Thursday, February 07, 2008

I just got a call from my pal James (OMJ) in Austin. A mutual friend of ours committed suicide.

And I am stunned. It's just not the guy you would expect. Alfred David Carpenter raced motorcycles with James, and David was a very very calm person. He was never exceptionally happy or unhappy, always on an even keel. David documented and archived almost everything. I believe he had every scrap of paper he ever came across.

His motorcycle was a 198x Honda Hawk 650, in grey. Immaculate. He just rebuilt it. He wore white leathers. Stop and think about that. White jacket, white pants, in Texas, on a motorcycle. And he was always neat and tidy.

(James, Me, David)

I wore white shorts to the races once. They were covered in grease and destroyed about 15 minutes after I got out of my car and unloaded my bike.

David rode around the state in his white leathers. Said it reflected the sun, and kept him phyically cooler. Always immaculate when he got off the bike. For David, everything was about order and propriety. Disorder was chaos. He was a charter member of "God's Bats" motorcycle club. He actually had the original artwork I was able to get put on shirts.

James did not know many details, except it appears David was found by a neighbor on January 28th. Which would explain why I did not receive my regular email updates or letter full of newspaper articles from him, or joyful comments on photos he saw of Tarzan.

I could imagine a lot of people I know killing themselves. David was nowhere on the list. We speculate it had to be bad medical news, something he just could not live with. I don't know, I don't care. I hope he found the peace he needed. James said it best. "This should be a reminder to us. We gotta take care of each other"

I'll close with David's closing line for any correspondence - Max Speed!

So, Max Speed David, .... Max Speed.

Oh, Charles, I'm so sorry. My deepest condolences on the loss of your friend.

Max speed, indeed. I am holding you and David in my thoughts for peace and understanding...
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