Storming Back: Ed Blank knocks one off his bucket listWritten by Brandi Barhite | Associate Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note: Toledo Free Press will follow the Blank family of Millbury for one year as they rebuild their lives after a June 5 tornado destroyed their Main Street home.
Ed and Julie Blank decided after the June 5 tornado that they had better start hitting some items on their bucket list. For Ed, who will turn 51 on May 15, one of the items was a motorcycle.
In March, he bought a 2010 Honda GL1800 Goldwing and had it delivered April 4. Ed hasn’t been able to ride it much, but whenever the forecast calls for no rain, he is on it.
“The weather has actually sucked, but like an idiot being totally anxious, I have ridden it to work a few times and, a couple of times, it was quite chilly,” he said.
Ed owned a bike when he was 18, but got rid of it after he wiped out. He always wanted one again and the tornado inspired him to stop waiting.
For Julie, the purchase did not make her nervous like it would some wives. She grew up around motorcycles because her father ran a Honda shop on Woodville Road in Northwood for more than 25 years.
“She went to a lot of bike races as a youth,” Ed said. “My friend Bruce and his brother, Tommy Cox, were always there when Julie was there.”
Julie said her dad, Bill Martin, who died when he was 53, operated Motorcycle Sales & Service Honda Shop. She spent a lot of time at the dirt bike track because her father did some racing. Ed’s new toy is also fun for her, and she will definitely ride with him when the weather gets nicer.
“I have been around bikes all my life,” Julie said. “When I rode with my dad I was the passenger, sometimes on the back, but sometimes in the sidecar. When I was young around 10 or 11, he used to bring home minibikes for my sister and me to ride on the sidewalk in front of our house or in the driveway.”
Julie said the bike makes sense with Casey being a few years away from leaving for college. Soaring gas prices also make it an economical purchase.
While Julie doesn’t necessarily have a bucket list, she does like going on vacations. Last year, she and Ed celebrated their 16th anniversary with a trip to Las Vegas. This year’s anniversary, on May 21, won’t be another vacation, but it could include a ride on the new Honda.
“Best part of riding the bike is the free and easy feeling. It is very relaxing and can be a nice, relaxing getaway from things that trouble you,” Ed said.