Rocket City Wings
Huntsville, Alabama -- Chapter B, Region A
Friends for Fun, Safety & Knowledge
-- From the Chapter Directors
For the shortest month, February was packed full of great events. It started off with the Chili Bowl at Cycle Nation. Our very own Faye Gersch won the people's choice for best chili. The only problem I had with her chili was that she dumped half of it out in the car and I only got to have one bowl. I'm not saying that she deserved the J for Genius or anything, but if someone would have nominated her I would have supported them. Good chili wasn't the only thing going on at Cycle Nation that day. We had our first recruiting day for the year. I'm not sure if we got any new recruits, but we talked to a bunch of folks about GWRRA. Steve Kremer and Avery provided information on Rider Safety and Motor Awareness also.
Next we combined our monthly gathering and a Valentine's party into one. We had a great turnout and I think everyone had a good time. I know I did, until we played the Newlywed game. I found out stuff about some of you that I really didn't need to know. On top of that I got myself into trouble with my answers. I won't repeat them here because Renee is still punishing me and I don't want to reminder her why. Jake proved that once you have the J for Genius, it can be hard to get rid of by winning it for the second straight month. I still think Faye should have at least tied for the award; however I'm sure I could let it go if I had some more of that chili.
Chapter B has declared 2012 the Year of Training. We kicked off the training by having a leadership training day on Thursday the 16th. I was very pleased with the turn out. We had 16 members set through the Chapter of the Year and seven other seminars. Next Avery, Jake, Kathy, Bill and Bonnie completed the Officer Certification Program in Bessemer on the 18th and 19th. All Chapter B Officers are now OCP qualified. As if that wasn't enough training for the month, we had 14 Chapter B'ers attend Chapter Leadership Skills the next Saturday. Keep checking the website for more training opportunities to come in the near future.
I'm sure that you're tired of me rambling on about all the great things that happened in February. Most of you were there and experienced them for yourself. For those that weren't, don't worry we have a lot of opportunities for you to join in on the fun this month. Starting with Chapter AL-Y's fun day, this has been the traditional kick-off of the riding season in Alabama. We have a Chapter ride planned leaving from the Shell Station in front of Cracker Barrel at 8:00 am. AL-Y captured the Region Plaque and are giving it away at the fun day. We need as many of you as possible to make the fun day if we want to capture the Plaque for our chapter. We could have folks from as far away as Miami going after it. We get credit for 97.4 miles for each Chapter B member that attends. That means we need seven people for every one person from Miami.
We are starting the Chapter Birthday parties up again. The first one is scheduled for the 10th at the Berry Hill Club House. The information is on the website. If we capture the Region plaque we will give it away at the party. We have a ride planned to Chapter Y's fun day on the 17th. Wait I just said that we were going to Chapter Y's fun day on the 3rd. Well this time it's Tennessee Chapter Y's fun day. These people put the fun in fun day. They also supported our fun day in a big way. Let's show them how much we appreciated their support by having a large turnout. Again, the information is on the website. For those of you that couldn't make the Medic \ First Aid training in January, Chapter V will be putting on a class on the same day. If you need the training, we will forgive you for not making the ride to TN-Y. Renee will be helping Carl and Jan Breeding conduct the class. They do a great job and you get to have breakfast before class. Once again all the information is on the website.
To finish off the month, several of us are planning on attending the FL convention from the 22nd -- 24th. If you would like to join us please let me know and I will get you all of the information. If you do plan to attend please get your registration postmarked by the 10th so that you count for the number of participants from Chapter B.
Our next gathering will back at Oh! Bryan's on the 13th of March. Please plan to attend and join in on the fun. This is your Chapter and your input is needed to make things happen. A good place to provide your ideas is at the Chapter ride meeting, the next one is scheduled on the 8th at Kevin and Darlene's.
Last but not least, we have some new members on the chapter team. Walter and Faye are the new Chapter Historians and Dexter and Starla, along with Steven and Tammy are the co-Chapter of the Year Coordinators. Please give them your support and let them know that we appreciate what they do.
Ride Safe Today So You Can Ride Again Tomorrow
|Greg & Renee Dempsey|
Chapter Couple Notes
-- From the Chapter Couple of the Year
Another month, another article. We went to Logan's Thursday night, 2-2-12, and boy did we have a good turn out. Twenty people showed up. Kind of got the Logan's staff a little flustered.
Jake and I went to the Chili Cook-off at Cycle Nation on Saturday, 2-4-12. We helped set up our area and worked at the recruitment table. I sampled all of the chili entries but one. Everyone kept saying it was really hot, hot, hot. Didn't want to burn my taste buds. It was really hard to decide between two chilis, that, I'm proud to say, were both brought in by members of our chapter, Faye Gersch and Bonny Nelson. They did us proud. Faye took 1st place, but in my opinion they were both winners. It was a good day.
We got to go to breakfast on Sunday, 2-5-12. It can get difficult deciding which Sundays we need to be in Church and which ones we can go to the Sunday chapter breakfasts.
Saturday, 2-11-12, we went with Steve, Tammy, and Greg to AL-H's Gathering. Several showed up from our chapter. We had a really good time and got to see a lot of old friends.
For Valentine's Day Jake took me out to eat at the Greek restaurant that we both liked, Tiziki's. It really felt different with just the two of us eating out without the rest of the chapter. I kept looking around to see if anyone else was coming in.
Wednesday, 2-15-12, Jake and I started a class at our Church, Living Well Alabama, which is suppose to teach you management skills for dealing with chronic illnesses and conditions. It is to last for 6 weeks. This first class was really good and Jake and I both liked it a lot. Hope the rest of the classes are as good.
On Saturday, 2-17-12, Steve and Tammy rode down with Jake and I to OCP Training in Bessemer, AL. We originally planned to get down there in time to play some 99 with Avery, but we were a little late. Sorry Avery. I know one thing, the first day of class was really long. I was sooooo tired by the time it was over, and all I could think of was that we still had another day to go. But the next day wasn't nearly as bad, at least once the test was over. I enjoyed it all, we learned a lot, and I recommend it to everyone, especially if Frank Teasly is the instructor. He was really good.
The very next Saturday, we went back to Bessemer, with Steve and Tammy, for a one day leadership training class. No test this time. I kept telling Jake all the way down, "This all looks so familiar". Well, we got through the class with no casualities, except maybe Avery. I won't give any details but, by execuitive decision, Jake got rid of the "J for Genius" award a little early. To find out the rest of the story you'll have to come to the chapter gathering.
It has been a busy, fun filled month and we're looking forward to March. Thanks to a generous offer from Greg and Renee, we'll be going to the Florida Convention. Hopefully Steve & Tammy will be going also.
Until next month, ride safe and ride often.
|Kathy & Jake & Lawyer|
In the Spotlight
-- Dexter & Starla Brandon
|Dexter & Starla Brandon|
Dexter & Starla first met one another in 1982 while Starla was attending Alabama A & M University. Dexter was friends with Starla's Uncle, Floyd. Although meeting that year, it wasn't until years later that their story begins. Both went on to marry and have a family - then in 2003 - Starla found herself a divorced mother of two living in Indiana. She prayed for the Lord to guide her and allow her to meet a good man. One particularly hard day in 2006, she broke down in tears, praying for the Lord to send that someone special in to her life. The Lord was indeed listening, as within minutes she received a phone call from a gentleman she had met many years earlier, Dexter. Dexter was divorced as well and had run into his friend Floyd, Starla's Uncle.. and happened to ask about her. He asked for her phone number and was pretty persistant until he finally got it! That phone call changed both of their lives. After talking with one another over the next month, Dexter drove to Indiana... and after dating for about six months ... they married on September 4, 2006. Starla says "The Lord may not answer you when you want him to - but he is always on time" The timing is amazing in many ways - as within three months of their dating, Starla's Uncle passed away.
When it comes to motorcycles, Dexter purchased his first Goldwing (a 1987) while in Germany. After he and Starla married and while they were living in Indiana, they owned several bikes, including a 1981 & 1984 Goldwing. Once they returned to Alabama in 2008 - two more Goldwings were purchased - one from our very own Kevin Kennemer - and they are now owners of a 1500 Goldwing. They joined GWRRA two years ago.. and enjoy riding with the Chapter when they get the chance. They also enjoy attending gatherings and events. They are really looking forward to riding down to Mobile in April for the Alabama District Rally.
When they aren't working - Dexter at Sparta and Starla at Aids Action Coalition - they enjoy camping and gardening. Starla also loves to karaoke - and as we all know, she has a beautiful voice! They are parents to Mario, 27 (California) , Andrew, 26 & Ryan, 22 (Indiana) , Jasmine, 21 and DJ, 15 (Huntsville)
We all so enjoy spending time with this lovely family .. and love having them as part of our Chapter B Family!
-- From the Chapter Rider Educators
Safety is an Attitude
March is a great time to take advantage of more free rider education that could prepare you mentally and physically, to be a safer rider. Safety is an attitude. Hopefully, the knowledge and skills learned will reduce our risk on the road so we can all enjoy the company of our friends, family and fun chapter events ahead. It's not without saying that we all have busy schedules, with work; honey do lists, and so on, and with great weather lately, there's plenty of folks already out riding just about every day.
Well, if your one of those that have already been riding, or plan to soon, then be sure to set some time aside for all of the Rider Education available in the months ahead. Just follow the web link(s) to our calendar and be challenged to have some fun. Sure it takes time and commitment, but like anything, you'll hopefully always learn something and walk away with a perspective that could change the outcome of a future situation. Safety is an attitude. I've actually sat through some classes that didn't seem to be loads of fun but they were informative, and I never went away hungry. The overall experience was, if anything, a lesson learned in being more patient and having a more positive attitude. Why does it seem that I'm more tolerable but having less of the patience these days? Understanding that many people seem to think " they've learned it all" can make one believe that we've already had enough information overload (with the Internet and all) or just don't believe there can be much of a desire to sit through another lesson. It's so easy to rationalize believing there's something else we could be doing, and there might be, but where's our sense of adventure, especially when it's with folks that want to enjoy the same experiences as you? Safety is an attitude.
A great strength of any Rider Education program in GWRRA or the National Motorcycle Foundation ( MSF) has always been the people, their talents and commitment. Nothing brings this closer to my mind than the thumbs up responses I continue to get whenever we ride in public and are able to be a positive influence to motorists. Our desire to be educated about safe riding is exemplified when we put it into practice with the right attitude. It also means that we want to continue to enjoy the next ride.
Please take time to browse through the Chapter Web site and see upcoming education events and Links to valuable motorcycle safety sites (see below).
Hope to see you at our next Chapter Meeting and remember to be visible.
"Safety is for Life".
|Steve & Shirley Kremer|
March 2012 - AL-B Ride Schedule
- Unless otherwise indicated, all rides will leave from the ride meeting place at scheduled time.
- As a courtesy to all members, it is important to be ready to leave at the departure time.
- All bikes should be fueled and bladders emptied ahead of time.
- We plan a variety of rides. Time and money might make it hard to make all events. We hope this variety will give you an opportunity to pick and choose, and at least enjoy some of them.
- If the weather is bad--come in your car.
- If you have a CB, you will find us on Channel 1 (unless noted otherwise by the ride leader).
- We need your ride suggestions!!
- We need any and all of your ideas!!
- You can be part of the Ride Committee!!
- If you want to help...
Please e-mail us at Rid eCoo rdin ator
March - 2012
|1||Thu||Supper at Olive Garden -- 6:00pm. 3730 University Dr.|
|3||Sat||Ride to AL-Y Fun Day -- 8:00am Meet at Shell Station in front of Cracker Barrel Madison. To go to Gardendale Civic Center, Gardendale Al.|
|6||Tue||Supper at Beaueguards -- 6:00pm. 511 Jordan Ln.|
|8||Thu||Ride Meeting at Kevin & Darlene Kennemer's -- 6:30pm - 323 Willow Oak Dr. Harvest, Al (Bring Snacks and your ideas) We value your input if you cannot make it email your ideas.|
|10||Sat||Birthday Party Lunch January-March Birthday's -- 12:00 - Berryhill Estates Clubhouse 105 Riverwalk Tr. New Market (Get Ready for Spring bring items for a Picnic Lunch call Darlene for items needed)|
|11||Sun||Daylight Savings Time Begins -- Spring Ahead|
|13||Tue||Rocket City Wings gathering -- OH!Bryan's, 2136 Highway 72 E, Huntsville. Eat 6pm / Meet 7pm|
|15||Thu||Supper at Mellow Mushroom -- 6:00pm. 2230 Cecil Ashburn SE.|
|17||Sat||Ride to TN-Y Fun Day -- 8:00am. Meet at Meridianville Shell on Hwy 431 will be going to Murfreesboro Tn. Fun Day cost $12.50 this includes lunch. Will stop at Legends Steakhouse on the way home for dinner.|
|Parking Log Practice -- 8:00am - Zomora Temple Parking Lot - 3521 Ratlif Rd, Birmingham, AL 35210|
|Medic/First Aid -- 9:30am - Outlaw Steak House, 4641 Wyeth Dr Guntersville|
|St. Patrick's Day|
|18||Sun||Breakfast at Edith Ann's -- 8:30am. 255 Pratt Ave.|
|20||Tue||Supper at 5 Guys Burgers & Fries -- 6:00pm. 1395 Enterprise Way|
|First Day of Spring -- 05:20 UTC|
|22||Thu||Supper at Las Trojas Cantina -- 6:00pm. 2760 Hwy. 53 (Corner of Hwy.53 and Research Park Blvd)|
|GWRRA - Florida District Rally (Thru Saturday)|
|24||Sat||Dinner Ride to Grandmother's -- 4:00pm Meet at Mouintain Gap/Kangaroos S. Pkwy. Grandmothers is at 3980 Old Hwy 431.|
|25||Sun||Breakfast at IHOP -- 8:30am. 6151 University Dr.|
|27||Tue||Supper at Nothing but Noodles -- 6:00pm. 4200 University Dr.|
|29||Thu||Supper at Po Boy Factory -- 6:00pm. 616 Stevens Ave.|
|31||Sat||Game Night -- 6:00pm. Jake & Kathy Lawyers 2510 Oxmoor Blvd. SW.|
April - 2012
|1||Sun||All Fool's Day|
|7||Sat||Road Captain's Class -- 8:00am - UAB Medical West Hospital, 995 9th Ave, Bessemer|
|Parking Lot Practice -- Madison Country Exec Airport in Meridianville -|
9:00am Bikes / 1:30pm Trikes
|10||Tue||Rocket City Wings gathering -- OH!Bryan's, 2136 Highway 72 E, Huntsville. Eat 6pm / Meet 7pm|
|16||Mon||Income Taxes Due|
|19||Thu||AL District Convention (Thru Saturday)|