Today is my brother Thomas’s birthday. He should be having his fifty first birthday party but instead there is no party or happy birthdays for him any longer. He was the victim of a woman who could not wait until a truck made his turn, freeing up her unobstructed view of the other lane. Instead of putting her cell phone down and paying attention to her driving she pulled out. Right in front of my brother on his Harley. Now he was an experienced rider having ridden since he was a teen and was a careful rider too. No showboating or running outlandish speeds for him as he had a family to take care of. She claimed she never saw him on his scooter and I guess she may have told the truth there but not looking and killing my brother was total negligence on her part. It is going on five years since he quit having birthdays, and I still can not forgive that (inset ugly words) woman. I know Thomas is listed as a statistic now because he was not wearing a helmet he was added to the unhelmeted statistics. It doesn’t matter to their numbers that he suffered massive body trauma. What killed him was not a head injury but bone fragments from his shattered femur cutting the femoral artery. Every birthday of his is hard on me and I tear up just like I am now. We may have fought and scrapped at times but if anyone jumped one of us he had both of us to contend with. Especially while we lived in Quincy Massachusetts. There we suffered teasing and fights because of our southern drawl was different from the Boston dialect that they knew. I felt as long as we had each other no one was going to trample on us.

Thomas got his love for Harleys at a young age. I can remember clear as day the very day our uncle Walt came over to grannies place to visit while we were there and Walt was riding his hog with full fairing. After giving us both a ride Thomas was gut hooked. All he could talk about was getting him a harley. He had to settle for a Triumph for his first bike but it was a beast. It had previously been a flat track racer and it ran like it as it would nearly jump out from under you if you were not careful. I helped him get his first real motorcycle in our eyes. A 1964 Harley panhead. Full dressed out bike. Last year they made a bike that was kick start only.

I could write pages on how us and our love for bikes. I would love to have another one but with my hands like they are and the rest of my physical ailments would prevent me from enjoying anything more than 10 minutes on it.

What I would like for you to do is: Please watch for motorcycles. They are everywhere. With the price of gas going through the roof there will be many more using motorcycles of all makes for daily driving. It only takes a moment to actually look to see if anything is coming. Or you could take that moment to not look and hurry out and kill someone’s, brother, sister, son, daughter, mom or dad.

I am also going to post an old picture of us during the Cuban missile crisis. Both your inquisitive idiot and his younger brother are in uniform ready to fight right alongside our pop.

   Happy Birthday Bro. I love and miss you. I hope you are riding your scooter across the heavens as I know how much you loved having your face in the wind.

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