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Eulogy for sonorawfo

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Yesterday,4/23/5 they held services for sonorawfo. The family asked that I read a Eulogy for John. Since I mentioned TT, I thought you might see it.

Hello, my name is Jeff West. I’m here today to honor my best friend John Bunch. I know we are all hurting, and are uncomfortable with the untimely passing of John. I’m not up here to dwell on his death, but to speak a few words about his life. John and I have had some great times together, and I would like to share some of my thoughts with you today.

John was a unique person, a little rough on the outside, but a good person at heart. I knew John for almost 25 years, and watched him mature into a man. I watched him become more responsible, both to himself, as well as those around him. He paid his dues, and he earned respectability.

John was an outdoorsman. He loved being outside surrounded by nature. He loved camping, hiking, and motorcycle riding. He was also a mechanical genius. He had the rare ability to study anything mechanical, and quickly find ways to improve it. John embraced Old School Technology, where the human factor controlled, not electronics. He could tune an engine or a piece of machinery to run perfectly.

John was a well respected member of a community that many of you may not know about. When John wanted to buy a new dual sport bike a few years ago, he discovered an internet site called Thumpertalk. It’s a forum where all things dirtbike are discussed. It has over 55,000 members worldwide. John joined this group to get info on the Suzuki’s we were going to buy. As time passed, John began contributing his knowledge to other people on this forum. It wasn’t always technical, but sometimes it was personal, like the time he suggested to a young man from Pennsylvania, to take a risk and drive to Alaska with a friend. John suggested he make an adventure out of it. He was always an advocate of wearing safe riding gear, and riding responsibly. He frequently praised Debbie on this forum, telling all how she always stood by him. You could count on John to be to the point, maybe a little blunt, but also very funny. After John died, I posted on Thumpertalk of his death. The responses were incredible! So many people wrote their condolences. Many praised John for help with technical questions, others for his advice, and still others for his humor. Some said John had given them tires or riding gear. Every response honored him. On Thumpertalk, John was well respected. John, or sonorawfo, as he was known, will be truly missed by this worldwide community of motorcycle enthusiasts.

I met John through Ken Allen. At the time, the three of us still lived in Tracy. We started to go on night hikes. After dark, we would drive up into Corral Hollow Canyon, then hike in a few miles. We would gather firewood and sit around the campfire until the early hours of the morning, then hike out and go home. Johnny and Kenny quickly became two of my best friends. Sometimes we would hike the canyon three or four times a week. Our simple night hikes grew into some large parties. We would invite our other friends to join us, and these hikes became popular. Over the years, the participants have changed, but the best hikes were the first few years with mostly Johnny, Kenny and myself.

John introduced me to dirtriding. It took him a long time to convince me that it would be fun, and not that dangerous. John and I became good riding buddies, and have ridden and explored some of the most spectacular parts of this state. We’ve explored much of the area north east of Sonora. John knew where every dirt road went. We tried to find an off road route from highway 108, across the mountains, to highway 4 at several upper elevations. We’ve discovered some forgotten California history, but so far, no route. A few days before John died, we were talking about this route. John thought this summer we would find one.

A few years ago, John and I went motorcycle riding on a Sunday. We took our dirtbikes up to Italian Bar Road. There was still snow on the ground, but we decided to try to get to the top of Crandall Peak. We struggled to get through some deep drifts, and had a hard time getting up the last half mile of the access road. Under the snow the road was rocky and rutted. I fell a few times, but we made it. When we got to the top, the view was breathtaking. The Sierras were covered with snow, Beardsley Reservoir was still partially covered with ice, and the sky was a deep blue. We sat up there in silence for awhile, watching an eagle soaring and just taking in all the beauty of the nature around us. John turned to me and said an amazing thing to me. He said “I’m not a religious person, but I can feel God all around me up here. When I was a kid, and went to church, I couldn’t feel God. To me, it was a people place, not a God place. As I grew up I sometimes doubted if there was a God, but, when I see all this, I know there is a God. I think God made places like this so we would know He exists. This is where people should come to worship him.” After saying that, he was quiet for awhile. I felt he was praying, so I took a short walk, to allow him some quiet time with his God. When I came back, he seemed very peaceful and relaxed.

I have many more stories of John that I would like to share, but, I don’t want to take up any more of your time. I will truly miss my good friend John Bunch.

Thank you.

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The was great Greybeard, I lost one of my best friends last year around this time. His name was also John.

I hope they are both riding in a better place now!! :naughty:

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Thanks for sharing.

Godspeed SonoraWFO.

may those you left behind be at peace.

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Well done Greybeard .... may your friend rest in peace.

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Greybeard you are welcome to share your stories I have nothing but time and a XR. BTW it was nice to meet you yesterday.

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Most eloquent, yet to the point. I feel as if I knew part of him. What better praise for a eulogy or its author.

Robert

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Greybeard it would be great to go riding. Also you got a non smart assed reply from TBB that is a great honor for a great bit of writing. :naughty:

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