FROM: Voni Glaves
For your edification, fellow presidents, I submit the following report:
A grand total of 73 Presidents gathered in Branson, Missouri April 11, 1998 for the third running of the Blitz. First to sign in were Herb and Wilma Stark from the blueberry ranch in Texas. Jim and Sherryl Hair - co founders and on site coordinators of the Blitz - had found an even bigger hospitality room than last year, almost half of the ground floor in the center front of the building. Couldn't miss it or the bikes when I rolled in at dusk Friday night. The party had had no trouble starting without me. Sherryl had provided her now famous Blitz Brownies and wine, and a spirit store was within easy walking distance. When I wandered off at midnight, the party was still going strong.
Saturday's weather was the kind we all dream of, and mother nature had touched everything with a brand new coat of green decorated with pinks, purples and white blooms. The REDbuds were magnificent! BMWMOA Mileage forms were signed to start the 6 month contest.
After months of study and many trial rides, Jim Hair had selected just the right route and place for lunch, Rockbridge. Too bad the two state troopers got there first. I did my best to make friends with them, taking a picture of them with the assembled presidents, another of a trooper sitting on my bike and one of me in his car with the bubble gum machine, but to no avail. Not an hour later, they had a discussion with Jim Shaw about a possible driving award. "84 in a 55 might have been excusable if you were going downhill instead of up, Mr. Shaw." But other than that one stretch of Highway 5 we were without police protection for the balance of the day.
Our free on site mechanic Paul Glaves was kept busy much of the morning, went into training for the Iron Butt '99 by practicing his power nap technique in the afternoon, and then worked into the night on a consultative basis over barley therapy.
Awards followed the buffet dinner which featured trout, chicken, pork chops and roast beef. Door prizes were the first item on the agenda. Then happy birthdays to Greg Ostwinkle, Armand Ciabattari, Bullit Buttars and Lee Freedman. Bob Gaines solicited money for Sue Huff - that is money for the Pony Express Ride - which she will be riding again this year. Lee Freedman gave an update about the fight on the Fontana front. Sam Lepore who had a direct link to the internet gave the rest of us e-mail deprived presidents a report from the world. Then it was on to the at times hotly contested awards. Unlike other places, the awards at the Blitz are decided by Presidential decree. The final results are listed below in random order of importance:
Robert Munday closed the show with a commercial - and then a surprise.
Through his special brand of magic, each of the assembled presidents became Rob Lentini. I won't mention his bunny ears, but it was Easter weekend. The banner picture is being submitted to Gately who declared the banner at the Branson Towers a rat site just in time for the Blitz. Each of the presidents on the picture will be granted one site - or does that mean Rob Lentini will have 73 sites and be leading the race for Top Rat? Only Gately knows for sure.
Sunday morning some headed out at daylight, some lingered over the continental breakfast, and some may still be there for all I know. A beautiful ride home - except for the Kansas wind - and a fitting close to the best Blitz III ever!
The roll of Presidents included:
Steve Aikens and "The Woman" Becky Nufer Ted Anderson Jim Bessette Tony Black Milt and Derek Bland Skipper Brown's RED shirt Pat Burch Tom "Bullit" Buttars Armand Ciabattari Mike Cornett fresh from Disney World Roger Deal Jon Diaz on the most naked bike Darrin & Valarie Earhart Lee Freedman Bob Gaines Frank Glamser Paul & Voni Glaves Jim & Sherryl Hair Mike Hankinson Bill Huelsdonk Sue Huff Ken Klein Chris Kleponis Rick Landi Pete Lavengood Chris Lawson Rob Lentini Sam Lepore Bill Lewis and Liz Vekony Larry Miller from VT Mike Millsap Jeff Mohl Robert Munday Mike & Cindy Mundel Cissie Myrick Christopher Noe Roger Norem Greg & Vicki Ostwinkle Gene & Joyce Ribas Ken and Shirley Richardson Sue Rihn-Manke Ralph Robertson Jim Robinson Keith Schauer Ian Schmeisser Howard Schultz Jim Shaw Al Smith Bob Smith David E.B. Smith Gary and Karen Smith Stacey Smith David Soine Wilma & Herb Stark Rod and Margie Stark Keith Stowers Cal Swallow Sam and Inez Thornton Stan & Jan Walker Dick Wildauer James Williams John Wilson
And from afar virtually on a RED RS: Ingemar Luttu
Spiritual Attendees :
Imaginary attendee cause it sure is hard to type with only one hand
sMiling and remembering the great people and the great roads - wish you had been there
FROM: Ian Schmeisser
Thank you Paul & Voni & Jim Hair for such a wonderful time. It was fun to meet so many virtual friend for the first time, and the roads were great. This is one not to miss next year.
FROM: Bob Smith
As I sat watching out the window at the many people stopping to look at the fine German Motorcycles all parked like Great Iron Stallions, awaiting their mounts, I notices that most of the young looked upon them with the thoughts of what it would be like to hold the power of the beast and command it on the highway, and the older men looking with a gleam of past times when they did command the beast and new of it's power. On the next morning the beast roared to life and formed it's line like a giant snake headed down the highway in the morning light. As it winded through the hills and curves it's many colors sparkling in the light it began to break into smaller segments, each winding it's way along the ribbon of road. The sight was enough to make ones heart beat faster. The great beast reassembled itself at the Rockbridge for it's noon feast and after taking it's fill it began to move out into the afternoon sun. It took it's time returning to the den as the day was warm and the sun high, at it was enjoying the path of return.
Once back this giant beast of BMW Motorcycles with their coats of many colors were again assembled for the evening feast and great times spent visiting with each of it's parts. A good time was had by all. I enjoyed my trip and was proud to accept my honor as the most colorful rider, but I must give credit to my beautiful Flame Yellow Pearl K, for without it's presents I would have not won. Thanks to all the voted for my award. Looking forward to next year.
FROM: Ralph Robertson
Jim Hares count was 73 BMW Internet folks present in Branson for the Blitz. While speaking for myself, I feel like I speak for all when I say a good time was had all round. Special Thanks go to Paul and Voni "Smiling" Glaves. Paul for showing me the intricacies to me of changing oil and filter properly and for bringing a rotor and the tools to repair Bill Lewises bike. Voni for her warm hugs and wonderful job at the awards ceremony. Thank you Mrs Stark for the brownies and the wine. Talking about guts. Bill's R80/100's alternator went bad in Tennessee and he re-charged the battery enough times with Gene Ribas help to get to the Blitz and then Paul and the rest of us helped repair it. I hope you made it home Bill I haven't heard from you. I got as far as Bristol, Virginia last night at 8:45 and 896 miles for the day (2,526 total miles). Had I documented my departure from Branson, I would have gone for the Iron Butt, I had until 5:13 this morning.
Prizes were awarded to numerous folks. Sam Lepore got long distance for the Blitz, 2,500 plus miles from San Fran by way of Austin. Vernon Miller won from the east coast with over 1,300 miles. Bob Smith won the most colorful, until you see his P--- Yellow new paint job, you really won't understand. Let's just say it STANDS OUT. Special attention was also given to his new addition a tattoo of the BMW MC strategically located on his derriere as mention in the latest BMW MOA. Tasteful, but not ostentatious as they say. Finally his being banned from future demo rides at his local dealer as a result of his being clocked by sheriffs at 149 on the K12 on a demo run and good taste attire for the event got him the "most colorful."
A very hearty thank you to everyone for making my Blitz to Branson a pleasure. I have ordered better weather and a shorter route for next years trip. Hope to see you all at the North East Prezzes breakfast or the Ga Mtn Rally.
If you would like to find out how you can get something listed on a "IBMWR Happenings" page email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
....and if you don't already belong, jump over to the offical home pages of the Internet BMW Riders and learn how you can join the fastest growing BMW motorcycle organization in the world.