Bikers made big impact on new businessPublished 11:14am Thursday, August 22, 2013
We were fortunate on Saturday, Aug. 17, to have a large number of Rally on the River bikers come to the big city of Aid, to visit Hog Heaven.
My wife, Amy, and I recently opened the restaurant and were a little nervous about having this large number of customers arriving in a group. We looked at each other with wide eyes when we heard the rumble of motorcycles long before they came into view, and when they did, they just kept coming!
They circled through our parking lot and we managed to find a place to park 132 bikes. You may laugh and say I don’t get out much, but it was a thrilling sight.
Within minutes of their arrival, all apprehension disappeared because this group was made up of some of the kindest, most down-to-earth folks we have ever met or had the privilege to serve.
Ultimately, they served us, and not the other way around.
For anyone who has a pre-conceived idea about bikers, I wish you could have shared our experience. It turned out to be purely educational on several levels.
In talking with the veterans, I was once again reminded how important it is for all of us to thank every man and woman who has served this great country of ours to protect OUR freedom, MY freedom. Imprinted on the front of one motorcycle were the words “POW-MIA.”
A patriotic soldier shared with me that one of his buddies he served with in the Vietnam War was a POW and is still listed as MIA. I asked him how do you find the strength to endure something like that. His eyes filled with tears and his answer was “you endure it, son, because if we do not fight for the USA, the consequences are what could not be endured.”
To say I was humbled is an understatement. He had more emotional control than I did, I had to walk away before I cried like a little girl.
The Bikers for Christ quickly joined the conversation about strength and endurance, and then I felt like I had been to revival.
Another gentleman was a retired businessman who offered me advice on how to survive the first year of running your own business and the perseverance it takes. He assured me the long hours are worth it.
By the time they left, I was shaking hands with as many of them as I could, and Amy, my mom, and my grandma were hugging people who, in that short period of time, felt like friends. It was an outstanding day.
Thanks to the Friends of Ironton and everyone who makes Rally on the River possible.