I've just returned from vacation where I had the first ride of my life with my hero. I just wanted to share this with you.
He was ten years older than me, and so we had a lot of years between us when I was young. He left home after high school. He survived a year of flying in Vietnam, and came home with an Air Medal with clusters and, unbeknownst to me until last week other, higher decorations. At the time I didn't know too much for I was fairly young, but I do have a copy of the Stars and Stripes with a picture of him and a story about one of his missions. He's never talked about it nor joined veteran groups. He told me he was thankful for the chance to see other parts of the world. He never got that college degree, but he worked in the aircraft business, raised his family, and then started his own business. He took care of his mother and helped her with anything he could.
He ran marthons and kept in good shape. He is the best mechanic, the finest shot with a rifle, and the best fisherman I know. On the wall of his lake house is a 9# and a 13.7# black bass, the latter having been the lake record for a period of time, and I have seen him kill a white tail deer on a dead run at 200 yards. We hunted together some over the years, but we never lived closer than one hundred miles.
A few months ago he sold his businesses and moved to his lake house. He can't jog anymore. So, about three weeks ago he pulled his son's 1980 vintage French bike from the rack, broke it down, cleaned and lubed everything, put new 27" tires on it, and started riding. I went by to see him last week and accepted his invitation to ride.
His longest ride to date had been 10 miles, but when I rode with him last week we both did 14 miles, me on my hardtail and he on his beautiful 14 speed Sun-Tour/Shimano 600 downtube shifter equipped bike. This was his longest ride, and my longest ride since shoulder surgery so it worked out okay. I had inherited an old Schwinn cruiser from him when I was younger, but this the FIRST TIME we had ever ridden bikes together.
So here it is, a picture of me and my hero......my big brother.