear, equipment and parts collected over the years. As it all disappeared, I felt a weight lifting off of me. Anyway I think everyone has to decide when it is “time” for them to do it. It was time for me; your mileage may vary. After all this was done, I also sold my pickup and then ordered myself a 2012 Jeep Wrangler. Now I take the same rides I used to take on my scooters, open the windows, put my ears back and yell out the window… Yeeeee Haaaaa!” You must know Trees and Taz are best friends, so when Taz found out that Trees told me about the end of his riding days, Taz thought he had better fess up. “Yo… Ka-Ka-Ka Katy!” Taz said, “I better tell you that I, too, have hung up my riding boots, gloves and chaps. It was a decision I reluctantly had to make. I knew this time would come someday, but damn, not quite this soon. My brain still works. I have all my teeth, no broken bones and no skin grafts. Life is good. Just last week I finally got the last of the bugs out of my teeth. I sold my bike about six weeks ago. Seems only yesterday that I was riding with the Santa Cruz H.O.G. group (where I met you). I rode with them for about seven years. Those seven years were the most riding fun I had in the 35 years that I rode. What a great bunch of people. I still miss that motley crew. Like Trees, I bought a four-wheel cage to play around with. Mine is a come-catch-me red 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Do the females follow me around begging for a ride, you ask? Just yesterday I had to beat two women back with a big stick. Don’t tell Peggy [his wife] though. OK? Yes, Trees and I are still hangin’ out together. I’ve tried everything I can think of to get rid of him. Nothing works. I’m currently taking applications for a new friend. So far no takers.” Folks, between them, there are many years of experiences, fun and tall tales. Taz has even written a poem about it. Stay tuned; I will be telling stories on them next month. I cannot think of a soul who did not feel privileged to ride with these two guys so let’s all take a moment of silence.


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