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Over the weekend while we were working on migrating the server, swarm and I came across some old pictures on his computer of meet and greets with members, and the Woody memorial video. As stated in the "donations" thread, I am not a person that cries easily but the profound love for this man touched my heart.

-Can anyone explain Woody's life and death, and the Memorial Ride so that new members or people that did not know him can better understand?

-Would anyone like to share their memories and experiences knowing him, or participating in the ride? Please include stories of what it was like for you.

I would love to know more about this wonderful man and the life he lead.
 

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This is from my website from where I picked up his Valk:

In 2002, I get an email from Ed "Woody" Berry that he has located a Valkyrie that he is interested in buying. The only problem is that it was in Belleville, IL (just outside of St. Louis). He wanted me to take a look at it for him since I was only a couple of hours away. Of course, I gladly agreed. So I picked a Saturday that I wasn't doing anything, called the Seller, set up the visit. What I found was a low mileage, very clean and beautiful motorcycle. The test ride sealed the deal. So, I called Ed on my way home and gave him the best advice I could. "If I had the money, I would buy it." With this information, he contacted the Seller and made the deal. In a couple of weeks, Ed flew into St. Louis, where I met him at the airport, and took him to the Seller's house. We got there after dark and Ed really didn't get a good chance to look over the bike. After signing the papers and money changed hands, we were off for my place.

The next few hours were very interesting. We started out taking turns riding the Valk until it started drizzling on us. Then he took over riding the rest of the way. It wasn't a hard rain, just enough to get wet. Just outside of Cape Girardeau, Ed decided to follow a different car off the interstate. When I noticed he wasn't there anymore, I had already passed the exit ramp. So, I crossed the median and went back to the exit. I was lucky to find him sitting at a gas station having a smoke. He said he thought he was still following me. After we rested for a bit, we got back on the road. We got back to my place a little after midnight. When he pulled the bike into my garage, it was his first chance to really look at the bike. Let's just say...he wasn't disappointed in my recommendation.

After a good night's sleep, we hit the road again. I showed him the way back to Cape Girardeau and bid him farewell. He rode the Valk back to Chicago without any problems.

I saw the bike again when we rode around Lake Michigan in September 2003. He had taken real good care of it...always had a bottle of cleaner and a rag in the bags. It was still a very beautiful bike.

Ed died from cancer in June 2004. His passing was very hard for everyone whose life he had touched. I had kept in touch with his widow, Linda, over the years but never really expected to get a chance at owning this bike...either because I wouldn't be able to afford it or Linda wouldn't ever part with it. Early in June 2006, Linda contacted me saying she was ready to sell the bike to me. I scraped together the money and set the date.

The saddest part of this transaction was watching Linda wave goodbye to the bike and mouth "Goodbye Ed" as we pulled out of her driveway. The hardest part will be leaving the journal with her...filled with everyone's memories, comments, and pictures of their rides taken for Woody. (As of right now, that is slated to happen next June...at his 5 yr anniversary.) (I will be scanning the journal and placing the images on my website once it gets through traveling the US. I also have the International Version to scan and save.)

There are days that I know I feel Woody riding along with me on his Valk. And he is always welcome to come along.

I am not only extremely lucky to have known Woody...but also to be able to keep his dream bike going. I know he loved this bike as much as I do. And that is why I have placed the memorial on it...first on the trunk in vinyl letters...and not in chrome on the radiator grill.

Ed...your memory will always live on with me.

Joe
 

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I was only a member of the forum a short while before Woody passed - but from his posts and his answers to my questions it was pretty obvious he was a caring person - kind of set the tone of the forum for me going forward - "you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar".

A lot of forums would just tell a noob to use the search function and remind them of what a POS they are for asking a dumb question........but you don't know what you don't know......and I think Woody understood.

I was rider #25 or 26 for the memorial ride. It was a clear cold day in the winter (Mid Dec) - I remember hoping the temps would get to 40F before starting off - my equipment wasn't going to handle anything less.

I had about 70 miles of super highway to travel. I remember thinking it was going to be a cold ride, and it wason the shady secondary roads to the highway. The sun was baking the beltway and in no time the adrenaline rush of 70+mph and the warmth of the tarmac had me in a comfort zone where I could have gone all day.

A group of us met just over the Chesapeake Bay (east side), near the Rt 50 Bridge at a restaurant. Gosh I hope I remember everyone - Radar, Ugly and his lovely wife, MD_Spirit, and one more I think......yeesh (CRS).

Radar and I were standing outside getting acquainted waiting on the last member to arrive (Ugly/Eric). A guy on a bike with loud exhaust wearing HD colors comes riding in - Both Radar and I thought who is this poser.......it was Eric........with an explanation - he had to pick up some chaps due to the cold, and the black orange thing he got that morning was all they had.....it was a good laugh.

We had a nice meal and then Radar tried to ride his bike with the steering still locked and dumped it in the parking space. Ok…..that wasn’t a good laugh, and I made sure to park two spots over from him from then on……

We then went over to Sandy point (on the other side of the Bay Bridge) for some photo ops of the Christmas decorations and some pics of the bridge and bikes together. It was fun trying to come up with enough quarters to get into the park (automated gate), but we went in two at a time and saved a few bucks.

I sent the Woody Memorial book to MarkC via mail (finding a time to meet in the winter when 400 miles separates you is pretty tough some years) - and have since met him and his wife, and have gone on to meet many members of the forum, old members and new - even got to meet aussieron and Annie in Australia.....I think that is the legacy that Woody would have wanted for HSN.........people meeting people and finding new friends through a common interest.

Chuck
 

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Ed Barry was a moderator of this forum, one of the first. He was an incredible man with an incredible heart. A genuine good soul.

I spoke to him in 2004 while he was in the hospital and we made plans to go to Sturgis together. Days later I was informed of his passing. We were devastated by the news.

A member later created this journal that would be passed between members all over the country and canada. In this journal members wrote their thoughts about woody and said thier goodbyes. I think i was number 10.

Member Glen decided to drive around the country with this journal and deliver it to as many members as possible. This was an amazing experience, to see members bond like this. I will forever be grateful to Glen for his sacrifice.

Woody, you will always be a part of this family. You are missed.
 

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Woody's memory

I can't help but smile when I think of Woody. I spent many hours with "the gang" in the chat room both learning about bikes and laughing. He was such a wonderful guy who was full of knowledge. He was always willing to help out fellow riders.....like when Mark called from Knoxville....
I will never forget the night I had him convinced that I bought a valk just like his at the Honda Hoot. I really wish we had him on a web cam when he finally relized I was pulling his chain.
Woody touched many lives during his time with us, but his memory is touching many more. Woody is watching over all of us as we continue our journey in life. He was one in a million! I look foward to the ride to deliver the journal to Linda and to show her how much her husband ment to all of us.
Marcia
 

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Swarmkeeptress,
Thank you for starting this thread.
As a newb I've wondered who Woody is.
So, thanks to you all for sharing experiences of knowing a fine soul, Woody, who has touched all of our lives here.
Now I know a little about Woody, and I can think of him (while I'm riding) experiencing the joys of riding up above, while we enjoy our bikes here.
 

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I never met Woody
I only knew him from here
We bantered, agreed and disagreed
I remember his passing and how it left a hole
I was never much one for organization so you will
not fine me in the book, I have no number
just a solo ride in his remberance
 
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