I’d like to open this month’s commentary on a personal note. It’s been two years since my accident and I am still amazed when some of you drop me an e-mail from time to time to ask how I’m doing. This kind of thing touches me deeply and just reinforces the fact that there are good, kind people still in this troubled world. I am doing pretty well—some days are better than others—but isn’t that always the case? I am able to ride again and have been since 11 months, two weeks and six days after the accident (but who was counting?). I don’t ride as hard as I used to and I still can’t ride at night due to the nerve damage to the right side of my face and eye, but I am able to ride just the same. I will be making another trek to California in early October to the amazing medical team who did my surgery last November. That portion of the repair seems to have been successful, so we are moving on with the next step in my reconstruction. I’m just a work in progress in more ways than one… But enough about me; let me tell you what we’ve been doing here. The weekend of July 21 was a busy one and I wasn’t quite sure which way to point the handlebars on my Deluxe. Over in Seminole County at the Shovelhead Lounge, Dok Spatz held a Mystery Ride in honor of his own birthday. Riders contributed a few bucks at sign-up and then everyone got to share in the fun at the end when all the funds raised went to pay the tab for the adult beverages… On Saturday, July 28, the Chrome Angels of Central Florida invited the local riding community to cool off and have some fun at their annual summer luau. This year it was appropriately called the Wet & Wacky Run, since the game at each stop involved water. Back at the clubhouse, the fun jumped up a notch or two when the squirt guns and water cannons were loaded with ice water (a little shocking for some). In addition to the raffles, 50/50 drawing, food and music, there were also some other adult games on the agenda. The winner of the best-dressed male was our friend Crash, who always supports us and has the manly courage to show up in pink underwear, a grass skirt and boots. All I can say is that some sights just can’t be conveyed completely in the written word. Proceeds from the event will go to support women’s and children’s charities in the area… But our event wasn’t the only luau in the area, with Gator Harley-Davidson in Leesburg hosting their annual celebration with grass skirts and poi that same weekend. On Saturday the popular Bobby Friss Band lit up the stage, while on Sunday HayFire was the draw. Of course, there was the typical tattoo contest, as well as a hula and bikini contest with prizes and gifts for the winners… Over in Ormond Beach, a popular law firm, Rue & Ziffra, sponsored an evening Back to School Run to benefit foster children in Putnam, Volusia and Flagler Counties. The ride started in their parking lot with kickstands up at 6:00 and ended at the First Turn Lounge south of town with a popular band called the Chris Hiatt Experience providing the entertainment. Proceeds from the day went to the Children’s Home Society of Florida… In June of this year, 8-year-old Jessie Medrano was diagnosed with leukemia. So the folks down in Clearwater at Quaker Steak & Lube joined forces with others in the area to do a benefit for her on August 4 to help with the cost of a much-needed bone marrow transplant. The band Out of Control provided the musical excitement for the event and riders who bought the flyer with them received a discount off the food and drinks for the day. The proceeds from the discount were then donated to little Jessie… I decided to head toward the Kissimmee area that day and catch up with a benefit for Sandy Lane, a popular local bartender who works at Roscoe’s Bar & Package Store. Seems Sandy is having a second bout with some female-type cancer and needed some help. Her friends and customers set out to help out and put a little ride together for her. We got a late start after church and missed the registration at the bar, so my friend and I decided to catch up with everyone at the second stop at the Cracker House in St. Cloud. No luck there, either; the pack had just left. At that point the hunger pains won and we opted for lunch at a little place called The Rodeo Diner and then headed on to the end back at Roscoe’s for the party. Sandy’s friends did her well. There was a good turnout and the place was filing up fast as we noticed the storm clouds were looking pretty ugly and it was time to point the Harley handlebars toward home… Larry Miller is a very well liked individual. So much so, that his friends felt compelled to put together a poker run to raise money for him. It seems Larry’s heredity is working against him and causing him to have liver problems, so on August 19, the Crazy Gator in Eustis was the registration site for a benefit dedicated to him. After leaving the parking lot, riders headed to some other local gathering spots (The Corner Pub, Gator Bay Marina, The Shamrock, and Gator Harley) before ending up at Buzzard Beach for a $10 steak dinner with all the fixin’s. Half of the money raised from the meal was donated to Larry, as well. That’s it for now from the Sunshine State. Take care and God bless.



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