Deputy Director

Deputy Director Report
By John Reblin 

A little competition is a good thing, right? Listen to talk radio and they always bring up how competition brings new technology and influences along with lowering the price.

For example, TV's and the accessories like VCR's and DVD players that were at one time very expensive are dropping to almost nothing in cost. Same with things like computers, tablets and many other electronic devices.

People are naturally competitive. Give them a challenge and they will do whatever they can to come out on top. Go to the local establishments and watch people play pool or throw darts and listen to the smack talk going down. Ask anyone at the many chili or soup contests going on right now same thing is going on, all trying to be numero uno. I was at one last month and talked to one of the participants and she was telling me of the decisions that were made on which recipe she made, hoping to win. Others were gunning for the reigning champion for the last couple of years, hoping to take him down. Competition is everywhere.

Other forms of competition are going on even without face to face interaction, using technology. Fitbit or something similar, along with a smart phone and some contacts puts you in the race for steps during a day, and for the week. Yes, I got involved in this around Christmas. A watch that counts steps lets me track my progress daily and connecting with friends starts the competition. A really cool tool it also tracks my heart rate, how long I worked out, sleep etc. It pushes you to achieve the goals that you set knowing looking over your shoulder, or on the app, someone is right behind or you are catching someone and it makes you think hey, I gotta get going.

Reading the ABATE of Wisconsin newsletter you see a picture and an ad on page 23 with Chubby and Ryan Hubbard of ABATE of Illinois. For quite of few months in 2015 and 16 you saw the joy on Chubby's face as we beat those south of the border in sustaining and individual memberships. It was a proud moment in our history, with many in the background cheering the competition on and working towards the goal: to beat the Illinois crew. Well Illinois took back the title in September at Meeting of the Minds. And now we see that sad look of defeat on Chubby's face for the upcoming months in the back of the newsletter.

We need to gather round and make plans to take back this title. We need to get as many individual and sustaining memberships as we can to do this. Not only will it satisfy our competitive nature knowing we are on top, it also gives the MRF much needed support to do the work we need done at the Federal level. Who else is watching out for our right to ride free on a national level besides the MRF? Who else is watching over the bills that are being scurried about, thousand pages long and buried inside one of them is that one line item that says something stupid like, "hey ride a bike you need to go through motorcycle check points or some other silly rule" that besides being discriminatory is just wrong. We need them to be our eyes on items like the FAST act or the RPM act. We just plain need the MRF and the work they do as much as they need us to help support them. Please sign up today to join the MRF if you have not already done so. The application is on page 23 or join on-line at .

If you have been part of ABATE of Wisconsin for any time you have heard some people called "freedom fighter" and I have been fortunate enough to get to meet some across the country and also have some in this state that I can call brother. A close friend of mine passed away and I was determined to attend the funeral during Officer Training. She was a single mom a little older than myself, I first met Sharon when I went to talk to the owner of the business that I was recommended at for a job. That was probably 25 years ago. A little older than myself, I looked at her as a friend, older sister, mom, someone I could share those little secrets with and not worry about them spreading. In a world of political correctness, we would have been both fired for things we did and said to each other along with others (all in good fun.) After the business closed we stayed in touch at functions and by phone. If it snowed I stopped before or after work and shoveled her sidewalk, or some other task she needed help with, or with a frantic phone call late at night on another issue. About two years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer and gallantly fought it. She started this journey alone, her grown son out of state, visiting, encouraging as much as he could. She later found solace and help from friends she has made. She took a sudden turn for the worse, and after about 10 days in hospice she passed away. The last time I saw her, a few days before she passed, we hugged one last time and said our goodbyes, tears in our eyes. Sharon, you were always a fighter in life and during this last journey. More importantly you helped me to understand some fights are worth the struggle. RIP.

Reblin, John. "Deputy Director Report." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Mar. 2017.

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