Mar/Apr

Bike Week & Bike Show

The drive back to Mpls from Daytona Bike Week felt like and endless highway; but after two 13 hour dats and one 7 hour day, I arrived. But not before a necessary nap on the south side of the city.

It began with in route visits with Launie and AJ, my neighbor from school days and her husband, in GA. Then to Tampa to meet up with Doc, Bao Anh, and Chloe (I met Doc and Bao Anh for the first time in Dong Hoi, Vietnam, on their wedding day, 2009!) Great to see them again, and they have a special place in my book.

On my first days in Daytona I met up with Billy and Kelley, friends from Maine, who are also in my story; Chapter 16, 2013. Great to catch up with them and their friends.

After a couple days of 80+ degrees, a cold front soaked and slowed things a bit. Yet, if it’s built, the people will come, and he crowds kept a steady pace at Destination Daytona, home to Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley Davidson, who invited me down for a book signing.

Tales were told from both sides of my display table at the top of the escalators. My thanks to all I signed books for. And, I hold everyone to their word who said they will order one!

Jim Benedict, a Vietnam Veteran who bought the book, stopped back a day or two later to watch a half hour of slide show. He’d read 50 pages already and asked if I’d sold a million copies yet. “Not yet”, I said, “but with your help I should”. He had already spread the word. Thanks Jim.

On a wild night at the Broken Spoke I had introductions and invitations for a magazine article and radio interview; more on those later.

After more rest back in Mpls, I set up for a book signing at the Donnie Smith Bike Show in St. Paul. Motorcycle creations graced the showroom, and tons of parts exchanged hands at the swap meet, more mind-blowing hot rods parked upstairs, and a tattoo show was added this year. Thanks again to all I signed books for; and to all who stopped by with comments after their read, thank you, too. To those who said they’ll order it, I hold you to your words, too!

I’m thinking about some graphics on the Fat Boy and putting it in the bike shows next year; more on that later, toooo!

On the schedule for Harley Tracks are presentations at Blaine HD Open House and the Otsego Senior center.

April 30: My departure for the NVAR; my 5th ride. Before I meet my NVAR Brothers and Sisters in Auburn CA, I’ll visit friends and family in SD, ID, OR, and CA. (Check out the NVAR link on this page, and rftw.com for info on a similar, and much larger ride. Until you’ve been on one of these rides, you can’t imagine the honor and fulfillment from meeting veterans in homes and hospitals across America. These are rides everyone should take, at least once. ) I switched to an S&S air filter with a new MAP programed = 71 hp at 82 ft. lbs. torque. New tires are mounted, and after 90,000 miles I’ll have new shocks for comfortable tracks in the spirit of freedom.

Check out the Readers Comment page.

Thank you & Never Forget.

First Season of ’17

Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, became the first casualty on President Trump’s watch; keep him, and all before him—not forgotten—pray their sacrifices are not in vain.

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Harley Tracks rolls into 2017, with events big and small planned into 2018.

Mar. 10 – 19: Bike Week, Daytona FL. I’ll go to Tampa first to spend a couple days with Doc and Bao Anh. I met them on their wedding day in Dong Hoi, while I was on my first road trip in Vietnam. They have a big part in Chapter 2 of Harley Tracks.  Then I’ll be signing books on the 2nd level of Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson. The temperatures are already in the 80’s down there.  The last time I tried getting to Daytona was  1990, but my Panhead failed in-route on a cold and rainy day. Like I say about going to Sturgis, I’ll haul mine to Bike Week, but, I rode it across Vietnam!

Mar. 25 & 26: The Donnie Smith Bike Show, St. Paul MN. I’ll be at the In Country Veterans Motorcycle Club (ICVMC) booth in the back left corner on the showroom floor. Donnie’s changed things a bit with entertainment, and added tattoo artists to go with the bike show, swap meet, vendors, and the hot rod show.

Apr. 10, 2 p.m.: Otsego MN Prairie Center, Presentation & Slide Show

Apr. 22: The Spring Flood Run. The weather ought to be great for a run along the St. Croix River, with a lot going on at every watering hole beside it. I’ll look forward to sharing stories and signing lots of books at the Naughty Hawg, if I can get in.

Late April to Memorial Day: The NVAR, the ride I look forward to each year. I’ve got reservations from Sacramento to Washington D.C. But first, I have to get there. I’ll leave Mpls for trails across SD, WY, ID, OR to camp and stay with friends and family before I meet up with my NVAR family in Auburn CA. Check out the NVAR link beside this Home Page, and check out photos on previous NVAR blogs in my archives. Whether it’s the NVAR or the Run to The Wall, everybody should make that ride at least once.

June: I’ll find someplace, or do a lot of riding.

July 8: The Patriot Ride, Anoka Airport. This year they make a special recognition to Vietnam Veterans.

August: Sturgis, of course.

September: Labor Day HOG National Rally, Milwaukee, WI.

Sept. The Kokomo Vietnam Veterans Reunion. Many from my NVAR family have been going there for years, and it’s great to join them, and a great party.

Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan 2018: Likely to be more added, with a potential stage presentations on the Progressive International Motorcycle Show. Check back.

I’ll post here and on Harley Tracks Facebook, before the NVAR.

In the meantime, for all you northern riders, use caution on your first rides,. For all you Aussies, me thinks the most of you’s can ride all year, in a bit of a chill, perhaps.

Harley Tracks Facebook: Check out more photos, and give it a LIKE.

Harley Tracks is now available in an E-Book, from Amazon.com, bn.com, and kobo.

Thank you & Never Forget

Photos:

Our fallen SEAL, Ryan.

Don, Vietnam Vet who bought 2 Harley Tracks at my B&N book signing

Scenes from the International Motorcycle Show

One of my all time greats from the Far Side. No matter how many times I look at it–I laugh!

December 2016

If it’s cold enough, and it is, it should snow. That would rub out the temptation to ride.

I have no excuse for late posts to social media, I’m just not strongly into it, but I eventually get to my home page.  I’ve been busy with Harley Tracks at book signings and presentations; spent the week before Veterans Day at the Branson MO All Veterans Reunion. The town does a great job of recognition to vets. At the Veterans Village, I had the honor to meet Claire Starnes, author of Women Vietnam Veterans: Our Untold Stories. Men dominated the numbers of those who served in Vietnam, but the women who served as other than nurses deserve an equal recognition, also, and a big Welcome Home.  The names of eight women are on The Wall. Thank you Claire for sharing the story.

I left Branson late morning on Nov. 11, because I had a phone interview with Tom Barnard on KQRS radio in Mpls., then I stopped someplace in Iowa for another interview with a station in Denver. Then, on an empty stretch of Iowa interstate, I answered a call from a veteran who bought Harley Tracks at the Vietnam Veterans Reunion in Kokomo IN, in Sept. I enjoyed a long chat with the hands free phone system in my truck. And, last week, another veteran who bought Harley Tracks in Branson called to chat. A couple of fast readers there, and last Monday, I got a long email from a woman whose comments sent me back onto my ride.

As I rode in faith, I wrote in faith, and I’m humbled by every comment; but its those I rode for, and their brothers who came home, who deserve a greater recognition.

Speaking of Kokomo: I had the honor of meeting Sammy L. Davis and his wife, Dixie, there. Sammy earned the Congressional Medal of Honor in Vietnam and wrote a book about it, You Don’t Lose ‘Till You Quit Trying. A fantastic story about courage and the virtuous nature it came from. Two outstanding emotions from it were; sorrow, for those he lost, and pride–pride for Sammy, all he believed in, his service then, and his continued service. Sammy spoke from the stage at Kokomo to share the experience of his return to Vietnam in June, and urged any veterans who thought about a return–to do it. Sammy, also, humbled me with praise for Harley Tracks.

There have been signings and presentation since early Nov, too. On Black Friday, Tom Giannetti and his family at St. Paul H-D welcomed me with a great reception and an invitation to return for their Open House Dec. 10.

Also, to get the Fat Boy ready for the NVAR next April, which is my annual ride from Mpls MN to Sacramento CA to Washington D.C., via SD, WY, ID, & OR to visit friends, I put a new clutch in the starter. I’m proud to say that with 88,000 miles on the Fat Boy, it has never broken down. Good on H-D, and of course, a little preventative maintenance.

Other signings and presentations that reach into 2017:

Dec. 13 at Hopkins Senior Center

Dec. 20 at B & N Edina Galleria

Jan. 7 Tribute to the Troops Meet & Greet at Rockie Lynnes concert in St. Michael

Jan. 21 at Roseville B & N

Hope to see you at one place or the other, & please check back for more.

Wish you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Never Forget – those who aren’t here to enjoy the holidays, and their families.

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Harley Tracks covered a lot of miles in 2016. I wish my Fat Boy would have logged as many! Summer blasted past, but memories remain. I was humbled by comments from many readers I met on my return to venues I attended in 2015. Those who gave all–are not forgotten–with a story like no other.

However, the year is not over. I have a busy schedule in they final 10 weeks, and invitations continue to come in. Besides personal presentations, I connect with groups via a Zoom program over the internet. Pretty cool! I enjoy the audience’s curiosity with questions and chats that extend my 40 minute presentation up to two hours.

Great news this morning with an invitation from KQRS for a chat with Tom Barnard on his morning show at 8 am, Nov. 11, (Veterans Day). It will be a phone interview because I’ll be at the All Veterans Reunion in Branson MO. More good news: Because Harley Tracks is now available through Barnes & Noble, I have a book signing at the Maple Grove store on Oct. 29. I’m a small guy with a big story, and hope for a hometown preference for a stage presentation at the Minneapolis International Motorcycle Show in Feb. 2017.

Harley Tracks is also available now from Amazon.com, and an e-book is in the works. Except for the e-book, your cost is about the same, shipping and handling charges vary among my site, Amazon, and B&N, and my take from Amazon, and especially B&N is less. Keep in mind, the more I sell from this site, the more I’ll have to share with veteran’s and civic causes, as those I rode for would be happy about.

I’ve posted a few photos from recent travels, and there’s more at Harley Tracks Facebook, just click on link, (posted on the Home Page), and CLICK on LIKE.

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At Kokomo with my NVAR Bro Patrick

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Kokomo: Headdog leading by example, and Bootlegger with the salute!

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Kokomo: Me & Dan with his Harley Tracks

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Kokomo: My honor to meet Sammy L. Davis, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, and his wife, Dixie. He loved Harley Tracks, and I’m reading my signed copy of his story, “You Don’t Lose “Till You Quit Trying”; an amazing story of courage, although, he says he was just doing his job.

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SD Vietnam Memorial 10th Anniversary, Pierre SD

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Pond side of the SD Veterans Memorial

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I rode with a Bob in his 1959 Pontiac Bonneville.

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Met this guy at my stop for breakfast on the way home from SD. 1928 Ford, a barn find that had been sitting on blocks for 30 years. All things considered, it’s in immaculate shape. Price: $5,000

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Memorial at a country cemetery; a peaceful setting.

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The Great Pumpkin Patch in Minnesota, from which the Great Pumpkin will rise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STURGIS 2016

Like last year, I left Mpls MN, for Sturgis, on a Sunday afternoon–after my annual four day weekend at a lake in up north with my brothers. Ya! We visited our last uncle, Lambert, in Grand Rapids, and then enjoyed the 2nd Amendment at a gravel pit; and that’s all I’ll say about that weekend. What happens at the lake, ya know, stays at the lake. Ya!

Long live the Sturgis Rally.

The faithful came. Vendors, and those with services of all kinds, could, and should not have expected a resemblance of last year’s record crowd. (Maybe they’ll find a little humility in that and cut the gouging on prices?) But fear not; more will return in the coming years to keep the flame burning for riders yet to be conceived. Thankfully, fatalities were down, and those who got landed on by an Indian motorcycle launched off a stage at the Buffalo Chip were released from hospitals within days. That noted, Harley Tracks book signings were proportionally better than last year, and I was pleased to hear praise from many who have read it.

Contrary to what some think from the title, it is not a war story. I’m not a combat veteran or a historian. I’m just a guy who likes to ride and saw opportunities that had to be taken. What began as a joy ride evolved into a ride with a playful vengeance. Please check out the About page and readers comments in a drop-down on the Buy the Book page.

Thank you to all who bought Harley Tracks, those who will order it, and the many who shared stories with me. Thanks, also, to Pete and Dave at KNKL Radio and the crew at News Center 1 for the air time.

My drive home had a side trip, naturally. At a truck stop on the prairie, I rolled the bike out of the trailer and rode down to Nebraska to visit some of my NVAR family, who I ride with to Rolling Thunder each year. Bill & Nancy were great hosts to me and their Purple Fish MC family from Australia. In their pasture, we exercised of our 2nd Amendment rights, sized from 38 caliber to a 454 Casull and large bore rifle. The Casull hurls a piece of lead bigger than some meteorites and kicks like a mule….speaking of mules; #1: Nancy’s two mules quickly tossed their riders, and #2: for refreshments after pulling triggers, Mongo, aka Bill, mixed up a concoction called the Moscow Mule, which kicked like a Casull. And that’s all I need to say about that. Ya!

Thanks for the visit. Please browse the site, and hit that Buy the Book button. OK!

Hit the Harley Tracks facebook link and Like for more photos.

Ride Safe & Enjoy the Spirit of Freedom.

Remember: Never Forget

 

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