Sandy and Jason did all the hand engraving, while Joyce (with some "supervision" from Harley the dog) did all the line painting and managed the movement of all of Metal's parts from their shop to the paint shop and over to the cycle shop for eventual reassembly. Their work on the bike is nothing short of astonishing.
From left to right: Pearls of Honor author Dana Harbaugh, Jason Steiner, Joyce Steiner and Sandy Steiner of Chrome Fusion Custom Engraving.
Dana just called from John Finn's 100th birthday BBQ. being held about 10 miles from his ranch house in the high desert. It was supposed to be a "small affair" with just 20 people or so. It is, in fact, a huge soiree with over 4,000 in attendance! Metal of Honor is parked on the stage near where John is seated. Dana says she is drawing a LOT of attention. I should have pics to post later today.
Metal of Honor got her day in the sun yesterday as the very talented Nate from Black Diamond Digital took over 400 photos of every angle of her gorgeous curves to document the engravings and for publicity use.
The first ones out of the gate will most likely go to Hot Bike Magazine as they have requested a cover story feature on Metal on Honor.
We shot up at Desert Shores on a corner that put the lake in the background. Our unseasonable cool weather has bid us ado and it was a sweaty 90 degrees plus, even at 8am. Metal and the trailer drew quite a few onlookers among the dog walkers and joggers. Lots of people stopped to check her out and ask about the project.
Everyone wave to Nate, reflected in long leg funhouse glory inside Metal's horn cover.
Of course, for all this Nate got some amazing shots. Dana and I are still sorting through them. You can see a few more over at Nate's blog.
Today is the 65th Anniversary of D-day, the allied landing on the beach at Normandy, France that was the beginning of the end for the Nazi's iron grip over Europe and in fact, the whole of WWII. Much was done and said to mark the anniversary by world leaders and the public alike.
Especially striking in NPR's coverage was the story of an American woman living in Paris during the war who helped smuggle 60 downed aviators out of Nazi-occupied France. It almost cost her life in a Nazi death camp, but she always told her son that these continued acts of heroism were simply her duty as an American.
"All Things Considered, June 6, 2009 · As President Obama commemorates the sacrifices made by American troops on the D-Day beaches, supporters of another American hero who helped to liberate France are calling for her role to be recognized. Virginia D'Albert Lake stayed on in France during the German occupation, joined the resistance and helped to rescue more than 60 Allied airmen."
Here's to you, Virginia and to all those who, although not wearing the uniform, still choose to serve.
A good friend of mine, Debbie Reiter, mother of Mountain View Lutheran School 4th Grader Bobby Reiter, asked me to bring Metal of Honor over to the school on Monday, June 1st. The 4th and 5th grade class was full of questions about the bike, the attack and World War II. One young man was certain that one of the Survivors pictured on Metal's trailer looked exactly like his grandfather.
As my schedule allows,I hope that I can bring Metal to more schools so kids of all ages can experience this rolling history lesson and maybe have more appreciation for the veterans in their own families. You can request an appearance at your school or event.
Speaking of events, I have plans to ride Metal of Honor for the last leg of The Honor Run from San Marcos, CA to Oakley Sunglasses Headquarters in Foothill Ranch, CA for the big finale party. On the way there, the riders will be greeted by 1,000 American flags being flown along I-5 near Camp Pendleton. Dave Barr (the organizer of the Honor Run), and the 10,000 other riders expected to join him during the run, are raising money to care for our wounded veteran's needs.
I had heard about the run and was anxious to bring Metal up to Mesquite, where they will overnight on day 7 of the 9-day run. Then I saw the note on the ad that no more vendors were being accepted. Eariler this week, out of the blue, I got a call from one of the organizers who had heard about the bike through John Finn's people inviting me to join the run in Mesquite and appear with John at the finale party (if John's health allows). I am thrilled to be part of such a worthwhile cause. Watch the blog for more info as the date gets closer.
During my recent visit to the San Diego Veteran's Museum and Memorial at the old Navy Chapel at Balboa Park, Survivor from the USS West Virginia, Stu Hedly had his first look at Metal of Honor. I turned my back for one minute and there he was, grinning for all he was worth, ready to take Metal for a spin.
Stu (who appears in many times in Pearls of Honor) was the San Diego Pearl Harbor Survivor Association Carnation Chapter 3 Chaplin for many years. He was recently elected chapter President. Stu regularly visits elementary schools throughout San Diego to share the story of the attack with school children. He is also present at many events, dedications and memorials throughout the year.
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