Happy birthday to all riders who celebrate in July. Happy birthday to an IHR camper-outer, Dave Laakonen, in Eugene, Oregon. Happy birthday to Santa Cruz riders Jeannie Atwater, Wende Fletcher and Theresa Snider. Yeah, Jeannie, I know that you snowbird between Santa Cruz and Palm Springs. So, happy birthday in whichever place you happen to be. Happy birthday to Sammy Kain of Sammy Kain’s Tattooz in Scotts Valley, and happy birthday to Jenny McDonald in Vacaville. Happy birthday to Modesto H.O.G. chapter members Mike Rampoldi and Sue Chimerofsky. Sue, thank you for the monthly newsletter. I always enjoy reading about the Modesto H.O.G. members. Happy birthday to John Holm of the Mt. Diablo H.O.G. chapter, and happy birthday to my friend James “Ole” Olson in Texas. Here is a safe-riding tip that stems from when I used to maneuver my bike to ride behind Ole. Why? Because Ole smoked a pipe when he rode, and the aroma trailing behind him was so sweet. Then one night, I did my usual maneuvering and rode behind Ole as he smoked his pipe. Whoa! The sweet aroma was lit up with a bazillion fiery red hot sparks. Sad to say, I didn’t try to ride behind him after that. Happy birthday to celebrity riders Charlie Brechtel, Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Toby Keith, Harrison Ford and Geraldo Rivera… Join with me in giving Pam Hensley in Ferndale and North Coast H.O.G. chapter a thunderous shout-out. Pam, I received a message from your boyfriend, John Talbot, and he brought me up to date with your news. John said that your hip break/replacement hasn’t healed properly, and that you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s about four years ago. Dang it all. You have been hit really hard. No wonder you don’t choose to ride right now. All of your family, friends, John and I will be pulling for a very successful hip revision surgery for you. Please stay in touch, and let me know how you are doing… OK. So I tried my hand at Texas Hold ’Em again. This was the third time I have played. My first year, I got as far as the winners’ table, but I did not bring home a title. Last year, my second year, I won the damn thing. No one was more surprised than I was. Hot dog! This year, I again made the winners’ table, but I was put out pretty quickly. I got one good hand all night. How about four sevens? It took the pot. Other than that, the gods that govern cards were not smiling on me. But, what the hey. It was a lot of fun. The first-place winner this year was Chris Reynolds. Second place went to Ray Fox, and Wanda Whatley took third. I owe many thanks to Ron Vonsild. Ron organizes and runs the Texas Hold ’Em tournament for ABATE Local 17. Ron introduced me to the game, and I could not ask for a better cheerleader. Many thanks also to Glenn Phillips, president of ABATE Local 17. Glenn is truly remarkable. He is a tireless supporter of motorcycle rights and local fundraisers. The only time I have ever seen him slow down to a hiccup was when he had open heart surgery. God willing and the creeks don’t rise, I will be there again in 2018 to try my luck. Come join us… My heartfelt condolences go to Judy West, owner of Judy’s Wild Wrangler. Judy’s husband, Clay West, died in May, and I am sure it has left her spinning. Clay was a good-looking cowboy. He was a retired bull rider, and I was told that he was also a retired law enforcement officer. Please go by and patronize the Wild Wrangler. It is located right off of Interstate 505 at the Midway off ramp just west of Vacaville… I abhor vandalism and graffiti, but every so often and in selected places, it would be un-American not to leave your mark. I was just a little kid on a trip with my parents and aunt. My mother and my aunt were all a-twitter at a road stop because someone had written “Kilroy was here” on a rock. It was many years later before I felt called upon to express myself by contributing to this sort of culture. It was at the Cadillac Ranch on Interstate 40 just west of Amarillo, Texas. Yep. I painted my name on one of the cars. It is gone by now because the owners repaint the cars every so often. Of course, the new paint simply supplies a fresh canvas for taggers. Then there was the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, New Mexico. Joelene Downey and I were on a road trip when we stopped at this bridge. I think the original color was white, but it was hard to tell for all of the names scratched into the paint. There were names and locations from all over the world and in many different languages. Joelene and I had to lie flat on the bridge to find a spot near the bottom of a support rail that left enough room for us to scratch out our names and locations. The bridge was refitted a few years ago so I cannot swear our names are still there. Hey, Joelene, we are going to have to make another trip back to New Mexico!


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