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

_________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

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

00

 

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!

 

2 1 3 4 5 6 7

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.

It’s over. A million riders left Sturgis with a million memories. Many rode to it, and from the amount of RV’s with trailers, and equal number hauled their bikes. The times they are a’changing.

The H-D store expanded to accommodate a single day’s crowd of 30,000 before the rally officially began, and the crowds kept coming. I met bikers from Main to California, and from Finland to the Philippines. Stories from Harley Tracks intrigued them and I was humbled to receive recognition and praise. Hell, I was in Vietnam with a Harley Davidson and did the most natural thing – I rode it like I stole it.

Store time ended and I rode where the buffalo roam, saw familiar faces, and met an old friend in Deadwood . The Rats Hole Bike Show at “The Chip” shined with art and imagination, and on Saturday, Sturgis was still packed, but not busting at the seams. Mike and I got in for a few scenes, and shelter while a storm blew through. And lastly, on Sunday, we rode to the Devil’s Tower. I was impressed with the ride and amazed at that tower of rock.

Once again, Mike and I bid farewell a day after the party was over 0 like we did the past years after Rolling Thunder; he went to Yellowstone and I hauled my bike and display stuff back to Minnesota. I enjoyed meeting many for introductions and sales of Harley Tracks: Across Vietnam to The Wall, and  interests for reviews and interviews.

Checks out photos below and on my Sturgis 75th photo album on the link to Harley Tracks Facebook; and don’t forget to click the “Buy the book” button.

Thank you, thank a vet & never forget.

Mike

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16c