Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monthly Message for December 2010

I am sorry for combining the two months in one message. November was a busy month
for me. This message is longer than usual, so please read to the end.

November was a busy month for the owners group as well. On the 2nd, not only were
the nation’s midterm elections held, but also the Gateway Ducati Owners Group held
a meeting at the Triumph Grille. As I was out of town, Mark Shomaker, VP, led the
meeting. The summary of the events have already been published on the website.

Prior to, and while on, my vacation in late October/early November, I spoke with Vicki
Smith regarding official status for our owners group. Thanks to all the members’ efforts,
as well as the support and effort from MotoEuropa, especially Pete Hall, we are on track
to be an “official” Ducati club in 2011. I thank all of you and the staff and owners of
MotoEuropa for the hard work that has led us this far. I shall consider the task complete
once we have the official paperwork, etc.

Also during the conversations, Vicki informed me about Paolo Pirozzi’s ride around the
world on a 2010 MTS1200. She asked if I could arrange a place for him to sleep, and
also for a visit to MotoEuropa. I volunteered my house for sleeping- my wife was not
initially amused, but she agreed. Pete Hall and I spoke via telephone and said he would
open the dealership on a Monday if necessary.

Fast forward to the week beginning November 14 (Sunday). Paolo, who was supposed to
arrive on the 15th, was delayed due to bad weather and exhaustion, so I was informed he
would arrive in St. Louis about 2:00PM on the 16th, which was a Tuesday. This would
have worked great with the MotoEuropa and everyone else, since the dealership was
open, and it would be easy to get some people there to greet him, etc. I received a phone
call on Monday the 15th informing me that he would not be leaving Kansas City until
noon on the 16th. I decided at that time I would meet him Columbia at 2:30PM or so
and bring him to St. Louis. At that time, in consultation with Pete Hall at MotoEuropa,
and with the knowledge that Ducati of Indianapolis was having a party for him on the
evening of the 17th, we would have him visit the dealership at 10:00AM on Wednesday,
November 17 so he would be in Indy late that afternoon.

I picked Paolo up in Columbia as planned, and drove him to St. Peters, arriving
at 5:00PM. Fred Hecker and Raymond So met Paolo and me. After exchanging
pleasantries, taking pictures, and talking for a bit, he was escorted to my house. My
wife prepared an antipasto plate for our enjoyment, and I cooked dinner. He was very
gracious and talkative during the meal and seemed to appreciate the efforts on his behalf.
After dinner, throughout the evening, he was on the phone with people from Italy, out on
our deck smoking, and consuming large quantities of espresso (prepared in the manner he
was accustomed). He said he enjoyed the espresso, dinner, and high-speed Internet at my
house. The following morning, after breakfast, we were off.

Since it was hard to bring the club to him, due to the fact that those of us who have jobs

in this area are working hard to keep them, I decided to bring him to visit some of the
club members. Since time was tight, I took him to visit Motorrad St. Louis and George
Saunders. They discussed motorcycles and George’s collection of vintage machines.

We left George and headed to MotoEuropa. We were greeted by the staff of the
dealership and also by Giusseppe Gandolfo, President of the local chapter of UNICO,
and Italian-American organization, who provided translation services or us. Paolo was
given a tour of the dealership and the MotoMuseum. He expressed disappointment
with the lack of people in attendance to great him saying that this was not normal. Mr.
Gandolfo mentioned to him that in this part of the country, 10AM on a Wednesday is a
difficult time to get people together since they are working hard. We left the dealership
at 11:00AM and I rode with him to Effingham, arriving at 1:00PM. Upon arriving in
Effingham, he was greeted by 5 people from the Indianapolis DOC. This made him
happy. So, per his blog, he did have a brief stopover in St. Louis. Photos will be posted
as evidence of his visit to St. Louis.

The day after Paolo’s visit, the Grand Opening for MotoEuropa was held. The Honorable
Vincent Schoeml, former mayor of St. Louis, and Chairman of the Board of Grand
Center, Inc, was the Master of Ceremonies, of the event. The showroom was packed
with friends of the dealership, motorcycle riders, and dignitaries. The Triumph Grille
catered the event. Members of the Gateway Ducati Owners Group also attended.
Espied at the event were Fred Hecker, Robert Bullivant, Rob Menendez, and I. If I
have neglected other members, I apologize. The event showcased the new motorcycle
destination in St. Louis.

On December 7, 2010, the Gateway Ducati Owners Club held their 2nd Annual Holiday
Party. The event was held in the MotoEuropa showroom with food prepared by the
Triumph Grille. This year, 23 people attended the event, starting at 6:30PM and we
finished up after 9:30PM. By all accounts, the attendees had a great time and are
looking forward to other events that include spouses and children. Attendees at the event
included the following (please pardon me if I got the surnames of spouses incorrect):
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hecker, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shoemaker, Mr. and Mrs. Vito Sicola,
Dr. and Mrs. Frank Simo, Mr. and Mrs. Brian Beckner, Mr. Robert Oesch, Mr. and Mrs.
Rio Vitale, Mr. and Dr. Robert Bullivant, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond So, Dr. and Mrs. Gary
Kwawer, Mr. Drew Bradshaw and his fiancé, Julie, and two new members and riders,
Jennifer and Eric Nordstrom. Both Jennifer and Eric are Ducati riders.

Speaking of events that are more inclusive of our families, Mark Shomaker and I believe
that our club should be fun, easy, and accessible. In keeping with this train of thought,
our monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of each month (January 4, 2011 is the next
meeting), will be renamed Bike Nights. The Bike Nights will include a brief business
meeting at the beginning, and then the evening will be motorcycle related, fun evenings,
during our dinner and afterwards. We hope this will make the monthly get-togethers
more accessible, fun, and easy. These evenings are open to spouses, significant others,
and family members, and we encourage everyone’s participation!

Membership continues to grow during the cold and dark months of late fall and early
winter. We are attracting members of different riding experience and ability. In order to
maintain our accessibility to all Ducatisti, our group rides may need to take into account
the different abilities of the riders and be split into a fast group and a slower (not slow)
group. Our ride captains will address these issues prior to the upcoming riding season.

For everyone, please have a wonderful holiday season. Be safe out there, whether on two
or four wheels. We want to see you in January and all of 2011.

Gary Kwawer
Chief Contact Person and President
Gateway Ducati Owners Group

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