Readers from Sturgis

One evening at the Elk Creek Campground bar:

Jeff took a seat next to me on the porch and says he wants to buy Harley Tracks. He said Charlie, a buddie who bought the book a couple days before, was reading it instead of taking his afternoon rides into the hills. If it’s that good, he wanted one too.

I’m humbled by the praise and recognition to my story. I feel a tinge of guilt because I had so much fun along the way; but there were many aspects to it, and I’m pleased all connected with it on an emotional level. The evolution of my journey rolled like I rode, sometimes in low gear, and it rolled strong in 6th gear. Below, I share Jeff’s comments.

“Hi Mike, We met in Piedmont, SD, where I purchased your book. I’ll be honest, it starts kinda slow. About halfway through your writing or thinking seems to change. After the change I read the rest of it at one sitting. I have friends who have rode with The Wall. When you deliver the message, I will admit that I had a tear in my eyes. The idea that you not only knew of the places where these men gave their lives, you rode through them and left tracks. By far the best investment I made at Sturgis 75. I’m glad we met and hope to meet again. Thanks for the book Mike.”

Another who bought Harley Tracks at Sturgis was Tom Campbell, Vietnam Veteran, SEAL Team One.

“Just finished your book. I particularly enjoyed your descriptions of the Viet Nam countryside, the conditions of the roads you traveled and your riding experiences. I felt the scraping of the floorboards, the jar of ruts and heaves in the pavement, and the intimate connection to your surroundings along with the historical events that occurred there. I appreciated the deep respect you had for my fellow soldiers, sailors, and airmen along the way. I was most struck by your pronouncement in The Swan Song Ride, “Brothers, FALL IN. It’s time to go home.” I believe they all heard you.”

For more readers comments, click drop-downs on the Buy the Book Page, and please, buy the book.

Thank a Vet & Never Forget

Presentations & Book Signings:

Feb. 19: Senior Activity Center, Elk River MN — followed with presentation requests from six more centers in Mpls/St. Paul/Austin, scheduled for Oct, Nov, & Dec.

Mar. 8: HOG Chapter, Elk River MN

Mar. 13: St. Croix Valley Riders (SCRV), St. Paul

Mar. 19 & 20: FM Crusaders MC Motorcycle Show, Fargo ND

Mar. 21: Oak One Place, Fargo

Mar. 21: Fargo-Moorhead Book Club, Fargo ND

Apr. 2 & 3: Donnie Smith Bike Show, St. Paul MN

 

January 2016

I hope you’re off to a great start in this New Year.

To all who bought Harley Tracks last year, thank you. To those who ordered a book in the first weeks of 2016, thank you too. People from sea to shining sea and between the Great Lakes and the Gulf ordered Harley Tracks. At book signings from Minneapolis to Hollister CA and Sturgis to Kokomo IN, I was humbled by recognition to my journey. Check out readers’ comments on the About Page. (Among respected reviewers is an editor at the Vietnam Veterans of America Magazine.) Stories shared at signings brought surprise, laughter, and tears. One veteran, a non-reader, was so enthralled by my journey and a few tales that he paid for a book and told me to give it away.

My ride was one of honor. It was unexpected, and as each opportunity presented itself, I thought, damn it, somebody has to do this. I grabbed a handful of throttle and didn’t look back. My act to present it in print was bold. Against the odds, and with great effort and personal expense, I move through the literary world alone with the same faith I rode with. I wrote a good story and defy entities of that world; to expose it by way of a major distributor would not allow the recovery of my expenses. Harley Tracks belongs to me and those I rode for. The more I recover, the more I’ll have to share with causes they would have supported. I need your help promoting Harley Tracks. Enough readers, who share values and respect, have found it worthy. Each year, books of fiction by the hundreds make the best sellers list. There are enough of us: it would be great to put Harley Tracks on a similar list for non-fiction; to help keep those who gave all—not forgotten—with memories of a wild ride in a playful vengeance on America’s freedom machine across the land they saw last.

I will post my schedule for book signings as soon as I receive confirmations.

Thank you, Thank a Vet & Never Forget.

Never Forget

Yesterday, November 11, compliments and recognition to our veterans present and past jammed air waves, texts, and browsers; with personal congratulations and broad displays across America. It felt great to share in that expanse and depth of patriotism. Veterans Day and Memorial Day observances come once each per year while those in service hold duty 24/7, 365 days/year. Each day, a simple act of gratitude will go far to balance that ratio.

“Our privileges can be no greater than our obligations.” President, John F. Kennedy

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Harley Tracks made the news yesterday with a television interview. Google www.valleynewslive.com and search Honoring Vietnam Veterans or Harley Tracks for a look.

News spread through a blog at www.thestudio.com also; on the bottom left of their home page click or search Harley Tracks.

 

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Harley Tracks Book signings:

Nov. 28: Twin Cities Harley Davidson, Blaine MN

Dec. 3, 10 am til 2:30 pm: Military Museum at Camp Ripley MN

Dec. 3, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm: VIP night, Zylstra H-D, Elk River MN

Dec. 4, 5, & 6: Ft. Snelling Military Exchange

Dec. 17: HOG Night at Twin Cities Harley Davidson, Blaine MN

Dec. 19: Twin Cities Harley Davidson, Blaine MN

Around Christmas: Interview with Brian Zepp @ KQRS

A look ahead > January – The Progressive International Motorcycle Show

Feature in Quick Throttle Magazine

April 2 & 3 > The Donnie Smith/Dennis Kirk Bike Show & Swap Meet

Late April > The Run to The Wall with hopes for a presentation on Thunder Alley, Washington, D.C.

Check back often for updates.

Thank you, Thank a Vet, & Never Forget

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Kokomo Reunion

The 33rd Howard County Vietnam Veterans Reunion in Kokomo, Indiana rocked.

I hauled the bike and books there in one day, and hoped to never drive through Chicago again–tolls with a tandem trailer are outrageous. I met NVAR friends Tuesday night in on an old airstrip turned campground . Vets from around the country converged over 10,000 strong for a wonderful weekend. Wednesday morning I rode into Kokomo to visit the Veterans Memorial Park. Within it, a new memorial honors Blue/Gold Star Families. Its designer accomplished his intent to reach into a visitors thought and soul. Photos attached.

Once set up, I held my post 12 hours each day. Amazement was a common expression to the presentation of my ride around Vietnam. Many spent time for shared stories and left with a book – Thank you. I was thrilled to meet Don, a vet who had guarded a concrete bridge over the Song Be while American’s used it, then they blew the center span from it–Harley tracks reached onto its remains. I may have missed out on the outdoor ceremonies, parties, and music, but a unique sense of fulfillment and awe surrounded my display. I will return for the 34th reunion.

While at Kokomo, the Product Manager at the H-D Museum in Milwaukee sent a notice of interest to Harley Tracks, SO, on my return to Mpls. MN, I passed back through the tolls for a visit. The museum’s shelves are full now, but he was thrilled to see the Fat Boy, and short of a promise, offered support to Harley Tracks’ presentation. Beware: Construction creates an ugly scenario on I-94 through the city, perhaps until spring!

 

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It happened so fast, a million people converged on the Black Hills in a flash, and now it’s in the past.

Thanks again to those who packed Harley Tracks on their ride home. Ken, from WI, was the first to order the book on his return home – Thank you Ken.

Since my return I’ve sent books to a magazine editor for a review and post, and to radio and tv hosts for reviews and interviews. On this cloud covered day, a great review came out of the blue; Henry Zeybel, an editor at Vietnam Veterans of America,  sent notice of his review of Harley Tracks published in their VVA Magazine. His words of recognition and praise humbled me. (Read them in the About Page, or a full length in Book Review II at http://vvabooks.wordpress.com) I thought of those I rode for with the urge to ride, but rain, city traffic, and sense kept the Fat Boy in the garage.

It’s 350+ days until the 2016 Sturgis Rally. In the meantime I have book signings scheduled.

Aug. 22: 3rd Annual Ride for the Troops, 65 Pub & Grub, Blaine MN

Aug. 28 & 29: Operation LZ, Forest City IA. I’m not registered to vend, but I’ll be there.

Sept. 12 & 13: Arts and Crafts Fair, Little Falls MN – near the American Legion.

Sept. 17 – 20: Howard County 33 Annual Vietnam Veterans Reunion, Greentown IN.

I look forward to meeting many, and to sharing a great story and keeping in memory those who gave all.

Keep a part of Memorial Day in each day.