Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cliff Stering's 90th

Flathead Rob and I had the honor of attending Cliff Stering's 90th birthday surprise party. I'm not shy about admitting Cliff is a real-life hero of mine. I had a great time.

Understandably Cliff had a pretty full dance card. I did get the chance to sit down and chat with him for a few minutes. I was able to get him to autograph a really nice photo as well. I can't wait to hang it on the racer autograph wall in my garage.

The Pacific Northwest Museum of Motorcycling prepared a ton of poster sized photos from Cliff's racing career for decorations. They did an absolutely incredible job!

I had to include this photo of Flathead Rob. I didn't realize 1930's motorcycle racers (or guys that dress like them anyway) where so tech savoy.

The pinnacle the event was getting to sit down and chat at length Donna Walters and her husband. Donna's motorcycle obsession began at 5 when she saw a neighbor ride by. A short time later Donna got a ride on it. She then started waiting daily for her neighbor ride by returning from work so she could catch yet another ride. Fast forward 1949 and at 22 Donna purchased her first bike, a lightly use 1949 Harley 45. This later blossomed into racing, many years of employment as a motorcycle courier and loads forging uncharted territory for women in motorcycling. We heard nearly an hour of the most incredible stories.

Here's one example. She told us about interviewing for the first motorcycle courier job. She dropped in directly from her day job as a music teacher "dressed as a girl." She left the interview concerned they would doubt her riding ability. and not hired her. She rush home, changed into her motorcycle clothes a broad-slid into a parking space in front of the office. She got the job and being a union job then had to convince the Teamsters to allow here in...

The Pacific Northwest Museum of Motorcycling is preparing an exhibit featuring Donna Walters. I've seen some of the photos and thanks to Donna now know some of the stories that will be featured. It is going to be absolutely incredible. Be sure to watch for it at the 3rd Annual Marymount Motorcycle Week.

Happy Birthday Cliff! Thanks for allowing us to help share in your day.

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