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Gordon "Gordy" Conner - A Motorcycle Legend

Written by  June 30, 2006

A motorcycle legend in Gardner, Kansas, has made his last ride but will not be forgotten. Gordon “Gordy” Conner, born February 2, 1942 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana passed away at his home on Gardner Lake on May 24, 2006, at the age of 64. Gordy shared his birthday with Thomas A. Edison and always said with a chuckle that was why he was so bright. He was a strange but wonderful man who crowded a lot of life experiences into his life. His passions were women and motorcycles and not necessarily in that order. Gordy lived and loved with a gusto that was hard to equal.
He was raised by his grandparents on a farm in Louisiana. They were in their eighties when they took him into their home. His grandfather lived to be 106 years old and intended for Gordy to take over the family farm, but Gordy being hell bent for adventure joined the United States Navy at the age of 18. He completed two tours in Viet Nam but he did not talk very much about his time in the military.
When he was discharged from the Navy he bought a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and lived in a cave on the beach. He survived by walking into beach parties and acting like an invited guest so that he could eat and drink and of course pick up a female companion for the night. During that time he raced motorcycles for Harley-Davidson. Often he would have to flip a quarter to see if he bought gas for the motorcycle or a hotdog (his favorite food) to eat for dinner. Gordy also rode with the Hells Angels while in California during the sixties.
In his mid twenties he had a near fatal accident in a motorcycle race and was pronounced DOA at the hospital. He was taken to the morgue where an orderly noticed his finger moving. He spent the next six months in a coma and upon recovering was told he would never walk or talk again. His will to survive and lust for life had him up and riding motorcycles within the year.
Gordy moved to Gardner in about 1980 and soon became acquainted with the local bikers and joined the Heathens, a group out of Gardner that rode and partied together. For about five years he organized a poker run to Alma, Kansas, where everyone would camp out and party for the night. Gordy could always be found around the campfire telling stories late into the night. Each of the last two or three runs his friends thought would be his last because the emphysema was taking over his life. When he felt he could no longer ride safely he sold his bike which was devastating to him and without being able to work, ride or fish it was just a matter of time. Volumes could be written to highlight his life experiences. He kept everyone entertained with stories right up to the end.
Gordy, The Man, The Legend will be missed by all who knew him.
Tribute and photos by Gene Wineland