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June 2013

A Mother is ...

Hello my friends. As we gear up for the 2013 Texas riding season ... yes, I say that tongue in cheek. Most of us started our riding season at least two months ago. Ok, let's try this again. As we sit at the threshold of the Texas summer ... more like it ... we can look forward to all the great rides, places and people we're going to experience in the next few months. I too look forward to a stellar 2013. Forward is the direction we should be looking. If I may, I'd like to suggest a quick detour. Humor me for a minute and I will take you on a trip in my way-back-machine. It is a short trip; we don't have far to go.

I will be going in a few directions in this month's article. I want to talk a little history, share a short bio, and tamper with editorializing.

Leadership - The man for a reason

I came on board fairly late in T.M.R.A. terms. It has been suggested that some of our long time members kept raptors as house-pets and tied tyrannosaurus to a tree to stand guard-dyno duty. While having not been around as long as some, I have been here long enough to see some huge changes in our organization. I saw first hand how greed and dishonesty can be the ultimate buzz killer. It not only broke many hearts but it made folks down right angry. While I hated to see it, if I had not seen the lowest of the low, I would never have witnessed a turn around that few get the chance to experience. It was barely short of miraculous.

Coming on Board

I will never forget that afternoon. It was at the old Frank's in Belton, before it was called the Dead Fish Grill. Gary Dupriest had taken over as the T.M.R.A. President. He was trying to form a mop up crew in an attempt to clean up a lot of crap that had been left by the previous administration. I was sitting at a table with Gary, Bill Newburn and John Munson discussing in what direction T.M.R.A. was headed. I let them know I was willing to help out, just let me know what was needed. Gary, in what at first seemed like an off-handed manner, said that there was a list that needed tending. He looked at me slyly, and said, "Or were you thinking of something a little higher?"
Not much time passed before a mid-cycle opening came up for 2nd VP. Gary asked me if I'd fill in and I said yes. I performed the duties of Safety and Awareness officer for quite some time. When the 1st VP slot came open, I moved in faster than Chris Christie at a Hong-Kong-Fu buffet. I was now Gary's right hand man. Anyone knowing Gary knows that this is not always the most comfortable position to be in. Gary expected me to actually do something and not simply strut around, filled with vice presidential hubris. I was not going to be a Joe Biden, not if Gary had anything to do with it, and he did.

Who Is This Guy?

Gary (Wo*Man) Dupriest was born in Fort Monroe, Virginia. His dad was career military. The family moved to Long Island when Gary was 2 1/2. Talking with Gary for a minute will reveal his Long Island roots. Listening to a New York Texican is often entertaining and if Gary is nothing else, he is entertaining.

Irish Proverb

Gary's father was in the Army He began his career in the tank corp. He soon became involved in Army Air Force, and then matriculated into the Air Force in 1947. A quick side-note: On September 18, 1947 is when the US Air Force became its own branch of the armed services, Gary's dad was a charter member. A month later, Chuck Yeager flew the Bell XS-1 past the speed of sound, launching the new Air Force into the supersonic era.

Gary's two brothers were also in the Air Force and found action in the Korean War.

Gary spent 23 years, 7 months and eleven days in the Air Force. After boot camp he was placed in Security. In those days that meant he would either be in security or law enforcement. As security, Gary found himself on a flight deck between two B-52's. He would start out on one side of a plane and when it took off he would be on the other side of the next bomber. This did not fit into Gary's vision and he transferred to the Civil Engineers. He worked in a carpenters shop. While it may not have been his cup of tea, it preserved his hearing.

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It wasn't long before Gary was asked to build a studio for radio broadcasting. While he was busy putting the studio together he convinced his superiors to teach him broadcasting. Not long after that, Gary was transferred into radio and TV where he stayed until the end of his military career.


Broadcasting suits Gary. Anyone who has heard his booming voice knows he'd either be in broadcasting or an auctioneer. The advantage of being in the Air Force during the Cold War is that if you could parlay it just right, Europe was your oyster. Gary got to see plenty of countries like, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. He also covered talks in Korea and visited other Asian countries, such as Japan and Thailand. One cannot help but gain a broad perspective with so much travel. Gary used his experiences and it has served him well.

Gary began riding in 1959. He rode both road bikes as well as scooters. He remembers vividly riding a Vespa all over Spain. It was in Spain that Gary learned to appreciate bullfighting. He saw some of the world's greatest bullfighters during his travels there. He shared a story with me where he said he got so caught up in the excitement that he threw his bota bag into the ring. Someone has to be really worked up to throw his or her wine away.

In the states, Gary rode everything from 900 sport bikes to Honda Shadow and Kawasaki 1500. In the time I've known him I've seen him ride Harley's, Indian's and Yamaha's. He has little preference as long as knees are in the breeze. Speaking of breeze ... Gary relayed an interesting piece of trivia to me. Gary joined the Gypsy MC Hill Country Chapter in 1998. It seems that there was a rider by the name of John Breeze who loved to take his girl on a midnight rides sans clothing. One night a LEO stopped them and she was arrested because of outstanding warrants. Ever since, riding without clothing at midnight has been called the Breezy Ride. Now there's some trivia for you.

Denzel Washington Quote

Ok, let me get slightly serious with y'all. Let me cover some history. The Texas riders have been very active in legislative matter concerning motorcycle riding. T.M.R.A. is responsible for the present Helmet Law in Texas. We, and all MRO's, have been championing any cause that would make it safer for riders on the roads of Texas.

It was Gary Dupriest that made appointments with the Governor of Texas. It was through his diligence and hard work that we were able to have Governor Rick Perry sign the May Motorcycle Safety Proclamations. He is the first and only one to do so.

It was through Gary's hard work and effort that he was finally able to get through to TxDOT. "Share The Road" signs were manufactured and placed on the highways of Texas

Denzel Washington Quote

I can't help but wonder why the riders in Texas have not recognized Gary for his effort? Why not? I will leave it there and wrap up by saying; it has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the T.M.R.A. Board of Directors with Gary Dupriest. He walks the walk. His life experience has benefited every Texas motorcycle rider. It is an honor to call him my friend.

Ok Buckaroos, it is time to get ready for my next adventure. Ride safe, ride often, but mostly ...
Ride em if ya go em!

TMRA BOD Meeting at Frank's in Belton

Governor Rick Perry and Gary Dupriest

Trudging to the State Capitol
Night before Legislative Day - Gary and John

BOD - Suzanne Simpson and Gary Dupriest
Gary won't take no for an answer!

Gary at Legislative Day - 2005

Waiting to see the Governor

"Dirty Doug" get his 30 member patch.