The Block Island Times

Anonymous generous souls

By J. V. Houlihan, Jr. | Aug 09, 2012

A guy with a very stylish motorcycle was standing by to board the ferry today. I got talking about the bike, and he explained that Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, has a brother-in-law who customized the bike; this thing was amazing. It had a Harley-Davidson engine and other components, which were adapted to the custom frame. Here's the kicker, the guy won this $45.000 machine.

       After golfing one day, his wife told him about this raffle for the bike. There would be 500 tickets at 100 bucks a pop. The guy, I'll call Bill, was reluctant because he has 3 other bikes. "But it's for wounded Vets," she said. So Bill ponied up the 100 for the ticket, for which he deemed a worthy cause. I sensed this was a generous guy.

      So he gets a call a week later by some guy asking if his name is Bill, and if he'd bought a raffle ticket for a motorcycle. Bill thought the guy was busting his chops that early in the morning. He hung up. The guy calls again, and verifies that he is the winner. Bill is now really protesting and thinking that this is a joke. Suddenly, he hears the roar of the crowd through his phone saying he won the bike.(Bill's incredulous conversation was broadcast to the thousand participants getting ready for the Veteran's Bike Run.) Bill gracefully accepted the bike. He showed me the wounded soldiers painted on the front and rear fenders. Furthermore, Steven Tyler signed the back fender of the bike. This man was proud to be a part of this charity.

       Ten feet away from Bill, another guy was backing onto the ferry, and he had a hat on that said he was a Corpsman in 1966, serving in Vietnam. We talked briefly about James Bradley, the Corpsman who served on Iwo Jima (see "Flags of our Fathers"). I told this guy that my uncle was a Corpsman in the European theater, and recieved a Purple Heart for helping wounded men on the battlefield; he never told us of his battfield work. He was just our uncle, who was a great, kind doctor. After he died my dad told me about the medals, and that he got shot at alot while tending to his men. My uncle was also a generous man. In less than fifteen minutes of helping load the ferry, I was made aware of how people show their generousity, and I felt good about that; it actually made my day.


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