Hi everybody...As you all know, I attended a memorial service out of town, for a great friend and Fraternity Brother Ned Kintner, this past Saturday. Ned died in December, but the small town that he lived in, was so snowbound this Winter that ole Nedly was kept on ice till just this Friday!!..I guess he didn't look too bad, but they kept the casket closed anyway...
Before I describe the fantastic send-off we gave him, I want to thank the Kintner Family for asking me to participate in one of THE greatest endings, any man could possibly have. The honor was all mine!!!
Ned belonged to the Local chapter of Rolling Thunder, mainly they are comprised of crippled old biker bastards and Veterans. At Saturday's service the room with Jammed with Black Leather Clad sniffling bikers, there to pay final homage to a dear friend...
Sooo, here's the scenario... Ned's Bike, (middle picture) was taken by one of the Rolling Thunder members named Ray, to be washed, waxed, tuned up, and brought to the front door of the Funeral Home. This bike has an S&S kit on it (more power) Screaming Eagle Pipes (very loud), and I was chosen to ride HIS bike in the funeral procession!!!
But Wait....There's more!!!!
During the service each of Ned's surving siblings got up and choked through some very touching stories about Ned's life. When they were finished the preacher got up to say some final yada yada words...That was My cue to boogie on out of there!!!
I then got on Ned's bike, strapped on my helmut, and looked to the front door. And sure enough, as rehearsed, the Funeral Director propped open the front door just 10 feet from me and the impending Thunder. It was planned that Ned's final song was Reo Speedwagons "Back on the Road Again"..Just as That song started playing, I fired The Hog Up!!!!! Not only did I fire it up... I layed on the throttle like you would not believe. Absolutely everybody in the place knew the sound of Ned's Bike, and it was like the Ghost of Ned was outside beckoning his brothers for one Final Ride..The song kept playing over and over until everyone walked past the closed casket and the awesome picture of Ned that someone had blown up in picture 3....By the time that they made it to the front door, there was NOT a dry eye to be seen anywhere. They all nodded to me and smiled in approval that they had accepted me on HIS bike !!!
As they loaded the casket, and the bikes (numbering about 40) rolled out to form the final procession, I slowly followed the big black Suburban Hearse just like the Presidential Riderless Horse in a State Funeral, I stayed behind the fallen rider, seeing his owner for one last time!!
Picture #1 is me standing in front of Ned's Magnificent (empty) cabin, looking at my pocket watch, and wondering.....How much time do I have left?
"Please don't hate me Mama for what I'm about to do.
But the good times we had together, are just about now through.
Please don't misunderstand me, I hate to see you cry.
But I think that it might look better, if I told you now good-bye.
I'm back on the road again, it's time I leave you now
And maybe I'll see you next time that I come around
Until then I hope you are happy baby
And the good times come your way..
I'm back on the road again...
I'm on my way....!"