Happy birthday to all bikers who celebrate in May. Happy birthday to Hannelore Hill in Watsonville, to Andy Lagosh in Sacramento, and to Jan Landers in Fairfield. Happy birthday to Niel Macdonald in Boulder Creek and to George Lucchesi in Santa Cruz. Happy birthday to Barbara “JJ” Wissler in Monterey and to Amy De Nero in Santa Cruz. Happy birthday to Pam Hensley of NorthCoast H.O.G. in Ferndale and to Elly Rampoldi in Modesto H.O.G. Happy birthday to Jim Statham in Spearfish, South Dakota, and happy birthday to Felicia Morgan, a contributing editor with THUNDER PRESS. Happy birthday to celebrity riders Cher, Clint Eastwood, George Clooney and Wynonna… Oh, happy, happy, happy! Those wedding bells are ringing. Yes, indeed. Ron Vonsild and Sheri Smith will be wed this month. Shouts of cheers, congratulations and best wishes to them both. Because they both belong to and work very hard for ABATE Local 17, I suspect they met there. See? One more reason why you should join and get involved in your local ABATE…The Fort Sutter chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America will be hosting a National Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet on June 19–20 at the Dixon Fairgrounds. This is the 15th annual event for the Fort Sutter chapter, and if you love the old bikes, this is the place to be. All bikes must be at least 35 years old to compete. Accommodations at the fairgrounds include camping with showers. For more information on this event or the club, visit www.amcafortsutter.org, or call Jim Moore at 530.622.6531 or Mark Wiebens at 925.288.0174. For more information on the national club, go to www.antiquemotorcycle.org…Norman Greenbaum was riding shotgun in a car driven by Bonita Perea. They were traveling east on a country road near Santa Rosa. Norman’s name may sound familiar to you. He wrote the 1969 rock hit, “Spirit in the Sky.” It has been featured in more than 40–50 movies and TV shows including Apollo 13 and Ocean’s Eleven. Norman said he wrote the words in about 15 minutes, and it became a one-hit wonder that has supported him ever since. As Norman and Bonita traveled eastbound, Ihab Usama Halaweh rode his Suzuki GSX-R600 westbound with Nhmia Mekonnen Kahsay onboard as a passenger. Bonita did not see the bike coming at her, and she made a left turn. The bike T-boned the car and struck the passenger door. Ihab died at the scene. Both Nhmia and Norman were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in critical condition. A hospital spokesman said that Nhmia’s injuries do not appear to be life threatening but his vital signs are unstable and indicators are unfavorable. There is no news of Norman’s condition because the family has requested privacy. Santa Rosa Fire Battalion Chief Jack Piccinini said that Bonita was not physically injured in the crash, but she is very shaken… ABATE Local 17’s Inaugural Tom Watson Memorial Run/27th annual Freeze Your Ass Off Run was a huge success. We certainly did not freeze our asses; it was a beautiful day. It was a day made for riding and being with friends. It was a day for remembering our dear friend, Tom. Everyone in Northern California knew Tom as the owner of Tom’s Cycle Works in Vacaville for 18 years. But Tom was also a USAF veteran and a firefighter for over 29 years. When he died of leukemia, Tom was the commissioner of the Dunnigan Fire Department. Tom loved motorcycles, and he had been a charter member and director of the Napa-Solano H.O.G. chapter and president of ABATE. When the memorial run ended in Winters, we were surprised and pleased to see two of Tom’s motorcycles. There was Tom’s ’86 Softail that started it all and his ’48 Panhead Springer that was born the same year as Tom. There were 182 registered riders, and so many raffle prizes that surely everyone went home with a treasure. Raffle prizes included a 40” LED flat-screen TV and a weekend motorcycle rental from Iron Steed Harley dealership. I know Mary Reynolds went home with a treasure. She won $250 for the poker high hand, and Debbie Owens didn’t do so badly with a $100 prize for the low hand. This was a really nice day…I want to give a couple of long-overdue shout outs. The first one is for Sue Chimerofsky, editor of the Hogwash newsletter for the Modesto H.O.G. chapter. Sue, I thank you for sending me your newsletter each month, and I always look forward to reading it. Thanks! Next is a shout out for Larry Dammon, owner of LD Cycles in Vacaville. While I appreciate you and Manny Sanchez keeping my bike on the road, I truly enjoyed sitting and talking with you at our last encounter on a run. I know what a good guy you are. Finally, I want to shout out for Glenn Phillips, president of ABATE Local 17. I have never seen anyone work as hard or as successfully at a volunteer position. Glenn, you are one in a million, and ABATE owes you big time… How about you? Do you know someone who has earned a shout out? Send me the particulars, and we will work on it together.


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