All the clubs and independents converged on Texas Mist for our January COC&I meeting. Debbie and I were also there to support TMRA2 by providing Freedom Dogs, optionally with Clem’s Freedom Chili. We had a very good meeting, with the usual speakers to get us pumped up for this legislative year. Part of what we are focusing on this year is extending and building our communications systems to make it easier to include the vast number of independent riders that we need to become the national political organization that we desire to be, so we can effectively protect the rights of all motorcyclists. This should be an interesting year.
We carpooled up to Waco this morning early for CMA Officers Training. Don drove this year so Debbie and I got to sit back and relax. The primary entertainment was waiting for the sun to come up. I also learned that it is really hard to take a picture in a car at night. Eventually the sun did start to come up. First order of business was breakfast. The host CMA chapter provided breakfast taco. Next stop the church sanctuary for very brief instructions on who was breaking out to where, then a prayer and we broke out in groups by officer position. The training was mostly a discussion on how best to fill your officer role. I’m chaplain, so I went with Randy, and he did a good job of informing and facilitating our discussion. Around lunch time, we headed back home, with a lunch stop at a local Taqueria, which was very good.
Debbie and I and several of our New Life Riders went to Texas Mist this afternoon for the remembrance party for Spud. The weather was beautiful and there was a good turnout, we had a couple hundred motorcycles and a few people in cars (like me). The ceremony was nice, I was asked to speak, so I presented the reflection published just before this post. Several others also spoke, and we sang the National Anthem, both verses. A couple of other tunes were also played. Sorry I can’t remember the names of them, but I do know one of them was Taps. The whole ceremony was really nice, and very respectful. Excellent, Leathernecks. Spud would be very proud!
Also, here are a few pictures of Spud that I found in my photo library;
A few weeks ago I got a call from Leathernecks President Drew letting me know that Spud had passed away. I was saddened but I wasn’t surprised, Spud had not been doing very well three weeks earlier as I was heading to California to visit family.
Many of us here had been praying for Spud. We wanted him to recovery, so he could get back out there riding his beloved Gutzy, but clearly God had a different plan. As it says in Proverbs 19:21 “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” We would have preferred that Spud could have stuck around for a lot longer, but we don’t always get to choose. All our hearts and prayers go out to Sandy, Lance and all the family, and of course to all Spud’s Leatherneck brothers.
I’m sure I didn’t know Spud as well as many of you, We saw each other at various rallies and events, but mostly at TMRA2 meetings where Spud was always there. Well, except when we move the meeting to a new location and forgot to remind him. Lately we were meeting at IHOP, and we would usually sit at the same end of the table and enjoy our dinner, me with my pancake something and Spud with his biscuits, gravy and coffee. Sometimes Spud would add a little something to his coffee from a flask he had with him, and some might think it odd that a chaplain would do that, but I think Jesus and Spud got along pretty well. Spud understood that his relationship with Jesus wasn’t about the contents of a flask, it is about what is in your heart. Spud loved God, and through Him he loved us. Yes, Spud will be missed, but Spud has better roads to explore now, no more stop lights and no more traffic. At this moment he is probably out riding heaven’s back roads with Jesus, no more walking stick, no more pain, no more sidecar, just the sweet tones of shiny new Gutzy and the occasional scrape of the foot pegs dragging in the corners. Oh, and if you want to know what Jesus is riding as they wind through the hills, it probably has the letters TL on the side. That would be TL for Thunder and Lightning. Enjoy the ride Spud.
We had our first TMRA2 meeting of the year at the Pflugerville IHOP. That makes twice Debbie and I had dinner at IHOP this week, but at least it was a different IHOP. We do love the unlimited pancake deal.
We didn’t have a lot of business, but we did create a new chapter position called Information Officer, which will be held by Ashley. Her responsibilities will be to collect, consolidate and distribute information to the chapter. Primarily this will be done using email and our Facebook page. We also volunteered “Ra” to assist her. He wasn’t at the meeting, so are you paying attention Ra? We will leo be looking for another location for our meeting, so if you have any suggestions, send them along.