Friday, October 18, 2019

A vintage car and the veteran behind the wheel

Lincoln, Nebraska (October 18, 2019) — Sam Aughe is from Crete, Nebraska, bu has been all over the United States in his everyday car, though, his travels are nothing of the ordinary.

This vehicle has seen 73 thousand miles, and has shared over 32 hundred smiles.

It is not yet done with its life journey.

It is a patriotic testament to those who have lived and died and have served their country as they see it.

"Say, the car isn't about me, it's about what it stands for," Owner and Vietnam Veteran, Sam Aughe said. "There's names inside and outside."

The vehicle has gone all over the states, and with it, collected over 32 hundred plus signatures and names of servicememers- most of those from the military, and some of those from Police and Fire departments.

"...Names from the civil war, world war one world war two, Korea, Vietnam, the stuff in the middle east," Aughe said.

All of the names came with a story to tell.

"Some of the stories, i wish i could remember them all, are heartbreaking. I had a girl sign it a couple years ago. Her brother introduced her to the guy she married. They were both killed by the same IED in Iraq. When she signed it, the bodies were not back yet," Aughe said.

"We end up getting a lot of hugs. They're either 6ft 10in, all dressed up in leather sweaty bikers, or sweet old women just crying. It brings people closure," Aughe's grandson and successor to the vehicle, John Parks said.

The first name on it is Sam's friend he lost in the Vietnam war.

"If I could sleep, this would never happen, but it just came to me in the middle of the night. I can tell you the first name that was on it, and that's Bob Rose, killed in action December 24th, 1969," Aughe said.

The last name will remain a mystery.

Aughe says this project is an extension of his personal journey, and will be passing the car and its responsibility on to his grandson when Sam can no longer drive.

He said he doesn't want it to be pretty, but just a simple reminder of those who risked their lives to serve their country.

If you're interested in inviting the vehicle to a memorial service, you can contact Sam Aughe at 402-418-8329.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Motorcycle group helps families grieve

Anderson, IN (September 10, 2019) — More than three dozen wooden memorials mark places motorcyclists have died in crashes across Madison County and remind drivers to be mindful on the road.

For the last three years, nonprofit Madison County Biker Died Here has built and erected wooden memorials for fallen bikers to help ease the minds of families who’ve lost their loved ones.

Nathan and Andrea Pershing said they lost their son Ridge Pershing, 18, at on May 31 at South Scatterfield Road and 53rd Street.

“It was Friday evening. He was just driving straight down the road and had a car turn in front of him, and we don’t know if he didn’t see the car or if the car was turning at the last minute,” said Nathan Pershing. “He didn’t have a chance to do anything, but he hit the side of the car and lost his life.”

Josh Shepler, 36, was killed on 38th Street on the same day. His father, Steve Shepler, told News 8 that he was hit by a trailer.

“He only worked 4-5 miles from his house. On his way (to work), a vehicle went to turn into a trailer port here in town and didn’t see him and he T-boned her,” Shepler said.

The nonprofit raises money through various rides and events throughout the year to memorialize fallen bikers. They ride together where the accidents have happened to pay their respects and erect the memorials. So far, 41 memorials dot the county.

“Thankfully, within just a day or two, we started getting notifications from this group saying ‘We’ve got this, we’re gonna take care of this. We don’t know your son, but he means a lot to us,'” Nathan Pershing said.

“There were roughly 150 people on the ride and between those 150 people, the biking community raised $9,000 for the club. That’s the biker community,” Shepler said.

“I lost my son on a bike, but these people right here they would do anything for you and to me, people should look up to these people,” Brandy Neff said.

The memorials have brought comfort to families and awareness for drivers.

Posted by Madison County Biker Died Here on Saturday, August 17, 2019

“Every time I drive by that intersection I take a second to myself and I say, ‘Man I love you, buddy. I miss you dearly,'” Nathan Pershing said. “It’s great to be able to drive by it and see it, but it’s really a shame that we have to.”

The Pershings hope their son’s memorial is a reminder for those behind the wheel.

“Watch what’s going on around you, take the second look. Everybody seems to be in such a big hurry nowadays,” Shepler said.

The Madison County Biker Died Here group will have its next fundraising event Sept. 15.

STORY BY: Aleah Hordges

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Seeking: Independent Insurance Agency

Indianapolis, IN (June 6, 2019) — Bikersinc, a grassroots non-profit organization has opened up their membership options for their 2020 year, starting in the 1st quarter. They are currently seeking an independent insurance agent or agency who can offer several different types of insurance and discounts for their members.

They are looking for a preferred insurance provider to offer the following services:

1. Group life insurance
2. Accidental Death and dismemberment with minimum amount of $3500
3. Motorcycle and Auto Insurance discounts for all types of motorcycles, including coverage on custom vehicles is a must for their members.

Referring agent or agency must be licensed for the State of Indiana. Licenses for surrounding states would be a bonus. Must be an established insurance provider with good credentials, open minded and motorcycle friendly. Military Veteran preferred.

About: Bikersinc is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with charter members in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois and Tennessee. To inquire:

Monday, May 13, 2019

Veterans gravestones restored at cemetery

Greenwood, IN (May 13, 2019) — A Greenfield, Indiana man that runs an organization that restores veterans gave markers in Indiana was in Greenwood Saturday. He was assisting a veterans group with cleaning century-old grave markers belonging to Civil War Veterans.

Raymond R. Brown, a disabled veteran of the Vietnam war dedicates his time to restoring Veteran markers in cemeteries throughout Indiana. He is the director for Mission Restore Bronze Indiana and restores Veteran Markers at no charge whatsoever to the family.

Raymond R. Brown of Mission: Restore Bronze Indiana (Photo: Jim Floyd)

On this particular day, he brought his trailer and equipment to Greenwood to assist the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Every year, on the second Saturday in May, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Benjamin Harrison Camp No. 356 clean gravestones at historic cemeteries around central Indiana. Most members of the organization, whose main focus is educational programming, have ancestors who served in the war.

The SUVCW is a fraternal organization dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of heroes who fought and worked to save the Union. Organized in 1881 and chartered by Congress in 1954, it is the legal successor to the Grand Army of the Republic.

Raymond R. Brown of Mission: Restore Bronze Indiana travels all over Indiana (Photo: Jim Floyd)

This year, Mike Beck, a member of the Benjamin Harrison chapter and former state commander, recommended a graveyard minutes from his home — the old Greenwood Cemetery off Main Street, just west of U.S. 31. He visited the cemetery to check on the condition of two Civil War cannons, and realized many of the gravestones nearby could use some work.

Together, six men in their 40's, 50's and 60's spent much of the day on their hands and knees scrubbing and treating 25 to 40 Civil War gravestones throughout the cemetery. They also had plans to reset one or two that had sunk into the ground or fallen over.

Raymond R. Brown of Mission: Restore Bronze Indiana maneuvers around around gravestones (Photo: Jim Floyd)

Most of the men who help clean and restore the gravestones have gone through a Department of Natural Resources course on cemetery and stone restoration, he said. They learn how to clean and reset stones without causing any harm to the historic markers.

“We try to be as gentle as we possibly can,” said Tim Beckman, Department of Indiana commander for the SUVCW. Using nylon materials — gloves, brushes and scrapers — they removed algae and dirt from the old stones, then rinsed them with D-2, a special solution that’s used in national cemeteries.

LEARN MORE: Mission Restore Bronze Indiana on Facebook

LEARN MORE: Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War on Facebook

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Biker Blend Coffee for Bikersinc

Beech Grove, IN (April 6, 2019) — It was something that was long overdue for our organization, an appreciation on a grand scale by a veteran owned company. In a little hamlet on the Eastside of Indianapolis called Irvington, The Wood Whomp Coffee Company made it all happen. In April of 2019, the Biker Blend roast went on sale with 100% of the coffee proceeds being pumped into the Bikersinc veterans programs.

The owner of Wood Whomp Coffee was looking for a local non-profit that was ran by a veteran like himself that would love to see a little money come in for doing good work. He remembered reading about a Non-profit in Beech Grove that worked with veterans and also were into preserving the Indiana motorcycle history, phones calls were made and emails were sent that finally resulted in a meeting and more meetings.

They worked out a deal with Shades of Chrome to assist with the internet technical stuff, domains and they created a eCommerce site using Shopify for online sales. An agreement was made that in lieu of monetary exchange, proceeds would benefit fellow veterans and the Biker Blend was born.

Working out of a preserved warehouse, Wood Whomp Coffee is a small batch roasting company that employs fellow veterans. Their current roaster is a Phoenix double drum and is capable of roasting up to eight pounds with 4 roast per hour. As the operation grows, more roasters will be added.

Out of all this came the Biker Blend, a medium roast with an above average caffeine content. The coffee is packaged in a full 1 pound bag, not just 12 ounces like some. They sell for $20.00 a bag and shipping is free in the Continental United States.

In addition to the Biker Blend, they have regular roast called Easy Days that is their signature blend and a high caffeine blend that packs almost double the amount of caffeine that is rightly called Wide Eyed.

You can visit the Wood Whomp Coffee Company website at or on Facebook below.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Newby Oval

Beech Grove, IN (January 15, 2019) — In the Gilded Age, Indianapolis was at the heart of manufacturing and a large player in the burgeoning bicycle industry. The famous founding fathers of the Indianapolis Speedway all had their hands in said industry prior to the shift in their interests to align with automobiles.

Yet out of all of them, it was actually Arthur C. Newby, the quieter of the quartet who actually put forth the foundation to make Indianapolis the racing capital of the world.

The Newby Oval in Indianapolis, Indiana

Arthur C. Newby halied from around Monrovia, Indiana and spent much of his youth in California prior to moving back to Indiana. Initially he worked as a clerk and made his way up in Dickson Trade Palace and soon thereafter began to form the ZigZag Club, a wheelman’s (bicycle) club.

In 1890 Arthur Newby and a few contemporaries started the Indianapolis Chain and Stamping Co. (Which would later on become Diamond Chain Company.) During this time his involvement with the bicycle industry and formation of the ZigZag Club allowed him to become friends with the other founders of the Indianapolis Speedway.

Map of where the the Newby Oval used to be located

The group’s enthusiasm over bicycling veered into racing and Newby saw the Newby Oval as a means to attract the League of Wheelmen to Indianapolis and turn the city into a bicycle mecca. In 1898 the Oval was constructed and could seat 20,000 spectators and declared a marvel in bicycle racing. In August that same year the 19th Annual League of Wheelmen meet was held at the Oval.