|Some people said they came because of
the personalized engraved invitations. Some people said it was for Sherryl's
brownies. But whatever the reason, 127 people showed up at the Branson Towers
for some of the best weather we've ever had! And with all his practicing,
Jim Hair had the lunch route just about perfect. Probably the only disappointment
of the weekend was that there were no big mechanical problems for Paul to
fix. Just Greg Pink's horns - one full of water and one full of sand - which
Greg discovered himself in desperation.
When Internet Riders decide to have fun, there's no stopping them. When on
Sunday morning Jim seemed to hesitate about scheduling another for next year,
I reminded him that by now the Blitz would probably happen even if he or
I weren't there. It belongs to the Presidents. And it's so easy to find,
located just off the RED route in Branson, Missouri, USA. It has a wonderful
life of its own now and most everyone who comes talks of the next time.
And with good reason. The Towers staff did everything they could to make
us feel we were their most important customers ever. The normally $120 rooms
were on special for us at $39.95. Whereas in the past we've parked correctly
all around the building in the marked spaces, this time we just parked where
the staff told us - all over the whole front entryway. It seemed like home.
Only the tour bus drivers seemed to mind as they picked up their wary charges
from our midst. We had a large gathering room mostly to ourselves - except
during the early morning when they spread a fantastic continental breakfast
for all their guests. Juice, bagels, donuts and rolls to die for, cereal,
and toast were all freshly laid each day. And all day and all night we had
FREE coffee freshly brewed. And an ice cream social in the foyer each evening.
And the Saturday night meal was an all your can eat Seafood buffet - with
crab legs - and for a small additional fee - lobster! Chuck Lanczkowski was
reported to have eaten 13! I wasn't counting. Without Jan and Dave I might
have eaten myself to death too. Heaven! And all the while, door prizes
given by Presidents Hank Pfister, Greg Ostwinke, Pat Burch and Dick Wildauer,
Steve Aikens, Bob Straubinger, Walker Powell, and others - and bunches more
from Engle's BMW of Kansas City were quickly dispatched to their new owners
by Herb and Wilma Stark. And did I mention the hot tub entertainment ? ?
After dinner we retreated to the front lawn for the ceremonial presidential
banner shoot - photographically speaking that is - and for verification for
Gately that more Presidents now have another Rat site to their credit. After
several cameras captured the event a voice was heard saying, "When they all
get finished, everybody keep their places. We need to write down your names."
The Virgin Branson Band are now award winning - and after multiple practices
performed to a huge and enthusiastic crowd. Lee Freedman was so concerned
about the large amount of money collected by him in his suspenders and the
tax implications thereof so close to April 15th that he donated it for the
next Blitz. They can now all add to their resumes that they've performed
before a full house in Branson.
President Clay Hirner, noting that a souvenir for the myriad attendees was
missing quietly, and with no fanfare, printed up reflective decals identifying
the Blitz to Branson '99 - more than enough for everyone. The Bunny, Robert
Munday, kept everyone floating on a sugar high when he wasn't entertaining
them with his multiple wascally wabbits, ably assisted by Bunny Cissie. Oh,
those luscious Cadbury creme eggs. UPS can be trusted when put to the test.
On to the awards. Because of the unique and high quality of the awards, no
one was allowed to win more than one, and each selection was a presidential
decision following the presentation of evidence. I could write a whole other
volume to tell those tales but ultimately these fine Presidents rose to accept
the following awards:
Most Protected Rider - Milo Wieberg
Highest Tech Bike - Mike Cornett
Highest Odometer - Tony Black - 236,000+ miles
Oldest BMW - Mrs. Sue Diaz '71 R75/5
Most Colorful Rider - Robert Munday , Mr. Bunny
Oldest Rider - R. C. Sumner - age 70
Lowest Odometer - Tom Moody - 700 miles
Youngest Rider - Derek Bland - age 19
Largest Instrument - Chuck Lancskowski
Most Musical - Larry Snyder
Long Distance Two Up - Gene and Joyce Ribas - North Carolina
Long Distance Lady Rider - Jan Hainbach
Long Distance Gentleman Rider WEST Bob Straubinger Mesa,AZ
Long Distance Gentleman Rider EAST Larry Miller Wallingford, VT
Hard Luck - The Woman - for having to ride with Steve in acar
BMW MOA Contest Leader for Day 1 Karol Patzer 692 miles
Webmeister - Steve Aikens
And a special award to "Cruiser" Bob McCarthy for his hard won 1000 in 1
We were honored to have Karol Patzer come all the way from Minnesota to pick
up our entry forms for the MOA Mileage Contest on this starting day. And
Sandy Cohen, our own Editor and Barb Zingre, our Association Manager, took
time from working for us to play with us too. It was fun to bend their ears.
And did I tell you about the roads? They're just as twisted as ever, and
the lack of police protection continued from all I've heard. If I missed
reporting anything it was just cause I was out riding the roads all I could.
I'm still sMiling.
Very early Sunday morning Secret Presidential handshakes were shared all
around and it was time to head for home again. Sure was good of Jim Hair
to think maybe a little gathering in Branson would be a good idea. See you
at the 5th annual Secret Blitz April 8th, 2000.
sMiling and MILING