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Respects and salutes; cruise-in season starts

On Saturday, April 13, 96 bikes rode through Houston for the 4th annual Mindy’s Run.

The ride began in West Plains, and riders enjoyed a 100-mile jaunt using Houston as a fuel stop along the way. Mindy Hughston was the wife of a Howell County Sheriff’s Department employee who succumbed to cancer. In her memory, riders coordinate this annual fundraiser to assist other persons with expenses who are suffering from terminal disease. This year, a youngster from West Plains with leukemia was the recipient. Riders ended back in West Plains with an auction and dinner.  Bikers have the biggest hearts. Bravo!

Did you ever wonder about the “biker salute?”  The cool stiff-armed lowering of the left arm when you meet another biker on the road that signifies respect. Its origins are from the days of the knights and horseback. When the riders would approach one another they would lower their joust or sword to the side as a sign of friendly salute and respect. I have found that as a new rider, I saluted everyone because I thought it was cool. It was 2007, and as a lady rider I found that I got about 99.9-percent of my salutes returned. After riding a few years, I have noticed some riders either won’t wave to other riders on certain brands of bikes or won’t wave or salute at all. That saddens me.

There is no correct way to wave to one another, but truly the open road mentality and the adventure seeking nature of the biker is one to salute and respect regardless of what type he rides. Often we get fisted arms out of pick up trucks with biceps flexed as a symbol of power. I personally like the two finger peace sign as I pass another biker. Butch Spacek is a local rider from the Summersville area. You may have seen him with his ZZ Topp beard riding a red Electra Glide. He looks like he’s standing up in the seat, but since he is 6-foot-6, he can’t help it.

Butch’s salute is one-finger – the first one on the left hand at the end of a four-foot long left arm as he points up to the Creator.  Butch rides across our state to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with prisoners. So, regardless of the ride, the way you salute, remember the air is all the same!

Willow Springs recently had its first cruise-in at Pizza Americana on Main Street. It was pretty cool as the restored theater shined down neon lights on the bikes parked beneath. Tom and Marsha Herndon are coordinating this event and are excited to add some prizes and games next month. Come out to support them on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.  It’s great to get to see other riders from all the areas come together for camaraderie and good eats!

The recent Salem cruise-in was a cold one!  I have to admit, Jay and I each rode two wheels of a four-wheeled Buick down to Salem to support them on their first cruise in of the year. We picked up a couple of leather-clad bikers (Eddie and Kelly Williams) along the way and we were off to Dent County for ice cream at Scoops. If you have never been there, you are missing some massive mounds of sweet frozen delight. I saw a banana split that evening that was a foot long – no kidding!  They are located at Highways 19 and 32. Salem has a cruise-in at 6:30 p.m. every second Thursday, so come out and join Annette Chervenak, as she does a grand job at her cruise-ins monthly.

Our first cruise-in of the year here in Houston was Thursday, April 18. This season, we will gather for cruise-ins on Steffens Street in front of the Side Street Bar and Grill. Consistency is key to these events, and we will have them rain or shine.

Kicking off our cruise-ins this year, we had guests from the Christian Motorcycle Association. Our 50/50 raffle this month was given to the Pulaski County family of Suzie Ham, who was a treadle machine operator who set up her sewing machine at rallies and biker gatherings. She had sewn on thousands of patches over the years. Her family mourns her loss and is burdened with large medical and funeral expenses. Local Pulaski County Veterans MC had a benefit ride to help with expenses on April 14. Each month, we will choose a cause to donate the 50/50 raffle to, so please be on the look out for ways to help others. This year we will also be adding awards for each month to the farthest traveled and biker spirit award.  It is a fun way to blow off steam and be a kid again.

Sue Daniels has invited Lebanon Harley to demo at her cruise-in in Licking tonight (April 25). The Licking cruise-ins are always the last Thursday of every month. Come out to the Sonic and enjoy the music, prizes, and rides on the Harleys.

Friends, we hope to see all of you on the road. Be safe, and remember, God did not create metal so man could make paperclips. Get on that iron steed and ride!

Kerry York is a lady rider and resident of Houston, who coordinates monthly Houston Downtown Cruise-In events from spring to fall.  Email