George’s Good-by

I mentioned the Brother that gave me my road name, Storyteller, was George Boston.
George was a good rider and a real brother, but like all of us, he was human. He died at an early age, much too soon for those that loved him.
I was pleased when his club planned a memory ride to the Pali Lookout where they intended to scatter his ashes. I was even prouder when his wife asked if she could ride with me, carrying his ashes, and would I give a short eulogy. I could only say yes.
It was a Saturday morning and there were 35 or 40 bikes and riders lined up for the run. Many were his club brothers but there were a lot other clubs represented as George was well liked. When we pulled out, his wife and ashes sitting behind me, we rode in the # 3 position with an empty space next to us. George’s spot. The rest strung out behind us.
The weather was cloudy and there had been short rain showers all morning, but none on the ride. But the clouds were there.
Everyone had forgotten what a tourist attraction the Lookout was, especially on a Saturday morning. So when we get there, we see 4 large busloads of tourists walking around, taking pictures of the windward coast, and talking. And looking at all the bikers pulling into the parking lot.
Of course, as soon as we stop, put the kickstands down, and the tourists start loading, it rains. Hard. By the time the last bus rolled out, everyone is wet. But we were there on a mission, to say good-by to our Brother. A little rain wouldn’t daunt us. So we all walked out to the lookout.
The widow stood next to me, holding the urn, and I delivered my eulogy. I spoke of George’s spirit, his brotherhood, and his sense of humor. I don’t recall the whole thing, but I ended by expressing my desire to have just one more beer with my friend and Brother, George Boston.
At that moment there was no rain, so everyone gathered close as we removed the urn lid and the widow prepared herself. We forgot to take in account the funny winds at the Lookout.
The moment she cast the ashes, the wind came up, reversed, and blew George’s ashes all over the crowd standing there. We were all wet from the rain, and, well, that meant that if the ashes touched you, they stayed on you. In a matter of seconds the entire crowd, especially the widow and I, were painted with ash. George.
Everyone sort of stood there, stunned, until someone started laughing. Someone else cursed George and his damned sense of humor. Pretty soon, we’re all laughing at the last joke Boston would ever play on us.
We returned to the bikes, rode down the Pali to one of the patch holders homes for some lunch and beer. Eventually everyone started telling George stories.
As I sat there, sipping my beer, I realized I was having one more beer with my Brother George. I used the last sip of beer to wash the last of George’s ash off my leather jacket.
Good-By George

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