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Old 08-05-06, 07:46 AM   #1
Monoborracho
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A Ride With My (American) Hero

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.

Last edited by Monoborracho; 08-21-07 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 08-05-06, 07:56 AM   #2
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Neat story. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-05-06, 08:02 AM   #3
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My big brother wouldn't fall in most of those catagories. He was in the Army reserves instead of the regulars. He got married and had kids while I went into the Air Force. He worked his whole life away trying to just live a normal life. He injured his back and was retired from the railroad. He had a heart attack and he was told to try riding a bike.

He got me interested in riding about 15 years ago and I've never looked back. He lost interest pretty quickly since riding a bike involves a lot of pain and work.

In some ways my older brother is a big pain in the butt. But he's still my older brother and even when you'd like to punch him in the nose you also want to give him a hug.

Sometimes you need to be reminded of that.
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Old 08-05-06, 10:01 AM   #4
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Great story: thanks for sharing it...

So have you guys gotten all the rain in south Texas that hit El Paso further up the RG basin?
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Old 08-05-06, 10:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monoborracho
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.

A very touching story.

Your brother is more than a hero to many of us that served.
Very inspirational
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Old 08-05-06, 10:42 AM   #6
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LOVED your story. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 08-05-06, 08:36 PM   #7
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As a vintage RVN vet, you mean as much to him as he does to you. There are not a lot of men that will tell a personal story like you did. That means that your relationship is a very important part of you. The Honour I'm sure runs both ways.

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