President To President

Judy Mirro has A Conversation With Stephen Holtz, Founder of the MOV

Judy: Stephen, we know you as our "Founder", but how did the MOV really come about?

Stephen: Phil Keppelman and I rode together to the 1981 MOA rally at the Loretta Lynne's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN. While there I kept hearing over the rally PA system all the MOA chartered clubs were meeting. I thought that it would be cool if I could meet some of the other riders from VT, so I went to the rally office and had them announce that there would be a meeting of all the riders from Vermont and picked a designated place and time. I'm not sure how many people showed up ...I know that besides myself, Denny Chevalier, Bud Provin, Charlie Nassau, Phil Keppelman, and maybe even Harvey Cohen and Joel Ascher were in attendance (not sure about Harvey or Joel, but they were there definitely at the first meeting in Vermont). There was even a guy there from Plainfield who rode a stock 100/7 black with red stripes who always wore leathers and used a tall tank bag. I believe he was a radio engineer and electronics teacher.

We agreed to meet in Woodstock at the community center after returning home. I guess I called everyone from the list we put together right there at the rally. We had agreed at the National that once we got back to Vermont we would start a "chartered" MOA club.

Peter Mescia, our first club secretary, was at that first meeting in Woodstock as well as Harvey, his wife Dianne and Joel, Dick Gaull (from Woodstock), Denny, Bud and there were others - I just can't recall who. From there on, it is MOV club history. Unfortunately, Peter Mescia died on "Mach Schnell" his new RS, while serving in office.

Judy: Is there/was there/ a club member in the last 25 years that "stood-out" that you would like to mention or tell a story about? Or an MOV outing or incident you'd like to tell us about?

Stephen: Bud organized the very first Notch Hop and performed his legendary head set adjustment with a rock, while on one such ride. Harvey hosted my famous one and only "Wok Fry" at his house in Fletcher. Carl and Janis VonSchummer (once owners of "Just Imports" the BMW and Moto Guzzi Dealership in Montpelier) always seemed to be there in the early years. They always hosted a Just Imports Ride-to-Maine for the annual lobster feed. Just too many events and years to remember. And what do you mean by the club secretarial notes were a little loose back then? Hell, this was a time before computers! Can you even remember a time before computers? Cy Young was the first MOV member to bring a computer to a rally.

Phil Keppelman was the first and only member (not even Bud) to have a self-basting BMW, of course it is know as the "Butterball" (you'll have to ask him about that). I hope it hasn't been lost how Bud became: "Buffalo Bud." Oh, Bud, I think it's time for you to put the "Buffalo Bud" story in writing for all to hear. : ) It's a dandy!

Judy: We know the MOV's true motto: "Live to Ride - Ride to Eat", but did it just come from Stephen or was there a story behind it?

Stephen: The club motto was conceived while we were eating at a restaurant in Middlebury, on a club ride. It came to me that every time we went on a ride, we ended up eating. It was about the same time when all the Harley riders had that patch that said, "Ride to live, live to ride". It was an easy transition to go from that to "Live to ride, ride to eat." I'm sure that Harvey was there because he contends that it's something else. Beats me. Not many people will remember a sign that was made for me that said, "If Jesus rides a Harley, God rides a BMW". That one never gained national recognition.

Stephen Holtz's Current Bio. I'm a private chef and estate manager in Seattle, or at least was up until my benefactor and boss died this past October, after working for him for 12 years. My wife and riding companion of 20 years, Anna, and I will be going to Alaska to cook in a fly-in only lodge outside of Denali park, from May until September. My daily commuter is a 2002 R1150 GS but I still have "Butch" a pristine 1966 R90/2 B.B.P. conversion. And the sweetest 1985 K100 EML that was ever built (personal hack of Peter Larson of Liberty sidecars). My blue 83 R100 RS turned 100K before I sold it to a friend who put more into the paint job then he paid for the bike and now is a beautiful Daytona Orange RS. I used to be an officer of a local Vintage club called the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts (VME), but the only motorcycle club that I belong to anymore is the AMA. I am now an active member of a local (Vashon) rod and gun club as well as being an avid pistol shooter, reloader and hunter.

Judy: Did the charter members have any high aspirations for the club 25 years ago?

Stephen: We were high all right. My highest aspiration was that the MOV would still be alive to ride and riding to eat after twenty five years.

Ride On Stephen, Ride On.