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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Who is this fellow? What is this guy all about? Those were the questions I asked myself on one of the few times I met this gentle giant in biker attire. I say "attire" because it seemed somewhat out of place on him, . . yet, there was this glow in his eyes which told you that he lived and breathed motorcycles.
Life's path leads to the meeting of various people from all walks of life. Some are just passing acquaintances and others leave more of a lasting impression. Funny, that this big, happy-go-lucky, lug should leave more than a distant memory on my imagination. There was definitely more here than met the eye. Yes, this guy who came to be know as "Big Dog" was a different breed. How say you?

Tom wasn't your average motorcycle enthusiast. No, he was one of the least likely people to choose motorcycling as an activity he enjoyed. You see, Tom was a Minister. As in "Man of the Cloth" type minister. At the time I met him, he was the Pastor of a large Baptist Church in Palm Springs California. Our meeting was a happen chance combination of Internet message boards, motorcycle riders, and persons looking for groups to ride with. Myself and some others had come together to form a riding group called "The Grizzlies". There were only a few initial members. Pastor Tom was an original "Grizzlie". Even though the club soon disbanded and its members merged into other riding clubs, we had a small nucleus of people who carried our original concepts of making riding clubs "inclusive" and not "exclusive". i.e., we saw that motorcycling was a common bond and not something which should be pigeon holed by things such as the type of bike, popularity, sex, age, etc., We decided to have Saturday rides, because Big Dog worked on Sunday. It was always great to have our own Chaplain on rides. No, . . Big Dog was anything but "average". .

Tom was not one of those preachers who gave you religious migraines by beating you between the eyes with a Bible. He gave you religion through osmosis. His gentle and happy spirit, caring nature and passion for his fellow man planted the seeds of faith in those around him. Tom did not lead, . . he inspired. Rare are those who can achieve that.

Well, The Big Dog was a big man and he liked BIG motorcycles. Having worn the spokes out on an earlier smaller bike, he made the Quantum leap to a bike of his stature, . A Valkyrie. 1600 CCs of raw power hammered to the ground by big meaty tires on a frame which said "Road Machine". Yeah, you are getting it now. . . while the biker attire didn't quite jive with outward appearances of this kind man, there was fire in the belly of the beast. Big Dog epitomized the saying "Live to Ride, Ride to LIve". On a motorcycle, he was like a duck in water; completely at home in his element. It fit him, it was where he belonged, it was his comfort zone. He was the proverbial six year old with a new bike and the thrill never subsided. Some things were just meant to be.

Here, awhile back, he and his wife Diane were transferred to a new Church in Bishop California. Pulling up roots from his Palm Springs flock and leaving those he'd come to spend many a mile as riding partners, was a pill he accepted with grace. Tom never lost sight of his life's mission as a Man of the Cloth; when the call came, he went to do his duty and serve his Lord.

In Bishop, he set about doing the things he knew how to do. His passion for motorcycles soon found him in the thick of other fellow enthusiasts. Can't keep a good man down or deny him his second nature. This Dog was born to hunt!

Unfortunately, due to a recent accident, Big Dog has been called to meet his maker. His legacy is a bountiful of good will. Some people find a way to express themselves through creative activities like painting, writing, etc., Tom was a painter of sorts, He painted the black top with tire rubber and good will. A Johnny Appleseed of spirituality. Always a glad hander, he made friends easily where ever he went. Big Dog was indeed "Hail Fellow, well met". Somebody anybody would feel at ease calling a "friend".

On those lonely stretches of road, where the shadows dance in silence and there is nothing but endless road and a distant horizon, . . a place where you can open the throttle and roar through eternity, Tom has seen the vista. Ride on old buddy. When you get to the last turn in the road, stop at the little coffee shop. There, you will find a waitress with an angelic smile. warm her with your corny wit and broad smile, . . tell her you have friends coming from behind, tell her they will join you soon. Audios Amigo"

-Bong
 

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Very well said, It seems some time in ones' life you will come accros that special person that touches your heart with a special feeling,obviously this man did that to you. I know how you feel, I to lost a person like that last year, whether it be some one you are related to or a person you meet by reason it is always good to have known that special friend, and don't forget you can still talk to him, he will hear you. Don't be sad for the loss, be happy for the memories. :sw1: :flg:
 

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Nice tribute Bubba. So many people make the assumption that if you ride a motorcycle (any motorcycle) you can't be a good Christian. People like Big Dog prove those folks wrong. Sorry for your loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can't take credit for the story, it was written by a dear friend of mine who knew Big Dog like I did.

Thanks for the responses. I posted the story so others could know of this great man. He was 'invincible until God was done with him'.
 

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Some people have it with tools , some with paints and some with words.
That was very well put, it put me at ease just reading it. Think of your friend often and what he stood for........................
 

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Sorry, I never met a man like that, he seemed like a wonderful man. That was quite a story and a touching one....

Gods Speed to his family and friends


bruce aka "the blue trawler"
 
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