• Barber’s ‘Spirit Ride’: Amazing things happen

    Each year, Fred Reynolds and three of his close friends save their money for a motorcycle trip, which they usually take in late September. On their journey, they stay vigilant for one thing – people needing help. And when they come upon someone in need, amazing things happen.

    One of the riders, Perry, grew up on a Native American reservation. Years ago, he named the journey “Spirit Ride,” following a profound experience helping a man stranded with his dog in the desert heat. The name stuck.

    “All four of us are fathers,” Fred explains. “When we find someone who is stranded or in trouble, we ask, ‘How can we help you?’ Many times, people don’t know what to say. So we say, ‘Here’s some money.’ And they ask, ‘Why would you just give us money?’ We tell them, ‘Look, you have a father, right? But he’s not here right now. So we’re going to be your dad today.'”

    If someone raises a legitimate concern about taking money from strangers – for instance, a young woman traveling alone – then it is done in the presence of a town official or peace officer.

    It’s in the tradition of “Angel Flight,” where pilots transport people needing specialized medical care. The pilots pay for their own fuel and often stay over to provide return flights – all at their own expense. Fred’s brother-in-law Hugh is an avid Angel Flight pilot.

    “Hugh and I once flew a mother and her sick child to a distant hospital,” Fred recalls. “She had planned on staying in a tiny room, sleeping on the floor. We said, ‘Oh no, you’re going to stay in that nice hotel over there and have a hot meal and a bath! Here’s money for a massage. You have to take care of yourself too.'”

    Fred and his motorcycle pals have a long list of stories. “We met a young family traveling on ‘maypops’ – tires that may pop at any time. So we sent them to a tire store. While they were there, we made sure the brakes were checked. Then we put them up in a nice motel. They asked, ‘Why would you do all this?’ And we said, ‘Why not?'”

    Angel Flight pilot Hugh Seagraves will speak at a breakfast on April 21 at Black Bear Diner, located at 2450 North Fremont in Monterey. The breakfast begins at 7 am.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on April 16, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Features, Cameron Douglas


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