June, 2004

June 5, 2004

Today was the 8th Annual June Fest Car, Bike, and Trike show in Medicine Lodge, organized by Blackfoot Willie, a talented artist who does the artwork for Brothers of the Third Wheel monthly magazines, and also owns the one-and-only "Trikezilla."  Cars, bikes, and trikes park in a section of Main Street blocked off for the day, and Blackfoot does the artwork for some of the nicest plaques and T-shirts I've ever seen at any show.  He also had the grill set up in the back of a 1957 Ranchero and had hotdogs, chips, and drinks ready.  Junkyard Dan, third from the left, built probably the first trike in Wichita in 1971, and has done over 70 trikes since that time.  In addition to the show on Main Street, there was a run that left after the awards were presented.  

My original plan for the day was to leave Medicine Lodge when the run left, and then to head up to Woodston, KS, for an Assemblies of God church camp. I had my tent, sleeping bag, and clean clothes packed, and I was ready to ride from the southern part of the State to the northern part near the Nebraska line. However, after I left Medicine Lodge and started heading for Great Bend I noticed some significant clouds building in the north. When I made it to Great Bend I decided  I might shut down for the night and take off early in the morning, given the look of the clouds.   I also decided I needed a Blizzard from DQ to help me think about whether I would go to the drag strip, or whether I'd act like I had some sense and go home and just rest for once.  

I pulled into the park across the street from the DQ, parked in some shade, and saw some people in a shelter when I stopped.  Initially, I couldn't hear what the guy said, but, after pulling my earplugs out I heard him make a nice comment about the BugWing.  He, his wife, and her mother came over so I got the photo album out so they could see the construction process while I went for my Blizzard.  I introduced myself to the three of them and learned they are Roberto, Isabel, and her mother Claudia, and they're all from Chile.  Roberto and Isabel have been in the country for about 12 years, and Claudia has only been here for five days, but will be able to stay for several months for a visit.  They invited me to their table where they gave me some stuffed Jalapenos that were really good.  We were able to talk for a while before I decided I should leave and put the BugWing in the garage since the clouds looked so threatening.  I hope to see them again some day!!

June 6, 2004

Well, the weather was such I'm glad I didn't continue last night.  There was some hail north of here I would not have wanted to get into.  Instead, I left early this morning for the ride to the church camp east of Woodston, KS.  This is a special place I haven't attended nearly enough over the years.  I remember going for the first time over 50 years ago as a child, and this is the 80th year for the camp in this location.  I rode up on my R100 BMW last time and camped in my tent like these people, but that was over five years ago.  A creek bed, now dry, runs through the campground, and this bridge leads across from the parking area to the other side where more cottages are located, and it's where the Tabernacle is located and where services are held.  I wish I had thought to ask a number of relatives about services in this building years ago, but those people are gone, or would not remember now due to their ages and physical condition.  My father's father was one of the three founding deacons of the Pleasant Green Assembly of God many years ago way out in the country north of Agra, and I've heard some about the founding of the church and tent meetings before the church was constructed.  Those people had nothing, materially, and farmed just to have food to live.  

A bunch of them started off heading in the wrong direction, but a bunch of them also straightened out spiritually and a number of them became preachers.  I'm really thankful for the heritage I have. I headed in the wrong direction myself after I got out of high school and made a mess of things for the next 21 years, even though I knew the Truth and lived it prior to that time.  Fortunately, however, memories of places like Woodston and the preaching of some of those relatives had an significant impact on me.  My spiritual eyes started opening while sitting in a bar in the early morning hours of September 22, 1985.  The experience and what I saw clearly for the first time was so disturbing I had to leave.  I became aware at that time I was on the wrong path, big time, and, a few hours later, I walked back into that church I'd left 21 years before where I knew the Truth was preached.  I did an about-face that day.

Lives have been changed forever inside this old Tabernacle, as rough as it is inside.  Somehow, though, that really doesn't matter and it's part of what makes the place so special to me and many others who've been smart enough to go to camp at Woodston.  I can't recommend it enough.  When the service ended today, people left the Tabernacle and started heading for Alton, KS, where a huge lunch was waiting at the old high school.  Several weeks ago, some community people put on a bike run to benefit this facility and I posted photos of that run in a previous entry.  I forgot to do a photo of the building that day, however, so this run allowed me to do that.  After lunch, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony and prayer to dedicate the Heartland Teen Challenge center.   More information about the facility can be found here.

As I prepared to leave I was talking with some people at the BugWing, and, at one point, turned around and almost bumped into Tony and his wife Robin who live in Alton.  Tony headed up the run several weeks ago.  They took me to the shop building I hadn't seen, and that's where some of the residents in the program will make stakes used in construction, using some specially designed saws.  After I got the tour of the shop, I headed back to the BugWing after saying my goodbyes to Tony and Robin, and then I ran into Deanna who had also been at the run several weeks ago and I'd had a chance to talk with her briefly.  She did some photos before I left and told me of an event coming up in Alton on August 28, 2004; that being a parade that runs the full four blocks of the Main drag, and has seen 100+ entries in the past.  They have many more activities than the parade, though, and she'll be sending some more information.  I told her I'd check the calendar to see if I could make it, and also said I'd pass the information along to my chapter, and other chapters.  If you read this, Deanna, I did check the calendar and it's clear I won't be able to make the parade this year.  That weekend is our annual State CMA rally and chapters from all over the State will be there.  Please keep me posted about other events, though, and the date for the parade next year.  For the rest of you who won't be at the State CMA rally, go to Alton and get into the parade and other activities........