Don Arthur update - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 7:33 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Don Arthur update

Several of you have asked off list how I'm doing. Thanks for asking and for continuing to care! First, I've put 0 (that's "zero") miles on any two wheeled conveyance in the past three and a half months. That will await the coming of Spring.

A quick recap for those who don't know me... I was headed for the IBR in August when a woman made a U turn on an interstate highway and came from the median onto the highway in the passing lane (where I was riding to pass a truck) just after the rise of a hill and just as I crested the hill at highway speed. I hit her and suffered a badly fractured pelvis (four places), separated shoulder, broken ribs, pneumothorax, and closed head injury with about 30 minutes of unconsciousness at the scene. I was wearing a full Aerostich suit - so no road rash - and a carbon fiber helmet - so I'm alive.

I spent a week in a trauma center in Missouri, then three more weeks in the naval hospital in Bethesda, Maryland - which I was privileged to command until just a year before. I have recovered much more slowly than I had ever anticipated. Although I'm an emergency medicine physician with a lot of experience taking care of acute trauma, I lacked a true appreciation for the time and effort involved in recovery for this kind of injury.

I have only been without crutches for two weeks and am still getting around slowly and with significant stiffness and discomfort in the evenings. My shoulder will require definitive surgery. However, the biggest surprise to me was the time it took to recover from the head injury! Until just two weeks ago, I was mentally sluggish and unable to engage in many of the cerebral activities to which I'd been accustomed. In just a couple of days, the fog lifted and I really appreciated a noticeable difference - and so did my staff. They said "You're back!" I asked them what they meant and they told me they knew I was not 'all there' and were waiting and hoping I would recover those mental functions.

I'm grateful to be back! I am nowhere near being able to ride just yet and will wait until Spring when I'm stronger. I hope to see you at the next LT gathering and will look forward to doing so on two wheels.

Silver lining department: I've always wanted to be an amateur (ham) radio operator. I've used the down time to study for the FCC exams and am enjoying a hobby which somewhat fills the void temporarily left by not being able to ride.

Continued gratitude department: I continue to be amazed and grateful to Coni Fitch for immediately flying to Missouri after my accident, planning to forsake her own IBR start to help me and my wife, Bean. Coni and Bean helped pick up the pieces - of me and the bike. She is a special friend whose kindness symbolizes the very best in people!

Note to self department: I will never say to another patient "You're doing well for someone your age." I have recently found this phrase to be more annoying than fingers on a chalkboard and tell my well-meaning physician friends that it's not having the intended effect!

Lastly, I feel blessed... to be alive and to have wonderful enduring friends.

Best regards for the Holidays! Don

Don Arthur
Northern Virginia


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post #2 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 7:57 pm
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Great update Don.

If you haven’t already done so, getting HF privileges or getting into UHF/VHF scatter, EME, of Satellites is challenging and FUN. I’m midway thru my third sunspot cycle.

There is still a chance to talk with people on The Space Station who are hams.

73 OT
Bob AE7G
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post #3 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 8:26 pm
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Hi Don (or should I say "Dr."?),

I don't know you, we've never met and we probably never will, but I'm glad to hear of your continued improvement. I do recall a thread discussing your situation some weeks/months ago and this update is appreciated.

They say that doctors make the worst patients. It sounds like you're already a better doctor!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

Do you have any insight (other than the brief remark about your suit and helmet) to share regarding protective gear, riding styles/tips, what to watch out for, etc., now that you've been through this, for us newbies? Some questions I can think of include:

Would you change anything in your gear? (types of gear, brands, features, etc.)
Any insight on the "hot buttons": headlight modulator, ABS, hi-viz clothing/helmet? (not looking to second-guess you here on whether or not your accident was preventable in any way, just wondering what you will be doing differently -- or the same -- when you're back on the bike)
Would you change anything in your approach/philosophy to riding?

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #4 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 8:30 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonArthur
Several of you have asked off list how I'm doing. Don
Don,

We are all so proud of you for doing what you do, and mending so well, seems to be one of the many things that can be added to that list.

Any and everyone would have done what I did. I was where I needed to be.

Like I told you many months ago: One day you will wake up and everything will feel just fine. I know that you still have to address the shoulder. I have a feeling that you and your colleagues have a *better idea* when it comes to getting that shoulder taken care of.

Once your shoulder is done it will be "Riding Time In The City"! Yeee Haw!!!

Yep, I have already warned the RALLY GANG that you will be back and ready to ride in no time at all.

Bring your HAM radio too I'm sure that will come in real handy.
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post #5 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 9:11 pm
 
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Don,
Don't know you, but am glad you are ready to get back on the "horse". I have never been in any serious accident, however I'm like a lot of other folks, have been lucky and been in some close calls. Times like this make you appreciate good safety equipment. Good Luck in your recovery and hope to meet you. Am trying to work it out so I can go to the next CCR in Georgia.
Leon
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post #6 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 9:19 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RideIt
Don,
Don't know you, but am glad you are ready to get back on the "horse". I have never been in any serious accident, however I'm like a lot of other folks, have been lucky and been in some close calls. Times like this make you appreciate good safety equipment. Good Luck in your recovery and hope to meet you. Am trying to work it out so I can go to the next CCR in Georgia.
Leon
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post #7 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 9:21 pm
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Hi Don!

Glad you are seeing noticeable improvement now. I still have problems with my shoulder from 4 years ago, and will likely never regain full range of motion in my left fingers from the accident 1 year ago (my how time flies!). I cannot fully close my fist, but have just about gotten used to that, same as the limited upward movement of my left arm.

Neither problem seems to be much of a hinderance now, just occasionally mildly frustrating. I guess like someone losing complete use of a function, we adjust accordingly.

Don't know if I will make any more LT gatherings, unless I move to Tennessee as hoped and go to a gathering or two in that area. Hope to be able to see you again somewhere in time though. If I do get back to the east coast while my son in law is still on the destroyer out of Norfolk, I would be visiting there, and close enough to drop by!

I may be going on a "Tiger" cruise on the destroyer in February, if nothing happens between now and then to cancel it.

To mirror Coni's thoughts, i'm sure many of us would have jumped at the chance to do what she was fortunate enough to be able to do for you. As she said, right place, right time. You are a highly respected member here, and more than deserving of anything we can offer. We are just glad to be able to call you a friend and still have you around after that accident!

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

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post #8 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 9:31 pm
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Wow Don:

Sounds like the 'ol bell got wrung pretty hard.

You have probably heard the saying: when life throws you a curve, lean into it! Even shortly after your encounter you had that attitude. True grit.

Don't ever listen to those ER doc's, they're just a bunch of GOMERS anyway...
(Get OUT of my Emergency Room!)

Hang in there and I have no doubt we'll see you on two wheels again when it warms up a bit.


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post #9 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 9:32 pm
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Hello Don,

Thanks for the update and glad your're back

Prescription: Spring Training Camp II, April 20, 21, 22, 2006,
relax and enjoy..arrive anyway as needed..cage acceptable too..

Don G Norwood
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post #10 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 9:33 pm
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Don,

Continued progress in your recovery and best wishes over the Christmas Holiday...........Hope to see you back in the saddle soon.
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post #11 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 9:39 pm
 
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Don

Glade to hear that you are back. I have been wondering about your recovery, but just kept waiting to hear. Sometimes I wondered if I had missed a post from/about your recovery. I keep my Harley buddy Mike Waters posted about your adventures.

Judys' son Kas is on the USS Kitty Hawk homeported in Youkuska.

Look forward to seeing you again at rolling thunder or if not then, the reunion.
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post #12 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 10:01 pm
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Don: Sounds like you are making good progress and it is good to hear. I bet you really have a different perpective on patient care now that you have been a patient. I had to spend several hours flat on my back in the ER recently and I learned alot.
How about the old "Your in pretty good shape for the shape your in" expression. My patients get a chuckle over that.
Stay well, hope to meet you at CCR if not sooner.
By the way what brand of helmet was it that you were wearing?

Adversity builds character.

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post #13 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 10:01 pm
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Good to hear from you and glad to hear that you are mending. It never seems to happen as quickly as we would like.

Hunter &

Jeff in Myrtle Beach
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post #14 of 37 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 10:27 pm
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Glad to get the update, Don. I've had several friends (that you've never met) ask me how you were doing. I think that just reflects the broad base of respect and caring you have in the motorcycling community (not just us LTers!).

I'm particularly glad to hear that your mental faculties are back up to snuff; closed-head injuries are one of the most frightening aspects of crashes like yours. I'm sure you, your staff, your wife (and obviously all of us) are greatly relieved about that.

I look forward to seeing (and riding with) you again sometime in '06!

Bruce Yates - Y3K on board!
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post #15 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 12:57 am
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Don, don't know you - but gotta say, reading your experience, your recovery, your attitude - no wonder folks hold you in such high regard.

As a 'retired' USAF AeroMed Tech - WHOOWAA!

As a ham - welcome to the club, check out APRS <g>

As a rider - thanks for sharing. I'm paying attention.

As a person - thanks for the example, the leadership, you set a high standard ::salute::

Tate

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post #16 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 1:16 am
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Good to hear you are mending, Don. Four weeks in the hospital is a looong time no matter how good the staff was. Thankfully, once you are healed, the recovery period nearly disappears from the mind as you go on to new adventures.

We look forward to seeing you at CCR. You are a bright beacon of leadership for many, many good folks.

Pete Jessen
CCR 02, 03, 04, 08, 10
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post #17 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 3:29 am
 
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the update sir! You have a whole group of people praying for you in northeast Ohio, riders and non-riders alike. And I'm especially looking forward to seeing you again at LT Spring Training Camp II. It just wouldn't be the same without you. (No pressure!)

Take care . . . and try to be a patient patient.
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post #18 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 8:55 am
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For those of you who are interested, you can learn more about Vice Admiral Arthur in the biography section of Navy.mil

Res ipsa loquitur, sed quid in infernos dicet?

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2003 K1200 LTC Titan Silver
Austin, Texas



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post #19 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 8:57 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonArthur
Several of you have asked off list how I'm doing. Thanks for asking and for continuing to care!

Best regards for the Holidays! Don
glad to see you back on the list Don!

Tom

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post #20 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 9:20 am
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Great news Daon

I am so glad to hear that the fog has lifted Don. It is also good news to hear you are walking under your very own power. Helplessness is a very powerful enemy and it can be crippling by itself. It is really good news to me that you have come through this in such good spirits. It is a model to me to see you recover with such grace.

Hopefully you will attend the STC at the Ironhorse this spring. It would be great to see you again...on two wheels. But of course it would be good to see you regardless of how you arrive.

Keep on keepin on Don, you mean a lot to us here and keep the eye on the prize...recovery.

Regards,
Woody aka SoberBiker


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post #21 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 11:06 am
 
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Glad to hear you are anxious to get back in the saddle (shows sign of a complete recovery)!

If you ever down in Texas, please let me know and the BBQ is on me.

I look forward to riding with you.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Shane
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post #22 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 12:56 pm
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Don, so glad you are up and around and feeling more alert. I have your quote on my wall here in the office from an older email;
"I don't believe I would appreciate a life shaped by fearful avoidance of risk rather than recognition of risk so that it may be diminished as much as possible-with the realization that the risk will never be zero."
Hope you can ride this spring. You and your family are in my prayers. Happy holidays!
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post #23 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 5:34 pm
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Smile Great News

[QUOTE=DonArthur
I asked them what they meant and they told me they knew I was not 'all there' and were waiting and hoping I would recover those mental functions.
Don[/QUOTE]

My staff tells me this daily and I haven't bumped my head in years.

Don, I'm so very happy to hear that you are continuing to recover and hopefully will be completely well by Spring. Don't get discouraged and keep on truckin' (err...ah...bikin'). I hope to see you soon at an IBA function or the CCR.

Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Dick Wood
2014 R1200RTW Quartz Blue Metallic
Previous2008 Aventurin Silver Metallic K1200GT
Previous 2002 Toscana Green LTE
Previous 1995 HD FXDL
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post #24 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 7:14 pm
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Red face Don Arthur Update

Just wanted to add my 1 cents worth. Again thank God you're alive. And you are healing. Thanks so much for the update. And continue to work hard at that full recovery. Looking forward to one day meeting you in person. Take it slow Don-Broken bones mend slowly but given the proper time mend well.

God bless bro.
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post #25 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 7:41 pm
 
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Thumbs up

Don,

Thanks for the update. Although we have never met, I have thought about you and your accident ever since you had it. It seems to me that you are here because of your riding gear, foresight in having your emergency information readily available, and the grace of God.

Every time that I get on one of my bikes now, I quickly compare my preparations for the ride vs. what you had done and wonder how survivable I am. If any good has come out of your accident, maybe it is getting me and others to do this before we go out on our rides.

I hope that you are able to ride again if that is what you choose to do. If you ever pass through North Alabama, stop in for a cup of coffee and a handshake. God bless you and let us all hope for a speedy recovery.
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post #26 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 8:44 pm
 
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Don , glad to hear you healing rather quick considering the extent of your injuries not your age. Hope to see you on the road soon.

Tom
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post #27 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 10:53 pm
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Greaat!

Glad you're with us, Don! Peace and blessings during this glorious Season !

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #28 of 37 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 11:17 pm
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Good to have you back at the Rally Point, Admiral. Keep healing and hopefully we'll see you again soon. All the best...

Al Hennigan
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post #29 of 37 Old Dec 9th, 2005, 1:11 pm
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Great to hear that recovery is well on the way! For a lay-about like yourself, it must have been, and continues to be, a dificult time!
I fully understand the "not being there" situation, which I have on a permanent basis, without ever having a head injury! Glad to know that all has returned. You are too valuable to lose.

Hope to see you at STC II in April. If not there, then at CCR. On 2 or more wheels.

Jay Slomka
Johnson City, TN

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post #30 of 37 Old Dec 9th, 2005, 3:01 pm
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Smile

Hello Don, Glad to hear your recovery is going well! God is good, Please keep us updated. Have a merry Christmas, Curt
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post #31 of 37 Old Dec 10th, 2005, 10:00 am
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Thumbs up KI4LUH de KØEKL

Don;

Great news about your recovery.


I was going to ask you about your callsign and station, etc, but I found your full BIO on QRZ.com. You don't leave anything half-done, do you? Starting less than 3 months ago, you already upgraded to Extra, you've got a nice station on the air, designed QSL cards, and joined a club. This is just awesome!



You mention CW. Did you start with that 3 months ago, or did you have some Morse training earlier in your Navy career?



So, two questions: Can we set up a sked, and when are you going to be installing a tower? I've got climing gear; A tower party would be a great excuse for a ride to DC.



73 es GL!

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post #32 of 37 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 1:32 pm
 
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Hiya Don, I'm a newbie and just stumbled across your situation..
Wow!! You've been through a lot and I'm d__n glad to hear that you're ok..
I, too, am averse to hearing that "at your age"..In my case, it's my riding a bike at my age..(67)..What the hey! I'm finally doing what I've been wanting to do all my life and I'm going out with a big grin on my face when I do check out..
You've given me great inspiration to press on and enjoy two wheeling..
God Bless and will be waiting to hear that you're back up on 2 wheels again..
Semper Fi (from a retired jarhead to a respected Doc, er..Sir)
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post #33 of 37 Old Dec 15th, 2005, 1:54 pm
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Gald You are Recovering

I was sad to hear about your accident. I way I know how you feel. Karen and I went down on the LT in Colorado a few years ago and it seemed like it took forever to recovery. I just went back to work myself after being out for a couple of months with 2 heart attacks. It's a long story but I am doing fine now.

Karen and I wish you a quick recovery and a complete one. Hope to see you at the next CCR. I still get kind of teary eyed thinking about the CCR in Hot Springs where you were the key note speaker right after 9/11. After all you had gone through, you still found away to be there.

I never knew that a Don Arthur could even say the words that he had been on 2-wheels in months. It's down right unamerican! We wish you well and God Bless You!
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post #34 of 37 Old Dec 15th, 2005, 8:46 pm
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HI Roy!!!

Many of us have been wondering about you and Karen, and not hearing anything for some time was worrying. We really got concerned when Katrina hit. Some asked here, but no one had heard from you.

Heart attacks, huh! Glad you are still here! I had a stent put in about 6 months ago, caught it before any heart attacks resulted.

Sure glad to see you back here. Let us know more about how you are doing now.

You probably don't know, but I am bikeless now. Tried to total yet another LT, and myself last November, fortunately only the LT is gone. I went down on I-8 near Gila Bend, AZ, at around 80 MPH. Like you though, still here.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
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post #35 of 37 Old Dec 16th, 2005, 8:53 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonArthur
Lastly, I feel blessed... to be alive and to have wonderful enduring friends.
Don, it's so good to hear from you. Thank the Good Lord! We Americans are blessed to have a leader like you among us. As humble as you are, you are an inspiration to me. You are in my prayers for a complete recovery. Hope to see you soon.

Blessings!
munson+

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, Wichita Falls, Texas
2007 R1200RT "REV ZM"
IRON BUTT ASSOC. #37813
See my video:
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munson is offline  
post #36 of 37 Old Dec 18th, 2005, 10:35 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Jonesborough, TN, USA
Posts: 3,394
Hello, Roy!!

Been a while, guy. How's Karen and all things Accord!

I remember you were having some heart situations, but no one heard anything after you said you'd be off the list for a bit. Sure seems like a lonmg time ago, now!

Great to hear from you. Don't be a stranger, y'hear!

Don, sorry to alter the focus. Right back at you, Admirable!

Jay Slomka
Johnson City, TN

Y2K LT Champagne Class Act


BMWMOA, AMA, IBA
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post #37 of 37 Old Dec 19th, 2005, 10:48 am
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Location: Franklin, NC USA
Posts: 1,399
Good Health

Don,

To your continued improvement and good health. Glad to hear things are back on the positive side.

Hope your holidays are good ones, for you and your family.

Best wishes,

Jim Lawson 2016 R1200RT
Retired to NC !


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