Monday, April 20, 2009

Dr. Joe

I would like to tell you about Doctor Joe Hineman. Dr. Joe is 86 year young and just as of full of life as anyone half his age including me. He's a remarkable man.

Dr. Joe is a WWII vet who lost his left leg just below the hip in the battle of the Bugle. During the attack a mortar exploded in the trees above him and he took shrapnel to his leg. While laying in the hospital bed feeling sorry for himself and thinking life is over he kept hearing this other wounded soldier screaming. For three days he listen to this soldier scream in pain and all he could think of is how his life sucked now. But on the fourth day the screaming had stopped and it hit Dr. Joe that "hey I'm still alive." Yes the other soldier had lost his battle for life and died from his injuries.

So Dr. Joe set upon a life that many of us will never aspire to. He got home and went to school and got his Masters in dairy animal husbandry. He studied all he could about the profession and did it for, well to be honest I don't remember how long he told me but it was a long time. He retired but he didn't stop.

It was then that Dr. Joe decided he wanted to be a doctor. So back to school he went and got his Doctrine in Physiology . That's right Dr. Joe wasn't done learning yet. Years past and he meets his wonderful second wife, she too is something but that is another story for another time. Dr. Joe again did this job he loved very much for many years. All the while going to school to learn more about his profession. Once again Dr. Joe retires from this job at the rip age of I suppose seventy.

Now most of us would retire and find some place nice to sit and watch the sunrise and sunset with a some frosty beverage and a warm breeze. Not Dr. Joe. Instead he now volunteers at the local jails and VA hospitals helping those who need what Dr. Joe has. Dr. Joe also goes to the the Veterans Olympics in Colorado every year where he has won more medals then he can wear at one time. He skies, plays ice hockey and helps Vets returning from the wars of today to see that they are still very much people who have a lot to offer and many things in life yet to do.

One day some years back he walks into my shop and says, “fasthair I want to buy a bike.” Kind of shocked I stepped back a bit and looked at him and said “Doc if that is what you want to do then I think you should.” He goes on to tell me that this is something he has always wanted but never thought it was something he could do. You see that one leg thing was kind of slowing him down from this idea. After we talked about what he could buy since he would need reverse at the least and either a side car or some kind of out rigger set up it was decided that a Gold Wing was a perfect candidate. Out the door he goes and to be honest I never really gave it another thought.

Then some months later his wonderful wife, Dorothy, walked in my shop and asks rather sternly “Do you know where Joe is at?” Thinking she may have lost him, again, I tried to think of what day it was. She had called me once before to try and figure out where it was she had dropped off Dr. Joe. Since this was a Thursday I told her he was probably at his breakfast club with the boys to which she exclaimed “oh that’s right I dropped him off at the Hotel Fort Des Moines.” Needless to say I wasn’t ready for the answer she was about to give me to her own question.

“He’s out in Arizona buying a motorcycle because you said it was ok!”

Dr. Joe was in Arizona where his sons lived buying a brand new Gold Wing. His sons and him had researched the best way to set up an out rigger set up and which bike was best suited to his needs. I thought she was rather perturbed at me for supporting Dr. Joe’s desire of wanting to ride. As I tried to reason with her that is something Dr. Joe wanted and it would be helpful if she would support him and stand behind him in this new adventure towards how he moved forward from here on out. As much as all of this rather out of the blue conversation continued I made the comment “you know it would be great if you would hop on the back and go riding with him sometime.” Her next comment took me completely off my feet. “Hell with that, I want my own bike!”

Dr. Joe

Needless to say I knew at that point Mrs. Dr. Joe was really ok with his decision and wanted me to know that he was following through with his desire to ride a motorcycle. To this day the Misses still hasn’t got her own bike but good ol’ Dr. Joe still rides from time to time.

I had started to write this almost a year ago. It set in my drafts folder all this time waiting for me to finish it and give Dr. Joe the due justice he deservers. It was IronDads’ post about his friend Bryce who has made the hardest choice we as riders could ever face that got me to finish it. When to give up riding because we were no longer feeling safe in our ability to control a bike. I want Bryce to know that I really can’t imagine the torture he must have been going through to come to this point in his life. But I also wanted to show him that maybe there is still hope to be riding even if it is not in the same way he has enjoyed all of this time. It appears from his letter to IronDad that he is at peace with this tough choice. To which I will add I hope I can be that graceful when that time comes in my life.

God bless you Bryce. 


Saturday, April 11, 2009


From the phone. 36 more days an there are fishermen. No leaves on the trees but no ice either! Now off to my favorite road!


Another photo from the same spot to document how the year goes by. This is the third photo and about the the only thing that has changed is no more snow or ice but the temps are much better. As I look at this photo it sure looks like it was a nice day for a ride, blue skies, blue water,  yup nice day for a ride!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Job Update

Update at bottom.

It’s no secret to anyone who reads my blog I’m a drag race nut. So today I get to announce a new job and carrier. After many months of intense negotiations and backing from Team Slut Drag Racing and Housby Mack I was able to put a deal together to drive Jim Head’s Nitro Funny Car. Jim has been looking for a new driver for over a year but couldn’t find anyone with money to take the seat.

All the parties involved couldn’t be happier. When asked about his new venture into NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Kevin Housby, CEO of Housby Mack, had this to say. “We couldn’t be happier to have Fast as our driver. He is a solid person who will represent us and Jim Head Racing with the highest integrity and respect. I’ve known Fast for years and had a lot of great times with him on and off the track. Then being part of Jim Head racing is like a dream come true. He has been in the sport for almost as long as I’ve been alive. He has respect from his peers and has done many great things for NHRA Drag Racing.”

Additionally Jim Head had this to say. “I’m really glad to finally get out of the seat of my Funny Car and just play the part of owner/tuner. Having got to know Fasthair over the last few months I feel I have the right guy for the seat. We’re in Phoenix right now testing and to get Fasthair licensed to drive in the NHRA Funny Car class. Since we will not be running for the Championship this year we have decided that we would test as many days as it takes to get that done, even if it take more then the four testing days allowed by the NHRA this year. Our hope is to be able to go to the race in Las Vegas this weekend. With the way Fasthair has taken to driving it looks like we should be able to get him licensed by the end of tomorrow.”

So needless to say I am about to just bust at this dream job! I can’t thank Kevin and Jim enough for this chance at doing something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. So if the NHRA tour comes to a town near you come over and say hello. I’ll never forget the little people and my friends.

Well they are about to fire the car so I better run for now. Hope to see you all in Vegas! I’ll post some photos next time, I’m just too busy right now to do so.


Update: Sorry Dave but yup, you’re going to be pissed… Yes it was an April Fools joke. Thanks for playing along! There were couple of good ones in the blog land yesterday. Joker yours was done well, hell of a job in Photoshop oops just read your update… still damn nice looking bike buddy. Ms. Lady R I about fell over after I posted this and went and read your blog! GMTA I guess. Thanks for the laughs my friends :)