I just wanted to share an email I sent to have read to Blake before his passing:
Steve Shulman told me you weren't feeling well, so I'll get right to the point...
I want you to know how much you mean to me and how profoundly you have impacted my life in such a positive way in such a short time. I will always keep you in my heart where you belong.
Our friendship began before I met you. I was scrolling the internet for information about motorcycles and to see what I could find and learn when I came across the SCMA website.
I was 67 years old and had just bought my first motorcycle in October 2012. As I read through your website, I came across the information about the 4 corners ride and it really captured my imagination. I made up my mind that I was going to do that ride for my 70th birthday on August 11, 2015. I would leave on July 22nd and end up in Key West, Fl. on my birthday,--21 days and into the SCMA HALL OF FAME.
That was the plan and you were the contact guy. I called you to ask some questions and you were so courteous, kind and informative and encouraged me to go on the Blazing Saddles ride that was coming up in May 2013--more questions ensued.
You always treated me with respect and kindness. When I told you I didn't have anyone to ride with, you said I could ride with you--I was a brand new rider, and you were the President of the club and you invited me to ride with you--I was so proud I got to ride with the President--we hadn't even met yet.
You led and I followed. I didn't even finish the full route on day one. I was exhausted and when we stopped for some lunch, you had brought me to the point where all I had to do was get on the freeway to get to the hotel for the night--you were thoughtful and not just concerned with YOUR ride.
Somehow the hotel messed up your reservation and you had no room to sleep in. One of the many questions I had asked you was if riders share rooms and because of the mess up, you and I shared the two queen beds my reservation provided.
The next morning we left Angels camp to ride west across the great, wide, state of California. You knew just where to eat, the best hamburger joint in the middle of nowhere and after we left the delta we traveled on a two lane country road toward our ultimate daily destination just south of Santa Cruz. You had everything on your bike--GPS, MUSIC, PHONE AND CRUISE CONTROL set at 59 in a 55 mile zone you said. In the middle of nowhere, we got pulled over between cow pastures by two highway patrolmen. Radar said we were doing 65 on a two lane country road in the middle of nowhere where the nearest town had a population of 600 and we both got tickets--I didn't care, it was one of the best days of my life and no ticket was going to ruin it for me and it didn't. The mountain road thru Santa Cruz was very challenging for me, but you had given me some tips on how to ride in it and it helped me survive. A Mexican dinner ended the night with stories of new sights seen and traffic tickets received.
You heard I was in a motorcycle accident recently and called to inquire about how I was doing. You wanted to come up to Camarillo, near Ventura and have lunch with me. We spent a wonderful 3 or 4 hours together, talking about motorcycles and the upcoming 3 flags ride.
I want you to know how much I love you. The news of your condition saddened me more deeply than I thought was possible. I sought solice with one of my spiritual leaders and telling him of our brief but meaningful friendship, he said to me after his silence and my tears subsided, "Think of the gift that Blake gave you." He continued, "Life is short, live it fully and let those you love, know you love them."
Blake Anderson, I love you. Thank you for your friendship. You will live forever in my heart.
You have many people in your life who love you and who have known you a lot longer than I, but I want to add my name to the long list of people who call you their friend.
May God Be In Your Side Car. Happy trails my friend. I will miss you, but you are a part of the best part of me--my motorcycle riding experience.
With love, respect and admiration,