Seventy First Annual Trailblazers Awards Banquet
Words and Photos: Howie Zechner
As always it was a wonderful event. Everybody who was or wanted to be someone marked their calendar for this once a year annual classic. Seven hundred plus of the motorcycle faithful filled the Carson Center. Memories were rekindled and forged friendships renewed. It was an afternoon and evening of pure ecstasy for the two wheel persuasion.
As always the sellout event was well organized. Trailblazer Ambassadors all dressed in their Bright Gold Jackets were plentiful in case help was needed. None was required as sign in was painless. Credentials included your table number.
As always the place was packed. So and so who won the whatchamacallit three years in a row was there along with dozens of other Regional, National and World Champions. The guys, that sponsored those guys were there in abundance as was the crews and fans that supported them. Everywhere you looked people were smiling., a ballot to vote for the best bike on display and a Ascot decal.
This year’s Bike Show did not disappoint. Officially starting at 3pm the hall was filled to the brim with motorcycles. Featuring a wide variety of two wheel history, racers, cruisers, one of a kind, and production staples were there in all their splendor. Many with pictures or trophies. All with stories and owners happy to share the how and who and why.
All were ready when the gate went up at 6pm (that means when the banquet doors opened for you who don't speak race). Three bars and hours of looking and talking meant a sit down was well in order. Finding your table in the massive room and getting settled was the evenings biggest challenge. Once seated opening ceremonies included a prayer, National Anthem, and video tribute to those who we lost since the last 2014 banquet. Well produced, there were many a tear shared as the tribute to these fallen hero's and friends was displayed.
There was wine, food and merriment. All was superb and an hour quickly passed before the nights awards and congratulations were announced. Complemented by slick video productions the Hall of Fame, Dick Hammer and first ever Lucile Flanders Award were presented. Inductees, or in some cases their relatives and friends came on stage and told stories of bygone youth and treasure. One word, "Outstanding" describes the celebration
The evening passed before any were ready to let it go. Goodbyes were long and groups gathered for one more story, picture or compliment.
Thank You Trailblazers. You did a damn good job. Now get busy, next years Banquet is only 360 some odd days away. Lets get this show moving.