Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sometimes A Great Notion

It seems that good byes are getting more common and more difficult as time goes by. Today I learned that the younger of my older sisters passed away...Two months ago. Even with a recent estrangement, I have to say I feel very sad about this. My sister Paddy as she liked to be called was 19 years older than me. By the time I had any memories, she was already married and had two kids of her own. Still, having two sisters that are 19 and 20 years older than you is a lot like having three moms, especially if you are the youngest. I have a lot of fond memories of my sister, but there's one that sticks out in relation to this column. When I was about 5, I remember Paddy had a Yamaha 125. She used to come over and visit my parents house riding it, much to the chagrin of my mom. Paddy always had cool vehicles, like a 1965 442, a Jeep CJ-5 and the Yamaha.  I had always wanted a real motorcycle and when I was 18 I decided to buy one, without anyone's knowledge or consent. Well, I should say I attempted to. There was this blue 1980 Honda CB400T at Freeport Honda that I thought was just the thing. I put a deposit on it and for some reason I told my parents. What ensued can only be described as emasculating and went and got my deposit back. My sister Pat was upset and I remember her telling me that parents have their children's best interests at heart, but it's not always what's best for the child in the long run as how will we learn? She felt bad about what had happened and vowed that if she came into to money, she would buy me a motorcycle. That was never necessary as I bought my first bike some 7 years later anyway. My sister had a lot of spunk and spirit and she will be sorely missed. See you down the road sis.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

End of Day

Outside of my family I can count on one hand the people that have had a great impact or influence on me. In terms of motorcycling, one comes to mind and that is Stan Botway. You can read a little bit about Stan here as I have mentioned him before and I've also mentioned him in an article for the BMWMOA for their My First Bike column of June 2013. I had been thinking of Stan lately as I usually hear from him through email once a month and hadn't heard from him in a few months and decided to email him to see what's up. My heart sank a little when I received a rejection notice that his email address was unknown. I decided to send an email to the plethora of people that he would include on some of his emails, hoping for a quick response. In the meantime, I decided to do a simple Google search and found this. With my fears confirmed, I had wished I hadn't sent an email out asking if his other friends had heard from him. Then the onslaught began. Many of his friends knew he had passed away, but a surprising amount did not. What was more intriguing is the information passed along to me about their friendship with Stan. Some of which paralleled mine and some I had no idea existed. As Paul Harvey would say, "now you know the rest of the story." And I do now.  Stan was a colorful person that's for sure and to a person, no matter their point of view, all agreed he will be missed and he is. He did sort of have one last suggestion if not wish for me. Last year he advised me I should compile this blog into a book. May be I will take him up on it. In the meantime, here's to Stanley Leon Botway, friend. If there is an afterlife, I will see you down the road, if not, it was time well spent. Thank you.

A couple pictures of Stan in his prime:

Looks like the sidecar rig he tried to do a CC run

Classic Stan with BMW suspenders and cigarette in hand

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