Sunday, April 20, 2008

Funeral For A Friend...........

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....!"


Strumpet said...

Well, you can now count my eyes as being no longer dry as well.

What a beautifully written post, Galen.

Most seriously.

I felt like I could hear the thundering bikely bellows with my own ears all the way here in Chi-town.

You rock.

And what an excellent friend you are.

To so very many.

Ned's bike is pretty freaking snazzy, man.

Gorgeously hot.

xoxo, Gayland

Cazzie!!! said...

Oh wow, you could not want for a better send off than that, a celebration of the life and love of a friend...absolutely touching stuff Galen..huggs xxxx

tsduff said...

Ned's Road King looks much like my Husbands - only Bernard's was Hunter Green. Your memorial service reminds me so much of the one I held for my husband, Bernard. He LOVED his bike - he loved Harley Davidson. I understood that HD has a corner on the market on their trademark name, but upon his death, I asked the funeral home director if he would allow My Hustand to take the HD emblem, and put it on the gravestone next to my husband's name. He was most understanding, and my husband would be so happy to see his own gravestone bearing the HD emblem next to his name f'n trade mark and all. Not much I was able to do for him at that point - but I know he would be happy to see it on his gravestone forever.

Your post was great. Not much I can add - I know about biker funerals - as I feel my husband had one ever so similar to your friend Ned. Harley Owners just deserve the best. xo

Mona said...

This post is good.

The last part made me sentimental as well...

Parting is such a sweet sorrow, but part we all must, one day...

the moment we are born is also the moment we have taken our first step towards our death...

No one is here forever...& still the journey must go on....

buffalodickdy said...

Great tribute! You ever been to "Blessing of the Bikes" in Baldwin, MI? Used to be quite a turn out...

SignGurl said...

Galen, I'm so happy that things turned out as they did. You were able to be a huge part of your friend's send off and that had to be such an honor.

I must go dry my eyes now *sniffle*


lime said...

goodbyes are never easy but i am so glad that you were given such an honor and performed it well. i'm glad the farewell was befitting your friend. may he rest in peace and may you and his friends and family be comforted by happy memories.

Mona said...

Galen! now that you have bid farewell to a friend... will you please come & wish a happy birthday to our blogger friend Peter? I would be much obliged!

javajazz said...

aw sweetie...
what a beautiful ending
for your old buddy,
and what an incredible honour
that you were the one they asked
to ride his bike on out...
thats sweet and from the heart.
sending love...xoxo

Rebicmel said...

You know this makes me think of life in the beginning and the end.

When we are born we have no significance tied to that name, through life we build a name for ourself. These are the things we will be remembered for.

So when we pass and our family and friends gather they are remembering the person we were and became.

Sounds like this friend of yours Galen, made a good name with his family and community. He was remembered for what he brought forth as a person.

I always say our name be it good or bad is what we will be remembered for, that is why it's so important to decide how we want to be remembered.

That REO song is awesome, made me cry! Rest well Ned and go in peace, long may your Harley be blazing on the open roads!!!

jillie said...

Oh Galen...what a wonderful tribute to your brother biker. I am finding my eyes are shedding some tears themself. Not for the loss of your friend, but for the love and respect you have for one another. You are one of a kind and I love you for that!


Akelamalu said...

What an honour for you and what a send off for your friend. I imagine he was watching it all and nodding his head in approval. x

VE said...

Cool. I want to be put on ice in my swim suit, Jimmy Buffet shirt and flip flops and then left somewhere that is always I'd wandered there and froze to death. Fun.

Serena Joy said...

Y'all did Ned proud -- and you know he was there in spirit.

G-Man said...

Thank you one and all for your kind words, love,and friendship...You all ROCK!
I'm really tired tonight as I had an extremely busy day...And to boot, My son needs the PC to write a 20 page paper...I may NOT return tonight, so....Later!!

DarkAngel said...

I remember a story about a biker like that in Florida. His last name was Chapman and he went by Chappy. His widow, when he had JUST passed, a few seconds before, says "wait! Chappy wants to ride his bike one more time!", ran out, got on the bike, laid across the tank and revved the throttle for him.

You're the best!!!

Strumpet said...

Twenty pages!!!


Good luck, little G.

And get some rest, Galen Lee.


smarmoofus said...

Beautiful, G. What an honor that his family chose you. And that is one of the most thoughtful memorial services I have ever heard of.

G-Man said...

Thanks for the story..
And the visit!!
I love it when you leave your lair...G

Yeah he finally finished it..whew!

Are you finally back from Montana??
Missed your 55's

ciara said...

this post was awesome and what an honor to be chosen to ride the bike. it sounded like a wonderful tribute for a wonderful friend. xo

James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

That was a lovely tribute to your fallen brother, G-man. You even put a lump in my throat and I didn't even know the man. I'm sure he smiled down on the procession, content with the knowledge that he called you friends.