Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

David Mann Memorial Ride

Written by  October 31, 2004

On Sunday, October 9, bikers converged on Kansas City, Missouri from every point of the compass. Their purpose was to celebrate the memory of a great artist and, perhaps more important, a genuine, humble, loving man. His name was David Mann. When Dave departed this life on September 11 this year, the motorcycling community lost one of its most respected and revered members. It was only fitting that his memorial took the form of a ride.

After gathering at the Cler-mont Elementary School in Independence, Missouri, near Dave’s long time home, nearly 200 bikes cruised a scenic route through Lexington, across the Missouri River to Richmond, ending at La Benite Park at the base of the Liberty Bridge on Highway 291. Leading the way was a beautiful red Pan-Shovel that was Dave’s own ride for 35 years. Aboard the meticulously-restored Harley were its present owner Bob Biscayne, Dave’s widow Jacquie, and an urn containing Dave’s ashes. The ride covered 64 miles, one mile for each year of Dave’s too-short life. Roses were handed out as the riders parked their bikes and walked to gather beside the river as legendary saxophonist Horse Washington played, “Amazing Grace.” After a memorial message delivered by Reverend Guy Girratono, Jacquie committed the ashes to the waters of the Missouri River followed by roses dropped in by family, friends, and admirers. The roses were captured by the current and carried downstream individually or in groups of two or three. The pattern was somewhat reminiscent of a group of riders meandering through gentle curves toward some unknown destination. Many of those gathered took a moment to give Jacquie a hug and words of encouragement.

Several who attended had known Dave for as long as 40 years, and at least one—Art Decker—for more than 50. Dave had been the first president of El Forasteros Motorcycle Club in Kansas City, and many club members came to honor their brother as did members of the Galloping Goose Motorcycle Club. Holmes, Wild Bill, Gray Cat, Skip, Dan, Shifty, Crazy George, Tom F. and many other long-time friends were in attendance. As those present shared their memories of Dave, music was played by Rukus with special guests Kansas City blues legend Millage Gilbert and Horse Washington. Barbeque and beer were provided.

Russ Niccum, a close friend of the Manns, took on the responsibility of planning and making the arrangements for the ride. He was especially pleased that Bob brought Dave’s old scoot all the way from Memphis for the occasion. Bob had purchased the bike from Dave in December, 2003, and had spent in excess of $20,000 to restore it.

Russ said that everyone could have worn t-shirts that proclaimed “I’m David Mann’s best friend.” Dave treated everyone like his best friend. He had simple tastes. Russ said that when Dave came over for a cookout he would turn down an offer of filet mignon in favor of hot dogs. Russ was always impressed with the man’s humble nature saying that Dave would sit back and stare at a wonderful painting he had just completed, stating that he couldn’t believe he had painted it.

Another memorial ride will be held in California on December 12. It will be a poker run with stops at a number of Dave’s favorite hangouts. Numerous prominent members of the motorcycling community are expected to attend. More details will be available at www.davidmannart.com

David Mann memorial merchandise (t-shirts, caps, and other items) can be purchased at www.davidmannmemorial.com
with 25 percent of the proceeds to be donated to the David Mann Memorial Fund. Memorial donations can be sent to David Mann Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 8733, Kansas City, MO 64114.

Story by Stripe

Photos by Stripe and Theresa Maze