July, 2006 – As I said in my talk to the Fulltime Graduating Class of 2005, almost everyone answered the same when asked “What’s been your favorite thing about fulltiming so far?” What I heard most of all was “The People!”
Tab became the main organizer for the group and I had such fun finally meeting him and his wife, Deanna.
Tony (Firedude) worried about me traveling solo, so he gave me this “firedude” for company. I promptly put a big “5150” number on his helmet. “FD code for “nut case.”
I’d often enjoyed Ron Bunge’s website “HitchItch” and Don Bradner’s expertise on DataStorm Users Forum, so it was a special treat to finally get to meet them. The beautiful turquoise necklace I am wearing was a gift made by Ron’s partner, Terry, who took this pic. I just loved being surrounded by all these great guys!
I can honestly say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
By the time the sun set on my stay in the desert, I more than ever appreciated the motto of the class: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather sliding in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and proclaiming, ‘Wow, what a ride!'” Amen!
This truth was even more meaningful and poignant when after the rally we learned that one of the early members of the class, Kathy Wells (Silver-Twinkie) had died before she could fulfill this dream of hers. We were all shocked and saddened when Mickey Ivey passed away unexpectedly before the year was up. Godspeed, our friends – we’ll see you down the road!