Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rich Jecha (Hornet)

Story time!

So how many remember the nightie nite ride ....... it's 10 degrees out and there's 6" of fresh snow on top of ice pack out at Springbrook. Some of us a bit hesitant to venture out but Shrub calls the group to roll and we head out into the Arctic Tundra........... It was actually kind of cool. I can't remember who the whole gang was but I remember Tom for sure that night. Probably one of the only times I was ever looking at anything but his back side.

We all must have had fairly good tread on our tires, Tom, as typical was working some retreads or something. ........... Plowing through the snow and staying upright at 4 miles an hour was hard enough much less riding on slicks......... Tom couldn't keep that bike upright for 2 minutes at a time......... With a thud He'd go down and quickly saddle up again........ back down and up............ down he'd go and back up. He had to be getting beat up badly, and I'd venture a guess he wasn't sporting his typical grin at the time. One thing for sure, it was very untypical for him not to be at the head of the pack. Shrub and Irion were relentlessly pulling us along plowing through the snow and we're doing all we can to stay with these guys, heart rate about 200 and sweating like its 100 degrees........ Tom, even though handicapped was not giving up. He must have fallen 20 times. Finally He did vanish. At some point we realized he was gone and went out to try and find him ........ He'd finally had enough and checked out, car was gone.

What a trooper. I never did get a chance to ask him about that night, and what it was like working 5 hours later, bruised head to toe ....... but I do know soon after he was the proud owner of better tires........ Didn't you find him some spiked mountain bike tires for his 50th Dave?

It seems wrong that the view over the steering wheel will be the same tomorrow. The cornflakes box will be have the same logo, and the radio announcer will start his program with the same words that I'm sick of hearing. Barbara Walters has a show about some overpaid celebrity who's sick but didn't mention my garbage truck driver friend who's gone forever as he diligently and faithfully did his days work. What's wrong with this picture? I have a hard time sorting this shit out.

What I do know is that Tom was a terrific friend. He was a giver. He was an example of truly profound determination and fiber. He was a good American. He proudly stepped up to his duties as a father. He set an good example every day, ..for everyone. Something we all relate to and will no doubt carry on. Today I only wish I could have had one more chance to share a few yuks with the guy. I'd even share half of his overripe black banana this time.

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