Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bright, bright lights on a waning winter's day

Time passes. Memories fade.

That may be the most poignant fact of our lives.
With the passing of time, inevitably, we lose our fellows.

For as long as humans have lived, among the very best of our efforts, rising from the very core of our being, has been the effort to save memory. Often the result is a work of art, a stone temple or pyramid, a sculpture, a painting, fine furniture or prose, or even simple memories, spoken from generation to generation.

Sometimes these rites of memory enlist tokens as vessels to evoke the memory, to preserve some tangible evidence of times gone by, of fellows lost to the tide. The Jahrzeit candles standing as glowing memories of Sam and Lola serve that purpose, humbly, ephemerally, for twenty or so hours every year.

So it is with ScooterBob. A plain little wooden motor scooter, not very elegant, only a fair to poor model of the real thing, without the slightest value. Yet, to those who knew Bob Leong, either for having met him, of having followed his blog as he traveled on his motorcycle near and far, who hoped one day to host Bob on a tour of their favorite moto-haunts, and who were deprived of that opportunity by the cruel passing of time, the little wooden motor scooter is Bob's avatar. It has been handed from blogger to blogger, and witnessed people, places and things that Bob would surely have experienced, had he only been privileged with more time.

Copyright - Sonja Mager

Out in the world, as ScooterBob traveled the continents, another traveling thing was also making its way around the world in the care of motorcycle people. Vespa people actually, or more correctly, people.

Meet Astronaut Snoopy. It left the Kennedy Space Centre in the spring of 2014 and has traveled far and wide. At one point last summer ScooterBob and Snoopy were in London at the same time, likely mere kilometers separating them.
Copyright - Bob Arnold

And now, by some amazing cosmic convergence that may well be related to dark matter, ScooterBob has landed in Jacksonville in the care of Bill Leuthold. ScooterBob's trek is far from over, it's final destination will be the Leong residence in Vancouver. It was last there in May 2012. Bill will also be the last MVer to host Snoopy as it must return to NASA where it began its trek.

Though the details are in the care of Bill and some kind folks at NASA, at the Kennedy Space Center, there will be an epic meetup of that rarest of species, the traveling things of the internet.

I got to play a small role in allowing this convergence to happen, shepherding ScooterBob to Bill, and acting as a minor go-between for Bill and my friend Howard (MV's Kdude) who is presently showing Snoopy around South Beach in Miami.

As I got the confirmation this afternoon that all the pieces were definitely falling together, I am not ashamed to say that I shed tears of sadness and joy. Sadness over the loss of loved ones, and joy as the tokens of their memory shine so brightly on this cold January afternoon.

I poured myself a small glass of port, switched on my stereo system, lit up all my AirPlay speakers, and blasted Te Partiro all over the house, standing in the entrance hall, the taste of Port on my tongue, and tears rolling down my cheeks.


  1. and ScooterBob's journey continues!

    1. Continue it does. Continue it must.

      ScooterBob is about life. And life throws us all twists and turns, some of which mess with our best laid plans. So it is with ScooterBob.

      It's all good, and every one, who has touched the scooter is a valued addition to its travels.

  2. David, in reading your poignant thoughts on the two little voyagers, and what they represent, brought tears to me as well. I was thrilled to find ScooterBob's box on my porch when I got home this evening. And it got better when I found the notes, stickers and mementos of it's travels. It truly Is a fine tribute to a fine man, whom I never knew. I am pleased to bring ScooterBob and Snoopy together, closing one trip and continuing the other. We will have some nice rides and meals, then I pass them on. Life is like that. Scooters are too.

    1. Bill that's exactly how Bob would have it. Finding that box on your porch, is kind of like when I rode down Bob's street and found him on his lawn waiting for me.

  3. You had me teared up, David. I am glad to see Scooterbob's on the road again.

    1. Sonja the anticipation makes a little sweeter, doesn't it.

      My thoughts are with Sash who has had more than her share of curve balls to swing at. And that sucks.