In 1967 I bought my first real motorcycle, a 1966 BMW R60/2. To assuage my BMW loneliness (BMWs were not common motorcycles then), I began my “founderitis.” I became involved in founding BMW motorcycle clubs. In 1968, I started the Madison (Wisconsin) BMW Club (BMW MOA #7). In 1972 it was 13° below zero in Chicago in February when my wife, Jill, and I drove there and met with Vern Hansen (Detroit), John Moore (California), Charlie Smith (New York), and Frank Diederich (Chicago), to found the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, which now has 40,000 members and several full-time staffers.
Also in 1972, John Harper, of Alabama, and I joined together to found Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners, Ltd., or VBMWMO, as it is known. It has now thrived for nearly 40 years and publishes the Vintage BMW Bulletin to help inform and support vintage enthusiasts. Today I own a variety of postwar BMWs from a 1952 R51/3 through a 1973½ R75/5 and a number in between. Because of my early history with R60/2s, I own several now and they remain my favorite BMWs to ride.
My last “founding” occurred in 1979 when Jill and I started the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, which is dedicated to preserving and restoring another kind of historic “vehicle.”