The Reason

The Bravest Person I have known

Preston was the bravest person I have known.  He and I had spent a lot of time together last year driving to Houston for his chemotherapy.  During the ordeal he always had a positive attitude and was careful to think about the welfare of his friend and family.  In the spring he wanted to get the treatments over with, kick the cancer, and get back to work at a FEMA operation.  As soon as he got word that the cancer was gone he was on an airplane to Iowa to help in the flood recovery.

Before the cancer developed we had made plans to ride to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in the summer of 2010.  I had just retired and he could take a short break from work.

Preston came home from Iowa for a checkup at the end of June, 2010.  Unfortunately the cancer had gone to his spine where it was not detected.  He entered the hospital and stayed until he died in mid-August.

Two days before he died the Doctors asked what he wanted to do; he was in bad shape due to the cancer entering his brain.  He couldn't see very well and he couldn't talk, but he could write.  He wrote a note and handed it to me.  It was hard to understand at first, but I read it and gave him a "thumbs up".  He then turned to the doctor with the slash across the throat sign.  He was through fighting but was assured I would carry out his wishes.

He had told us when he first entered the hospital that he wanted an Epic Party thrown in his honor and for his ashes to be taken to Prudhoe Bay this summer.  I have left it to his friends in the Fort Worth area to throw the party.

CAN UD (Can you do it?)
I assured him that I would.

folgers Big Lebowski Style
In the movie The Big Lebowski, John Goodwin spread the ashes of his friend from a Folgers coffee can into the Pacific Ocean.  Some compromises must be made.  Federal law prohibits spreading ashes in the ocean, but I'll figure something out.

John Goodman and Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski
  I could not find a metal Folgers can so he will ride in a Chock full o' Nuts can, as in "The Bucket List". 

Preston was Center-Stage at his memorial service.


  1. I think you come in a close second to the "bravest person." Preston would be so honored that you're doing this for him. I'm only sorry that I have no motorcycle skills and cannot go with you.

    God speed for a safe ride there and back. I know P will be with you every mile of the way.

  2. "Federal law prohibits spreading ashes in the ocean"

    This is rarely enforced. I worked for a ferry company in Boston for several years and we had at least 1 private charter a year for the purpose of spreading ashes in the harbor. With that said I wouldn't do it in front of any law enforcement, but like anything else that is illegal it is only a problem if you are caught.

    Just don't post any pictures of that part if you do. ;) - Russ

    P.S. God speed. Have a safe journey. Preston will definitely be with you in spirit the whole way.

  3. Georgia MackowiakJune 2, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    Dave--I am proud of you for doing this for Preston. Thanks for making that last trip and taking Preston with you! All his friends and family will be with you in spirit. Have a good, safe journey there and back! Warm regards, Georgia and Larry Mackowiak

  4. Ride on Preston.

  5. Preston and I rode a together, a little, while I was deployed to the Annex there in Denton. It breaks my heart that we will never have the chance to ride together again. God Speed Preston. To all of you that will be going with him, safe journey, God be with you.

  6. Preston is lucky to have a father like you. You are an amazing man. I miss Preston so much, but I am so happy you are following his wishes and soon he will be "home" and he will be free...I love you, Preston.

  7. You and Preston ride safe. When he went to Palliative Care at MD Anderson(Comfort Care), an artist drew a final picture of his last vision, as depicted according to Preston. It was him on a motorcycle driving down a long road with the Alaskan sunset in the background. I have that picture and will cherish it forever.

  8. Go Dave and Preston!