Over the years, certain individuals either played a significant role in our organization, were notable for the services they rendered to vintage motorcycling or both. The entries below are a short memorial to each one.
Corrections and contributions to each tribute are welcome and should be sent to Carl Best.
Lydian was a Portland area racer from the old days. Both Lydian and Roy Burke (see tribute below) were founding members of the club and participated in club rides well into their 80's and 90's.
Clyde was an old-timer from Eugene and a longtime member of the Eugene-based Westside Motorcycle Club. He rode Indians most of his life and also owned a Stearman biplane and several antique cars. There's a film of him doing stunts on an Indian over public roads near Eugene back in the 30's. The film can be viewed on YouTube.
Roy was a well-known racer and hillclimber from Portland who owned a BSA dealership in Portland during the 50's and 60's. He was grand national Hillclimb champion at one time.
Jerry was an old 1%'er from Napa, CA who moved to Eugene in his later years. He ran a small shop outside of town called Collins Street Rods and Motorcycles, where he built old-time hotrods and restored Ariel Square Four motorcycles. He was once a member of the Nomads branch of Hells Angels in California. He was also a career US Air Force Flight Engineer unofficially credited with shooting down a MIG over Korea in the 1950's, which was strafing their C130. Jerry was standing near the rear cargo bay door, which was open, throwing tools at the jet. He claimed that a plume of smoke appeared out the jet's exhaust after throwing a 5/8 inch socket wrench at it. The jet veered off and headed home with smoke trailing from the engine. Jerry was a very good restorer and craftsman who could take the most twisted up, rusty pile of junk and turn it into a motorcycle or great looking 1950's style hotrod. He also had a radial engine from his flight engineer days mounted in a test stand, which he'd fire up occasionally. It is believed that Jerry was born in 1936. He died in 2001.
Tom owned Western Cycle Salvage, a Northeast Portland motorcycle spare parts business. A Royal Enfield Interceptor he once owned now belongs to a current OVM member.
Kenny was an OVM member best known for his appearances at flat track events throughout the Northwest.
Dennis was a founding member of OVM and the one who put the most personal time and energy into running the club during the first twenty years. He held every office at one time or another and also published the newsletter in the early years. Colleen Frye was kind enough to send in some memories of her husband, his love for the machines he owned and his association with OVM:
'Denny Frye, cofounder with David Stein of OVM, died in September 2008. I recently rediscovered his meticulous binders containing every issue of the OVM newsletter. They held 'institutional memories' from 1980 until his last entry in July 2008: proof of nearly 30 years of work dedication and love for OVM.
From his teenage years until the end of his life, Denny was enthralled with cycles. His garage held many vintage ones, some in pieces and some standing proudly. They were a work in progress. Rebuilding ! Restoring !
His red BMW and yellow Ducati and, of course, his BSA took him on many magical rides, some by himself, some with his cherished OVM friends. He loved all of his motorcycles but the vintage ones held closest to his heart. Ride on Denny !'
Cliff was a legend in West Coast and even nationwide motorcycle history as a motorcycle and car stunt man and later proprietor of the Cycle Hub on Portland's Sandy Boulevard. Known as the 'Sandy Bandit', a nickname in which he reveled, stories of his exploits and eccentricities abound. His business partner Bud Ekins stunted for Steve McQueen in the motorcycle chase in 'The Great Escape' movie. At one time, Cliff ran a store with Bud in California. When McQueen came into the store to get a clutch cable for his Triumph desert racer and expected it to be free because of who he was, Cliff promptly informed McQueen he would be paying for the clutch cable just like anyone else !
Sharon worked for many years alongside her husband Cliff Majhor, well known for being the proprietor of Cycle Hub on Portland's Sandy Boulevard. Cliff was a founding member of OVM, is no longer with us and spoke fondly of his longtime companion.
Wally Skyrman, founding member and master restorer, passed away in September 2010. He was a good friend to all of us and will be missed. A memorial service was held October 3 in Central Point, OR.