Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Memories Count as ROI

Whenever I feel like strangling someone I always end up thinking about better things, better times, and the great people I have known. Last night it happened again. While searching out a bad ground I had a vivid memory of an old friend who died several years ago. In my mind I could see the day he bought the most insane car of the day and the fun he had letting me drive it. I’ll never forget it. It was hilariously fun. I’m laughing as I write.

Thinking back to that day it hit me there was an interesting connection between the bike I was working on, the car from my memory, my old friend, and the person responsible for the creation of both the car and the bike. This got me to wondering if latter person was still alive; it had been a while since I had seen or heard him in print, online, or TV.

Searching his name I found an email and sent something to remind him of our friend. In doing so I hoped to give him a simple sincere, “Thank you..” for playing a part in creating an endless number of great machines which in turn led to so many great memories like mine.

This morning when I woke up he had already responded.

People are just people, after all. Those who are worth knowing don’t want fans. However, I’ve never met a hard-working man who hated to hear a sincere appreciative “thanks.” I’ve done this for decades and I’m always amazed how many “living legends” answer emails and calls. Most of them, if they live to a ripe old age, are happy to not be forgotten. Now think about those who were working class stiffs like you and me. They aren’t “living legends” and they’re too old to matter to most but they're still there.

When things are not so great, I highly recommend you follow my lead. Think of the good and thank everyone you can find for playing a part in it. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Best Supporting Character - Betty Davidson, Passed Away on January 7th.

Soar with the eagles
Roar past the lions
And call the heavens home
May you rest in God’s arms
Walk in his garden and
Drink from his fountain
I shall feel your spirit
In the carefree breezes
And hear your song
When the wild birds sing.
        -Author unknown

Betty Davidson, my mother, was a truly unique lady. A combination of great intelligence, inquisitiveness, stoic presence, and warmth gave her an innately pleasant demeanor. More keen to listen than talk, and always quick to smile, she made friends wherever she went.

As it was with almost any child raised in eastern Kentucky in the first half of the twentieth century, she possessed the skills of the pioneers and the strong mind of a person firmly grounded in reality. These things never left her. She could do anything and excel at it but never felt the need to compete. This meant others always respected and admired her for her abilities. However, the wise knew better than to taunt her. The witty end of her sarcasm gene could be deadly – one of the many things my dad loved about her.

As scandalous as it may seem today, when she married my father, a man who was her high school teacher and 14 years older, locals considered it a fairy tale wedding. Together they lived a largely traditional and happy life of marriage until he died in the year 2000. Up to that point, despite working as a full time teacher, she had never really been alone without anyone to look after her the way she looked after them.

Silently, myself and my siblings wondered what she would do. What she did amazed us.

She took up golf and excelled at it. “Ran the roads” with the energy of a kid, driving regularly for hours on end to see family and friends. Soon her clothes took on more color, she purchased the red convertible she always wanted, and bought herself a place in Florida. Refusing to wallow in misery or grow old, instead she adapted to expanding boundaries. She didn’t give up; she gave life a run for its money, and it was impossible to do anything but admire her for it.

However, through it all she was there if you needed her to be..

Many of you knew her as the lady
who ran the fly-in store. Meeting everyone
on hand was something she always enjoyed.

When she passed I was tasked with describing her and found it to be strangely impossible. Sitting here days later I still do. She did so many things with intent and so little self-promotion that nothing stands out even as I list them. I think about that and wonder how it can be.

I never thought of her and style together
but she certainly had it.

She was a textbook housewife of yesterday, reliable friend, and hard worker. She also loved sporty little cars, had a closet full of color, was always where things were happening, and everyone loved her. Modern women would hoist her image as a poster child for feminism if it weren’t for her insistence on logic and reason and women of yesterday would find her too progressive. Men and women both said she was beautiful yet she never graced the roll of any pageant. She was always there, whatever “there” was, but never the focus.

YES! Now I see it. That’s who she was and I am disappointed in myself for never seeing it before.

She was the universe to our stars - the scenery upon which we imagined ourselves framed. In a world of portraits, she was a landscape.

Betty Sue Davidson

Novermber 16, 1938 – January 7th, 2022


After my mother passed, we found out (through Ginger) that mom had a poem written to her by my dad that she carried everywhere. Had Ginger not snuck a photo of it one day we would never have known it existed. Here it is below.

Until I met you I just wandered around,
    searching for something hard to be found.

Searching for someone who maybe like me,
    was searching for someone who would always be

Honest and faithful, and true, and kind,
    One who in trouble would always find,

Time to listen and stop falling tears
    To protect and defend from bewildering fears.

One whose love was as sure as the dew
    I was searching for someone until I met you.

                                        - Eldon E. Davidson