Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

January 11, 2013

Lindsay's column: 01.11.13 >>My first in the City of Firsts

My Uncle Al’s laugh could chase the sounds of fear away. Tuesday will mark my family’s third winter without him. These words are for him.  

It was a March morning, when the weather is so unpredictable you could see all four seasons in one day. A 3-year-old me was eating my Little Mermaid birthday cake and basking in the beauty of spending an entire day at Chuck E. Cheese with friends and family. The morning started off quietly with the sounds of spring whispering through the air, but it quickly turned into a fiery storm before the rain poured. Moments after I moved from the couch, the most unpredictable storm ensued as swords of glass erupted through the window behind me and the sounds of screeching brakes screamed through the atmosphere.

The moments of that morning were painted into my memory in slow motion, as family members sprinted to the driveway to help the man who had lost control of his motorcycle speeding around the corner. As the motorcyclist’s heartbeat quieted to a silence, my dad gripped the 20-year-old in his arms. He reassured the man he’d be OK. My father held on for hope the ambulance would help him before it was too late.

What seemed like hours later, the ambulance had taken the driver, but his clock of life had already made its final tick, far too early in his young life.

Twenty three years later, I accepted a position as Life and Style editor for Kokomo Tribune and I was approached to participate in a motorcycle ride benefit for Bridges Outreach during my first two weeks here. As someone whose palms still perspire at the sound of a revving motorcycle engine, my mind instantly replied with a, “No.” - but to my surprise - an excited, “Sure!” flew off my tongue. Before I had the chance to correct myself, the benefit ride’s organizer, Doug Newman, said he’d get me set up with someone and even find me a pink helmet - it’s hard to go back on your word when someone wants to keep you safe and stylish.

I spent the weeks leading up to the Bridges Outreach motorcycle ride, wishing I had said no. But, if I was ever going to face my fear a police-escorted motorcycle ride on the back of a trike for a do-gooding organization was a much easier face of fear to meet.

So, on a fall morning, I shook hands with Jack McKinney - who was driving the motorcycle - and looked fear in the face while wearing an intimidating hot pink helmet, giving fear a scare for itself, I’m sure. I spent the first minutes of the ride, clinching my jaw and wishing I had applied extra deodorant or just brought the bottle with me as a nervous sweat set in. But then, Mr. McKinney cranked up the country music as we weaved through roads lined with autumn oaks. The motorcycle engines’ hums of horror quickly dissolved. Then, enjoyment and ease picked up where fear once was.

An hour later, we arrived at the destination with the other riders and my first instinct wasn’t to jump off the motorcycle and kiss the ground - as I had expected - it was to hug Mr. McKinney and thank him for opening my eyes to an experience I would’ve rather refused just a few hours earlier that day.

Kokomo may not be a stranger to firsts; the city didn’t snag the title City of Firsts for being hesitant to try something new or overcome a fear, but it was one of my first experiences in The City of Firsts where I knew I would find a world of hearts to write about and that gut instinct has been right.

To the man who smiled at the face of fear, this column is for you.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
[friday]
  • This week's best bets 1) Young Country Night Check out up-and-coming country artists Chris Lane, Chris Cavanaugh and Drew Baldridge as they perform a free show in Foster Park Friday night as part of the Kokomo Summer Concert Series Young Country Night. The show starts at

    August 1, 2014

  • Ziliak, Lindsey My kind of unlucky life So I was born unlucky. Wait. Scratch that. That’s not entirely true. Twenty-six years and eight months ago I was born into a middle class family with two parents who love me unconditionally. I had a mom who loved being around me and my siblings so mu

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Big Damn Band The Big Damn Band coming to Kokomo Right out of rural Indiana comes The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. This fingerpickin’, scrubboard scratchin’, drum-bucket country blues trio conjures up the likes of such greats as Son House and Charley Patton.The band will be in Kokomo Aug. 9 hea

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Editor's Picks 1) Purdue alumni basketball game Check out some of the greatest Purdue men's basketball alumni as they compete once again in Mackey Arena Saturday afternoon. While a full roster has yet to be released, legendary former head coach Gene Keady will retu

    August 1, 2014

  • Editor's Picks An angel’s taleCarmel Community Players presents “I Married an Angel” all weekend in Carmel.Shows are 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.In the production, a wealthy Budapest banker, Count Perrin, is love-weary. He ends his engagement,

    July 25, 2014

  • This week's best bets 1) Look to the skies Several rockstars of the aviation aerobatics world are set to perform Saturday afternoon at the Kokomo Airshow. The show is free and starts at 1 p.m. at the Kokomo Municipal Airport. It will feature award-winning airshow performe

    July 25, 2014

  • Ziliak, Lindsey Living out my dream My high school chemistry teacher eight years ago basically told me I was dumb. It wasn’t because I was failing his class. I actually excelled in it and picked up this catchy tune while I was there. “A mole is a unit; Oh have you heard,” I remember si

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marques Bunn Kokomo native returning for hometown comedy show A comedian who grew up in Kokomo is back in his hometown performing all weekend – his second time here this year.Marques Bunn opens for longtime friend and fellow comedian Troy Davis at Laugh House Kokomo downtown. There are shows at 8 p.m. today and

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • This week's best bets 1) Rockin' in the park Stray Cat, Lee Rocker and Band performs a free show Saturday night at Foster Park, so don't miss it. The show goes from 7 to 10:30 p.m. and features special guests Tony Funk and the Homewreckers. Lee Rocker made his mark singin

    July 18, 2014

  • Editor's Picks 1) The Nutcracker Show Ron White performs his Nutcracker show at Honeywell Center in Wabash Saturday night. Ron “Tater Salad” White first rose to fame as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Now, as a chart-t

    July 18, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller