If you want a feel good story, keep reading! Eight years ago Tim Swofford was the Chairman of Deacons at Troy First Baptist Church. One of his duties was to work with the widows in their church community. One Saturday Tim used his motorcycle to help tell a story relating back to the church. At the end of this meeting Tim jokingly asked if anyone wanted a ride. As Tim stated, the joke was on him as Gladys, who happened to be 85 years-young at the time, raised her hand. So Tim gave her a ride that evening. It was her first time on the bike and Gladys had so much fun she asked for another ride the following week. This time she showed up with her friend Mary. Tim took each of them around the block. Well as often happens in life, Tim left this area for a few years. And that is how this story begins. . .
When Tim moved back, the girls asked him for another ride. Tim of course complied as both ladies were now 92 years-young. This time they showed up with even more friends. Tim was somewhat prepared and had enough other drivers to take all of them for a longer ride in the fall of 2016. They all had so much fun they requested yet another ride. This time Tim called in reinforcements and CMA Broken Chains Chapter stepped up to the plate to help organize a bigger better ride along with other volunteers. This time 19 widows showed up!
Jan and I were invited to participate in the “Widows Ride” as they needed more drivers than the year before. What a blessing to be asked to participate! The day started with a briefing for the widows who range in age from 60 to 93 years-young. Most have never ridden a motorcycle before, others only a few times and still others not since their husbands have passed. Helmets were fitted and advice was given on what to expect. At the same time the drivers were briefed on the route. After prayers everyone headed out to pair up with their respective partners for the day. It takes time getting up into the saddle when you’ve got artificial knees or hips or just stiff arthritis! The guys were so patient helping the women. It was wonderful to witness everyone working together, laughing and having fun, just loading up!
Several of us took off just ahead of the group to capture them as they road by several areas along the route as well as at both rest stops. The girls were all laughing at all the hoop la stating that they felt like they were being followed by the paparazzi! The first rest stop was at a pavilion in the town of Silex where water and a stretch break were provided. I asked one young lady if she would like her helmet taken off since we were there for more than a few minutes. She stated “No, thank you. It is too much trouble to put it back on.” The second stop was at a gas station in Elsberry where one of the drivers observed a group of the women coming out with candy bars laughing and giggling like school girls.
The final stop was at Anchors Restaurant in Winfield MO. I took the opportunity to ask the men and women about the best part of the day. Here are just a few quotes: “WOW, just WOW!”; “The Lord blessed us with wonderful people and weather.”; “I LOVED it!”; “This is only my second time on a motorcycle. First time was just around the block. This is really what you call living!”; “Open road.”; “Great driver”; “We got lost and had to turn around!” (there’s one in every group LOL!); “Seeing the joy on faces of those that have never ridden before.”; “Something I can scratch off my bucket list!”.