Tuesday, June 9, 2020

From the daughters

We never aspired to guest write on Dad’s blog but hope to make him proud with this, the final post on “Scootin’ Da Valley.” We've debated the past year if we should let well enough alone or post an official closing entry on Dad's behalf, and we've decided he wouldn't want to leave it unfinished.

In June 2018, Dad wrote “I have only 2,901 miles to go to have ridden the distance of the earth’s circumference! I sure hope I can complete that equivalent circuit on my beloved Piaggio with my head as full of wonderful thoughts and memories as the past 22,000 miles have provided.” Unfortunately, Dad’s scooting days were cut short last year, preventing him from reaching his goal mileage. He was closing in on it, but the odometer will forever be stopped at 22,772. 

Taken by Ally after the accident.

For those who haven’t heard, Dad was killed in a car accident on June 9, 2019. He was doing everything he could have to be safe on the scooter. He was wearing a helmet, brightly colored clothing, riding in daylight, and obeying traffic laws. While he was stopped at a stop sign, he was struck from behind by an elderly man who failed to stop. Paramedics were on site within a minute or two, but even their quick response was too late.  We don’t think Dad felt much (if any) pain or even knew what happened given the circumstances. We hope this does not dissuade anyone from continuing to ride since Dad was doing what he absolutely loved.

One of Dad's views from the driver's seat that last day.

That day started as any typical Sunday. Dad awoke to attend 8am mass with his mother and sister, sent an email to his best friend since high school, asked Google for the temperature, and headed out to enjoy a long scooter ride in the beautiful weather. In true Dad fashion, he was taking photos (across his phone and two different digital cameras) of his ride until about 20 minutes prior. Maybe he was even thinking of a new blog post as he rode around alone with his thoughts. He had two hours of bliss as he felt the wind and sun on his skin and stopped to take pictures of anything he could. We’re not sure why he snapped the shots he did. Truthfully, we doubt Dad had a purpose to them other than to do it. This blog was as much about Dad sharing his amateur photography as it was his writing, so we feel we need to share some of his last photos and selfies here with you. 

Dad always found cool things to stop for.

Thank you to those of you who’ve tuned in over the years and followed Dad’s rides. We know he’s made some friends through this blog and hope you think of him fondly from time to time. Thank you for being a place for Dad to turn for “brain dumps” and for a creative outlet. We take comfort in knowing his spirit lives on through so many people (some of whom he’s never even met). 

Dad ended every school day in his career as a teacher with the same blessing over his students, and it seems fitting to end this blog with the same prayer to all of you. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May he look upon you kindly and give you peace. 

From the timestamps, this is one of the last selfies.

W-B man, 61, Killed in Motorcycle Accident in Dupont
Motorcycle Driver Killed in Crash in Dupont
Motorcyclist Killed in Weekend Crash in Dupont
Joseph Blizman Obituary

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