I’m getting ready for a well-deserved vacation so I’m going to miss the July Officer’s Meeting and General Meeting. This hasn’t happened before but I need a vacation!!! This has caused me to sit and ponder about what it’s meant to be the Director of Bakersfield HOG for the past year and one-half.
As most of you know, I’ve been involved in police work for many years. In fact, I began my career in 1974 in the U.S. Air Force at Edwards AFB assigned to the first SWAT team in military history. Our primary mission was to protect the Space Shuttle and the B-1 Bomber. What a great opportunity for a young 20 year old!!!
After leaving Edwards, I began working here in Bakersfield “temporarily.” I guess I’m still temporary until I decide to leave!!! I’ve worked for the Sheriff’s Department, the Police Department and now as a Schools Resource Office for the High School District.
Throughout my involvement in law enforcement, I’ve done many things for many people and will remember those specific events for the rest of my life. However, I’ve never been involved in such a rewarding position as Director of Bakersfield HOG.
When I was asked to take over HOG, I was a bit skeptical at first. I thought I wasn’t “good enough” to be leading our group. After spending the weekend thinking about the offer, I felt truly honored to be thought competent enough to lead our HOG group. Little did I know, it would be a life changing decision that I would treasure for the rest of my life.
This past 18 months has been some of the best of my entire life. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many people who, had it not been for Harley-Davidson and Bakersfield HOG, would have slipped through my fingers. I have many more friends than I ever thought possible and each and every one of them are some of the highest “quality” people I’ve ever had the pleasure of associating with.
I attend HOG events and spend time riding and laughing…some of my most favorite things in life. I will never think of “Casa De Fruta” the same nor will I pass a veteran without thinking of the support HOG provides for veterans of all types. Some of my future income will be spent on those little daisies sold by the VFW several times each year and, of course, my American Legion dues.
Las Vegas will forever be embedded in my mind…not for what most people think but instead for being set up for a lap dance by a portly gentleman wearing low cut levis and a red “G” string with “TACO” tattooed across his belly. (Thank you Gary Crawford…I owe you one!)
I’ll never pass through State Line without thinking of the Diet Coke at McDonalds with Ken and Jim. I’ll also never forget the ride home with a touch of the flu…I never had a hangover!!!
Baja Fresh, Rubios, Sequoia Sandwich Shop and Jersey Mikes will never be the same for me…they’ll be better because I’ll know they supported our efforts to raise money for our annual MDA Rockin’ Ride for Life.
Whenever I see a lady on a Harley, I’ll wonder if it’s Val or one of our other LOH members riding somewhere to do something else good for the community!!!
I’ll never ride through the country and see a black sheep in a herd and not think of Doc, Jimbo, Leonard, Jimmer, Tiny, and all of the other Black Sheep members that contribute to HOG and support us in every step of our journey. These folks have touched me in ways I can’t put into words. I’m honored to have the first ever HOG Chapter Chaplain serve during my tenure as Director.
Our HOG group has left its shell and blossomed for the better. We are now more involved in the community than ever before because of the efforts of each and every one of our members. It is you, the members of Bakersfield HOG Chapter 1580 that have stepped up and made our chapter one of the elite in the HOG organization.
I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Scott Irvin for giving me the opportunity to hold this position. Scott is the catalyst of our organization and each and every one of you need to stop in and thank him for the opportunity to have a HOG group.
As we move toward a transition of HOG officers, remember, we are moving in the right direction. We’ll continue our momentum and continue to become a premier chapter that HOG can be proud of. Our chapter is what others strive to be…I know…I’ve heard it at Primary Officer’s Training and it’s because of our general membership. The best leaders in the world are ineffective unless there is someone willing to help. Currently, we have about 280 people willing to help and I’m thankful I happen to be in that group.
I hope to see each and every one of you on our next ride. Remember, our HOG motto is to “RIDE AND HAVE FUN.” If we are not fulfilling that for you, let me know and we’ll see if we can make it happen.
As always, ride safe and ride often…
Proud to be your Director…