Milestones

2015 was a year of memorable events.  Please scroll down the blog to see what we’ve been doing.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Georgia had a  hip replacement in late February, which was successful beyond our wildest dreams.  Just a few short weeks after the operation, we took a sightseeing trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park:  20150330-130516
  • I crashed my motorcycle; it was totalled but I wasn’t badly hurt,  and we took the insurance proceeds and bought a replacement Mazda MX5 Miata.   20150513-172201Much safer and almost as much fun.
  • I celebrated my 70th birthday:
  • We flew to Gabi Papp’s wedding in Hungary then flew on to visit Felicity and her parents in Waterfall, near Durban, South Africa.
  • We had visits from several friends and family, including Cathy’s husband Greg, and Mike and Carol Snyder,
  • We took a trip to Oregon to visit Cathy and Greg (and her dog Sadie), and came back by way of Sacramento where we had dinner with my Aunt Mary and all but one of my cousins from my dad’s side of the family.  20151012-200718
  • Finally, at the end of the month we’re going to celebrate our (glub) 40th anniversary!

 

Crash

It is said that there are only two types of motorcyclists: those who have crashed, and those who will.  I joined the former group on St. Patrick’s day, March 17, when I skidded off the Reeder Mesa road south of Grand Junction on a pleasant evening ride with Larry Johnson, someone I hoped to go riding with in the future.

We crested a hill with an unexpected turn to the right and gravel on the road.  I lost control, the bike skidded over on its right side and came to a halt part way down a ditch.  Fortunately, Larry was able to come back and make sure that I was OK, but I wasn’t, and my bike sure wasn’t.

This is my helmet afterwards.  I heard from two doctors and the State Patrol officer who investigated the accident that but for the helmet and the heavy jacket and gloves, I wouldn’t be here today.  We called 911 and the AAA; paramedics showed up promptly, and I rode to the emergency room in the back of an ambulance.  My bike got towed to a junkyard.  After much poking and prodding, the ER doctors said I was one very, very lucky person and had no permanent damage except for a cracked rib and abrasions on the elbow and ankle.  The worst damage was to my ego: this shouldn’t have happened!  Oh, and my motorcycle was totalled by GEICO.  They said that when the right-hand crash bar bent, it also bent the frame.

Motorcycling has been a big part of my life for several years, but this crash made me realize just how quickly a pleasantly exhilarating experience can become a near disaster.  It’s almost 3 weeks since it happened, and I’m still sore.  The insurance money is likely to go to buying a car, not another motorcycle.  It was a good run and I really enjoyed meeting a lot of good friends along the way.  I’ll miss it.  And you.

 

Kennedy

On this, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, the internet is abuzz with recollections of where people were and what they were doing when they learned the awful news.  Here are mine.

I was an 18 year old freshman at the University of Oregon in Eugene.  On my way to a morning literature class (Shakespeare) in the cold Oregon drizzle, I saw people with their transistor radios clasped to their ears with stricken looks on their faces.  As we listened to  elderly professor, you could see knots of students assembling at the student union building across the street gathering and obviously emotional.  Somebody fainted and others screamed.

The office of the student newspaper was next door to the classroom, and I simply walked out of the class to see what was going on.  The Associated Press teletype machine at the Oregonian office was equipped with a bell that announced important news; five bells was the penultimate, and I heard five bells at least three separate times.  The last time the editor ripped the news flash out of the machine and held it up over the crowd for everyone to see the two words:

KENNEDY DEAD

When I returned to the class and told them what was going on, the professor dismissed us with the words of Edward Grey:  “The lamps are going out all over Europe and we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”