On May 5, 2001, my late wife Carolyn, I, Tim Davies, Tom Fraser and seven other motorcyclists accompanied Christoffer “Chris” Carstanjen on a really great ride in the deep Virginia woods. Chris had traveled the furthest (from Massachusetts), and a few others had traveled a good many miles to go on that ride. Those who traveled from afar thought nothing of the long round trip to Virginia because of their love of riding.
Entering a national park, on that gloriously beautiful day, we stopped for the photo you see here. In the photo I am the little guy in the yellow t-shirt standing in front of Chris who also is wearing a yellow t-shirt. To my left is my late wife Carolyn with her thumb in my Levi belt loop.
As with the sad shock of losing our fellow motorcyclist, Chris, we never know what’s awaiting us at the next turn in the path of life….and so it came to pass that only 38 months after meeting Chris, my dear wife Carolyn fell ill with cancer and passed away Christmas Eve 2004 in our 37th year of marriage, skiing, world traveling, amateur radio operating, motorcycling (in short; living life with gusto).
Often I look at this photo and think how tragic it was that these two beloved people were taken away from us long ahead of their time.
I have read the laudatory entries in this book, and if I thought after just one day with him, that Chris were a bright and smiley guy who was funny and a pleasure to be with, now I know the "rest of the story": the profound depth and totally wide breadth of all these other testimonies to what a very wonderful young man he was in every aspect.
I just hope that Carolyn might chance on Chris if there's a heaven up there, and bum a ride on that PC800 of his. That'd make her very happy. God rest both their souls.
Now I am in my 70th year. I have since remarried, and don't ride much anymore. Of course I will never forget my beloved wife of 37 years, but I will always remember Christoffer Carstanjen as well.