Wednesday, August 5
A message about Bob “Skoot”
It has been too long. I’m back with renewed energy and plans to be around more often. In my absence I’ve learned many things. One is that life will rear its head and alter plans in the time it takes to snap one’s finger.
Above all, I want to use this space to pay my respects to a dear friend whom I knew through our shared love of motorcycling but had never met until he decided to ride east from Vancouver. We selected a place to meet up in Illinois. I arrived at a little café first and waited patiently for him to arrive. When he did, it was like meeting an old friend, like someone I had known beyond emails and reading each other’s blogs.
Bob “Skoot” Leong did something for me that I hope I thanked him for. When my brother was killed, more than five years ago, I dropped out off many things. I had a tough time. I worked everyday, I keep up appearances but frankly I was preoccupied with solving the case. I spent a lot of my non-working time, calling the police, interviewing people whom I thought or had heard knew something about the case. To say I was obsessed is an understatement. I endured a five year court case (that must be a record) because the killer was almost killed, almost a year to the date of killing my brother. It was during this emotional roller coaster that I was diagnosed with an antoimmune disorder. But, I digress…
Throughout those years, Bob would drop me a line just to see how I was fairing or to comment on my photo site. He did what I had little desire to do, that is, keep in touch with others. Other things, like motorcycling, which once represented pure fun, had become insignificant. Yet, in spite of myself, each time I heard from Bob, my spirits lifted. Bob always made me smile. So, when he said he was riding west and wanted to meet, I was initially excited. My excitement, however, soon turned to hesitancy. It wasn’t Bob; it wasn’t that I didn’t want to meet him in person. Melancholy’s grip can be difficult to peel off. But Bob was irresistible. I’m glad he was. Meeting him in person was a most favorite afternoon. I enjoyed every minute of our too-short gathering.
After our time together Bob continued on his way. He had other with whom he was meeting. I went back to walking through the motions of my daily routine. But then something happened. With the court case finally over, the killer sentenced, I finally accepted that I had done all I could to bring my brother’s killer to justice. Letting go created some new space in my life.
Inside that new space, I started thinking again of serious, long distance motorcycling. Memories of a typical Saturday morning when I’d get up and ride from Chicago to Indianapolis (or some place my head told me to go) for lunch at Shapiro’s Deli. I’d ride around Indianapolis a bit and return home before dark. My thoughts turned to those friends I’d met via the ‘net and all the interesting moto blogs I used to check on. My plan to ride last summer were thwarted by an awful rotator cuff problem. I didn’t swing my leg over my bike the whole summer of 2014. It delayed my coming out party.
Still, at the end of last season, I knew I’d be back. And a new bike to celebrate that was just what the doctor ordered. My thoughts turned to Bob. I wanted to tell him that I was back. and to thank him again for coming near Illinois and making time to visit with me. I wanted to tell him about my new bike. I wanted to tell him that I was coming back...
I checked Bob’s blog. It didn’t take long to realize that something had happened. I can’t articulate how awful it felt to learn of his passing in 2014. For the longest, I thought there was a mistake. But the truth was written there. I even checked other blogs and read tributes to Bob. My heart felt heavy. Bob’s passing made me realize once again how fleeting life can be, how important it is to tell those who have touched us how we feel. I hope Bob knew how much I enjoyed meeting up with him. He made my day and did so on many days when he inquired about me. Pink crocs will always remind me of Bob. Most of all, I will always remember how we chatted like old friends. Wherever your spirit is Bob, RIP. Rest assured that you lifted mine each time you reached out.
Bobskoot's take on our meeting...
Sold my 2008 BMW F800ST, which I loved. But I’m loving the GT even more. The low back discomfort is gone! The changes made to the GT results in superb ergonomics IMHO. For me, the ride is more comfortable. I did two Iron Butts on the ST, I’m looking forward to doing one on the GT. BTW, is there a statute of limitation on submitting the paperwork for IBR? I better check that out. My new ride buddy is Jesse Owens, #2.
Solo history tour to Rohwer and Jerome Arkansas. From there, Jesse and I are heading to southern CA.