Looking Back

“Looking back” during the group ride at the 20th Annual Missouri Women On Wheels® State Rally in June (photo by Marie)

As the snow falls today, December 16, it’s starting to seem like the diagnosis of PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome) may find its way into our garages soon, just as our Chapter Director warned us it would.

Looking back, though, we are grateful that 2019 was another busy year for us. For the most part, our schedule of rides/events went as planned, although three Missouri Women On Wheels® (MO WOW) Ride to Lunch events were canceled and a handful of other calendar items had to be rescheduled due to weather, work, or other commitments.

We hosted one of our two designated MO WOW Ride to Lunch events. Most of us attended the 20th Annual MO WOW State Rally in Bolivar, Missouri, in June and several attended the 33rd Women On Wheels® International Ride-In™ in Casper, Wyoming, in July. Together we accumulated almost 70 points from visits to military memorials across the state for the MO WOW Touring/Photo Contest.

In keeping with the military theme, our charity for 2019 is Little Patriots Embraced, a “non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the lives of military children and families”.

We observed International Female Ride Day by joining the Metro East Illinois Spyder Ryders on their visit to Casey, Illinois, and enjoyed “eight objects certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest in the world.”

On December 7, we celebrated our annual Chapter Holiday Gathering with food, laughs, stories, and the gift of each other’s presence.

Looking ahead to 2020, we’ll pull out a paper atlas or log into Google Maps and look for roads to explore, places to eat, and activities to enjoy to help us recuperate from PMS. The view outside the window today makes it likely to be a very severe case this year.

Happy Holidays to all!

Fall “Fowliage” Ride

The eagle that soars in the upper air does not worry itself how it is to cross rivers.” – Gladys Aylward

Google Images

Timing, they say, is everything.

This year’s annual fall foliage ride was planned for the predicted “peak” weekend–November 9. Our timing was off, or perhaps the trees are just tired this year.

We headed north on Missouri Highways 94 and H. Due to this summer’s slow-to-recede flooding, we passed new pockets of water. As our three motorcycles roared by, cranes, pelicans, and other assorted water fowl took flight.

In a field to our left, the brilliant white head of a bald eagle caught my attention. As I approached, he took off and flew beside me for a few seconds. He was beautiful . . . and big. What a moment!

We continued to West Alton, Missouri. The city has a number of condemned homes because of flooding. It has been a long, wet summer for those living near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

Pere Marquette State Park (Illinois) did not disappoint us. As we wound our way along Scenic Drive we were finally gifted with a tunnel of gold-colored leaves.

After Glow left for home, Thomas and I decided to catch the Grafton/Brussels and Golden Eagle Ferries back to St. Charles County. It has been a long time since we visited Calhoun County and we enjoyed every minute of it.

The view from the Brussels Ferry
The view from the Golden Eagle Ferry

As we crossed the rivers still high with spring melt and summer rains, the eagles and hawks soared overhead–crossing the mildly turbulent river without worry.

By Cris

11th Hour: 11th Day: 11th Month (Veterans Day)

While only one day of the year is dedicated solely to honoring our veterans, Americans must never forget the sacrifices that many of our fellow countrymen have made to defend our country and protect our freedoms.” – Randy Neugebauer

Frottage drawing from a plaque at the Missouri National Veterans Memorial

The 2019 MO WOW Touring/Photo Contest commemorated the 80th Anniversary of the start of World War II on September 1, 1939, when German Nazis attacked Poland. The United States entered the war in response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Our challenge this year was to take photographs of 58 pre-selected military monuments in counties throughout the state. While I will not be able to visit all of them, each memorial was a place for quiet reflection and a time to offer gratitude to the men and women being honored there.

I wanted to do something special with these photographs (my favorites) so I finally decided to share the beauty of these places just before Veterans Day. While writing this, I was reminded that these memorials come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages–just like the brave people they represent.

Cuba (Crawford County)
Missouri National Veterans Memorial
Perryville (Perry County)
Springfield National Cemetery
Springfield (Greene County)
Blackwater (Cooper County)
Museum of Missouri Military History
Jefferson City (Cole County)

By Cris

On Sunday, 29 September 2019, I along with four of my WOW sisters rode to Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial in Perryville, MO. I had been looking forward to this trip ever since it was announced earlier in the year. Being the daughter of a U.S Army officer who served two tours of duty in Viet Nam, it meant a lot to me to visit the Memorial Wall. I was very young when he was in Viet Nam, and I knew he was at war and in a very dangerous place. But, I was proud of my daddy then and I am so proud of him now.

Photo by Alice Stewart of James M. Eddleman Military Museum in Perryville

For years I have heard my dad share stories about his time in the Army. Sometimes it was at home when I was curious and asked him questions or a few times when I was able to attend when he was a guest speaker at local high schools and community colleges during Veterans Day activities.

Our ride to Perryville was open to others, so I invited my parents to follow us or to meet us there. Unfortunately they were not able to go. I did ask my dad if he knew anyone with whom he served that might be listed on the Wall and, although there were undoubtedly many names on the Wall of people he might have come across in his 20+ years of service, he gave me two names in particular to check for: Kenneth Good and Richard Brown Heydt.

Inside the Military Museum there were brochures, information, and a gift shop. The Memorial Wall was a good walk from the museum, but we were offered a ride in a golf cart shuttle to the Wall. Our driver asked if there was anyone on the Wall we were looking for. I gave him the two names and he checked an app (www.vvmf.org/app) that gave the location of the names. Kenneth Good was found on panel 1E, line 15, which meant he was one of the early casualties. (From a Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial Wall Facts brochure, “The names are arranged in order of the date of casualty and alphabetically on each day, beginning at the center with panel 1E, down panel 1E, then moving right towards 70E, then 70W towards the center, and ending in the middle on 1W. The first and last casualties are side by side at the apex of the Memorial.”) Richard B. Heydt was on panel 16E, line 59.

In addition to the two names, I asked Dad to tell me how he knew them. Below is a little about the two men as written by my father. He mentioned that he did verify Kenneth’s and Dick’s names on the wall when he first visited the Memorial Wall in DC.

KENNETH NEWLON GOOD, CPT USA (Inf), (USMA, 1952)and I had been fellow company commanders in the 2nd Battle Group, 34th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division in Korea in 1959. He had D Company: I had B Company. About the time I moved up to Operations Officer for the Battle Group, Ken was pulled out of the unit as part of the first major build-up in the advisory effort and sent to Viet Nam. He was one of the very early advisor casualties in 1961. His entry in the USMA Register of Graduates indicates he was KIA in Viet Nam as a member of MSAG-RVN on 2 Jan 1963.

Photo by Alice Stewart, taken in Perryville
Screenshot from https://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/19156/KENNETH-N-GOOD/

RICHARD BROWN HEYDT, MAJ USA (Inf), was a fellow company commander in the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment (Cottonbalers), 3rd Infantry Division stationed in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, Federal Republic of Germany in 1965. He followed me to Viet Nam. I left in March 1966 to go to the Military Advisor Training Course at the Special Warfare Training Center, Fort Bragg, NC, then to Viet Nam in May of 1966. Dick took the same route and arrived in Viet Nam 21 Feb 1967, assigned to MACV Advisory Team in I Corps. He was killed by hostile fire 11 Mar 1967. He left a wife and two sons, and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. I returned to the USA in May 1967 to an assignment at Fort Dix, NJ. We met with his wife and children while we were there. Dick and I had been close friends and our families knew one another in Germany.

Photo by Alice Stewart, taken in Perryville
Screenshot from https://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/22959/RICHARD-B-HEYDT/

Seeing the many names on the wall brought the reality of that war home to me. It will forever shape my view of war and its impact on the men and women serving, as well as the families at home hoping, praying and waiting for a safe journey home for their loved one. Often when I think of what my dad may have gone through or what could have happened to him I tear up. Even now in 2019, I can get tearful despite knowing that he has been safe at home with his whole family.

This memorial, like all memorials, is so much more than names. They are fathers, sons, brothers, and, yes, even mothers, daughters and sisters as there are eight women listed among the 58,276 names*. (*Wall Facts brochure) As in the case of Major Heydt and Captain Good, there are also good friends – but heroes one and all.

Photo by Alice Stewart, taken in Perryville
Photo by Alice Stewart, taken in Perryville
Photo by Alice Stewart, taken in Perryville
By Alice Jones Stewart 
Proud daughter of Major Ronald W. Jones USA (retired)


Merriam-Webster.com defines “sister” as:

  • a female who has one or both parents in common with another
  • a member of a women’s religious order (as in nuns or deconesses)
  • a girl or woman regarded as a comrade (an intimate friend or associate)

The August Missouri State Women On Wheels® Ride-to-Lunch was hosted by the Heartland Chapter at Thee Abbey Kitchen in Arcadia.

According to the Abbey’s website, the “Arcadia Valley Academy began educating students in 1846. From 1861-1863, the site served as a Union hospital. The Academy also served as a convent until the last nuns were moved to St. Louis in 1985. Rules for the girls were very strict. They were asked to be silent except during recreation.”*

Today the site consists of a restaurant, bakery, creamery, candy/gift shop, bed & breakfast units, and event venues popular for weddings. Baked and frozen edibles are made from scratch, including cinnamon rolls the size of dinner plates.

Silence. The Heartland Chapter is “old school”. We use hand signals and do not communicate via CB radio or blue tooth when we are participating in two- or three-wheeled recreation. This way there is always plenty to talk about before our rides or when stopped for meals. On this day, a short bit of pre-ride chatter uncovered that our Chapter Co-Founder and our newest member went to school together–receiving their diplomas from Fort Zumwalt High School seven years after the Arcadia Academy graduated its last class in 1971. Additional conversation about this impromptu reunion was shared with all at lunch.

Whether you share the same parent(s), are real nuns (not those portrayed in ceramic figurines tucked away in a cabinet), motorcyclists enjoying a day of riding, or comrades laughing over lunch, try to enjoy the time with your sisters.


Food and Fellowship

MO WOW had their State Rally and I really enjoyed it. It was like a family reunion.

On Friday night, we ate food and played games. We went on a great ride as a group on Saturday. Then we ate some more and talked about the past rallies and rides we had been on before.

On Saturday’s scenic group ride we stopped at The Round Barn in Walnut Creek.

We missed those that are no longer with our group. We would also like to get more people to ride with us.

I just would like to say to all who helped and came to the rally “thank you” because it was an awesome time of good fellowship. I look forward to doing it again next year and to the 33rd International Women On Wheels® Ride-In™ July 9-11 in Casper, Wyoming.

To anyone wanting people to ride with, come give us a try. WOW may be a good fit for you.

By Sandy

Salute to Soldiers

Tucked away behind Kirkwood City Hall in St. Louis County is a military memorial which honors “those who gave their lives in the struggle for freedom”.

On the first of our 2019 Weeknight Rides we stopped here to remember . . .

We hope to visit many more of these special places as we ride to 58 designated counties for the Missouri State Women On Wheels® Touring/Photo Contest which commemorates the 80th Anniversary of the start of World War II on September 1, 1939, when German Nazis attacked Poland.

A special salute to Major Ron Jones, U. S. Army 1954-1974, and his wife, Alice, who welcomed us for juice and conversation. What a joy it was to ride out of town with the parents of our Chapter Director waving at us.