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Paul Mihalka

Going down-hill

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doc47

I just spoke with Paul. He was feeling a bit weak yesterday and went to the hospital. He's feeling much better this morning and spoke with his usual matter-of-fact honesty.

 

Without a trace of sadness or self-pity in his voice he said,"What will be will be!"

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EffBee

Paul, it has been my honor to know you and to call you a friend. My father raced in Argentina during the time you were racing in Venezuela. While you never faced each other, you faced many of the champions of that day. Caldarela, Kisling, Balestrini and more. So the two of you were connected in ways and through a history I only knew about in his stories and in yours.

 

Much as I wish it weren't soon, some day now you will meet him. Say Hello, and tell him we're doing fine because we have friends here as beautiful as you. He'll be the one on the G50 or the 7R behind you, looking (unsuccessfully, as I have) for a way past.

 

We all hope to reach your age, to have your level of activity and enthusiasm, and most of all to be remembered as lovingly and as respectfully as you are. You've earned it all. May the rewards of eternal life be yours.

 

Vaya con Dios, mi amigo. Y que te de el abrazo que mereces.

 

 

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OlGeezer

Crap!

 

 

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kmac

Arianne,

I wanted to give you a big welcome and tell you how sorry I , and I am sure many others, are to meet you under these conditions.

 

It is obvious that your pop has had a big effect on many people, in a wonderful way.

 

For me he is like E.F. Hutton....when Paul speaks, everyone listens.

 

I was actually just coming on to ask Paul to make sure his family gets to see this thread in hopes that you all could also feel some of the love and comfort here.

 

I really hope that coming here in the future will not ever be a a sad reminder of your dad, but rather a happy celebration of the love for him.

 

Welcome new friend.

Kelly

Edited by kmac

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Lone_RT_rider
Paul, I'll be thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers.

 

That makes two of us.... :(

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Peter Parts

Rotten timing with the biking (and other two-wheel, eh) season about to start. Hope you don't miss too much of it.

 

I'm sure you remembered to add some Stabil to your tank.

 

See you on the road.

 

Ben

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Stan Walker

So sorry to hear this. We will all miss you, your humor, and your stories.

 

Stan

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Gregori

Paul - as anyone can clearly see, you're much loved here, and will be leaving a legacy. In the end, it's the love you leave that matters most, and you score big on that count.

 

I'd like to join the chorus in extending a warm welcome to Arianne.

I'm glad you could join us, despite the circumstances of the introduction, and sincerely hope that you can draw even a fraction of the joy out of this community that we've been given by your Dad.

 

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MikeRC

Paul:

 

It is an honour to have known you, talked with you, helped you with trip planning and followed your adventures.

 

I still have an image in my mind of you racing to Torrey after Gunnison in 2006. So smooth.

 

Best wishes. Give the girls a kiss.

 

Mike Cassidy

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Nice n Easy Rider

Paul,

At my first BRR after taking up riding again I sat next to you at our Sat. night dinner. You were so friendly and welcoming I knew I had found the right group to resume riding again with. Thank you for the many conversations since and for being the wonderful human being that you are. We will all miss you.

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moshe_levy

Paul, I'm so sorry to hear this. I never met you in person, but I heard so much about you from Jim Ford, whose voice as a riding coach is always in my head. You were his teacher, and he is mine (just one course, but a lifetime of material to practice!) I spoke to you once briefly about a used R1200RT you had in your shop when I was looking to buy. You were so gracious with your time, and are so respected on this board. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

 

-MKL

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1MPH

We all have to play the hand we are dealt.

You sir have played yours with class and grace.

Congratulations on a life well lived.

 

Keep on keeping on.

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CruisinCruzan

Just heard, horrible news. Paul the night you spent at my house on your way to the Vermont UnRally was one of the high ponts of my brief motorcycling life. Discussing motorcycling, your past adventures and what the future of motorcycling might look like had me mesmerized. I will never forget it and always looked forward to seeing you again.

 

I wish you comfort and strength.

 

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ESokoloff

You sir have done it right.

 

You've lived life to the fullest and are now sliding across the finish line totally spent.

 

Time to step up to the podium and pick up your trophy.

 

I'll bet even the grim reaper has a consciouses and is going to have difficulty with his assignment to take you.

 

 

I regret not getting the chance to met you unplugged (off line).

 

Godspeed Paul

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Endobobdds
I echo the many sentiments expressed. ...

...In spite of the news though, look forward,...jeez, look who I'm talking to, you invented the power of positive thinking. Paul, in so many ways, you are the Man! :thumbsup:

 

Paul - I too echo the sentiments expressed here today. You have been an inspiration to me in how much one gains from having and sharing a love of life, friends and fellowship!

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Ponch

Crap, how did I miss this?

 

I am sorry to read this. Te veo despues, para más lejos abajo del camino. Gracias por todos.

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Bmr Deacon

Hello Paul,

 

We have never met. I just want to say that terminal illness can be a great blessing. It gives us the opportunity to prepare for death, to prepare to meet our maker.

 

Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die.

 

In this season of Lent we are called to rend our hearts and not our garments. If you haven't done it already acknowledge your sins before Jesus and ask for His mercy. He came to save us, not condemn us. He will fill you with His peace and you will know that everything will be alright.

 

He will change your pessimism into optimism.

 

I will pray for you everyday, you pray for me and we will meet in eternity, God-willing...+

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John Ranalletta

You were always kind and friendly to us.

 

Thank you, Paul.

 

John & Ruth

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

Paul

I'm very saddened to hear your news and for your family as well.

I wish you the best in this journey. Keep your feet on the pegs and look through the corner.

 

Once again, I'm reminded that life is short and family first. Especially for future opportunities to take a ride but, work gets in the way. There is a balance there but, it is a balance dammit!

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TampaJim

Two years ago, I went to the Savannah shrimp boil rally and read here that Paul was going to be there. Sitting at the table, I asked did anyone know him because I really wanted to meet him.

 

To my total surprise, you were sitting right next to me and introduced yourself.

 

It was a real honor to meet and talk to BMWST (and ADVRIDER) royalty. You made the trip special!

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1st Shirt

Paul - Sunjoo and I send our thoughts and prayers. Over the past couple of years I have finally stopped going full speed ahead and stopped to think about all the things in my life that I appreciate. Having met you and known you is one of the better things I have done. I'm lucky enough to bought my bike from you, albeit thru emails and FEDEX. By the time I got back to pick the bike up you had already moved on to another shop. Doesn't matter - I bought my bike from you because you were the only salesman who truely seemed to care. I've told you and many others - I bought my bike from Old Fart because he demonstrated true customer service. You Paul, always have been and always will be a Rider. It is in your blood, in your soul and it comes from the heart. I still ride that bike today, and with this news I now have a renewed interest in riding.

 

My riding season this year will be dedicated to remembering your passion. Each time I head out I will remember the first time we met at Bob's BMW. I will recall trips to Torrey and dinner together. I will recall celebrating your birthday at Jamie & Leslie's. Most of all, I will recall your smile. You have always loved riding and everyone who met you knew it instantly. God bless you Paul. And thank you for being My Saleman!!! Bob & Sunjoo

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Rooman

Paul, I'm so saddened to come across this thread and hear your plight.

Reading your thoughtful insights on this site over the years, and finally the privilege of meeting and having dinner with you at the last Torrey gathering, I have nothing but total respect.

Your gentle nature, wit, humbleness, dignity and profound wisdom have truly inspired not just me - but many!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and I wish you peace. God Bless

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outpost22

Paul,

Most of us could live 20 lifetimes and NEVER get close to what you did in yours. You brightened our lives and my wife and I feel so blessed to have shared time with you at the Oregon Un.

My life has only contained one hero-my dad. I now have two.

 

1un.jpg

 

2un.jpg

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bmwscoot

Paul,

Barb and I were so sad to learn of your diagnosis on Kathy R’s Facebook page. You are in our prayers.

We were lucky enough to meet you at a couple of early UN’s, and to have you stay here overnight during one of your many coast-to-coast rides. What a wonderful evening that was.

I still remember as you were preparing to leave (no GPS or WI map), we thought maybe you might want to borrow my ratty old WI map, as you followed The Mississippi River down until the turn east to get home.

So, in typical “Paul” fashion, a couple weeks later, I get a map in the mail. It wasn’t my old ratty map, but a brand new, never been used map as a token of your appreciation.

That is the Paul we all know, and love. You have done it the right way.

May God grant you, and your family, peace.

 

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ArmyGuy

Godspeed Sir. You are liked and loved by many and have touched many lives. One cannot ask for much more than that.

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BadAdam

Raising a drink and pickling my liver in your honor tonight. Post some race pics from back in the day Brother Paul!

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SWB
Update, the worst kind: Stage IV liver cancer, the end.

Guys and gals, these loving messages are the most beautiful gift you could give me.

I Love you all!

 

Paul,

 

God Bless you and keep you, in all your ways, through all your days. Hang in their buddy; even though the odds are against you, that's why they are called "odds"; they can be beat. In any case, every man's days are numbered, and I hope yours are spent peacefully enjoying the company of your children and grandchildren.

 

Best Regards,

 

Scott B.

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steveknapp

Paul, it has been such a blessing for Karen and I that our paths have crossed with yours. The way you live your life inspires us and the memories of our brief times together brings smiles. Thank you.

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Jake

Paul my dear friend, this news saddens me so very deeply. You personify everything that is good, admirable, and honorable about this community we have all created. It was said earlier, you are truly our Ambassador. My thoughts are with you during this inevitable time, and I send you strength, fond memories, and comforting peace. I am so fortunate to be amongst the many to have met you, known you, and call you friend. You are a truly great man with a wonderful and loving family that you have often spoken of so highly. I will cast a thought of gratitude your way each time I thumb the starter button for the rest of my days.

 

Arianne - I am your neighbor, and it would be my pleasure and honor to ride with you anytime, hopefully to one of our events one day where you will have an opportunity to meet more of your extended family members. I'm sure you can see that your Dad is our Hero.

 

I love you Paul. Thank you for showing us how it's done.

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BrianT

I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said old friend. Thanks for being a part of our lives and enriching us all. You set a good example of how to live and ride. You're in my prayers and I'll be looking for you when it's my time for the final ride. Love you too Paul.

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gottago

Dear Arianne,

Welcome to this group and I look forward to meeting you and giving you a big welcoming hug. I hope you know you are part of us now. No turning back. Prayers and comfort to you and your family during this time. Hug your Dad for me. I hope I get to meet you in person some day, to tell you how great your dad is, but you probably already know that.

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John Bellantonio

Paul, It is an honor to be your friend. Mona and I hold your visit in our fondest memories. Thank you for taking the time for us. We admire you and love you very much. I pray for your recovery and healing.

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Endobobdds
I wanted to introduce my self and THANK YOU!! for being here for my Dad and all your kind words, it means everything to him...

 

I just got my first bike with the help of my Dad a few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough that he came to visit and we got it togehter, I will not be able to share with him all the great adventures that he lived through his life, but hopefully will meet many people like you that did...

 

Thank you again...

 

Arianne

 

Welcome Arianne! You inherited your father's beautiful smile. :thumbsup:

 

Your dad's smile, warm welcoming personality, almost unmatched knowledge of motorcycles and riding, and his wonderful perspective on life has impacted so many of us that are part of the BMWST community. We hope you too will eventually share that full fellowship with us.

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JayElDee

Godspeed, Paul on the greatest journey.

 

I always welcomed your input into threads as the seasoned voice of wisdom, esp over on the 1150 forum.

 

John

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doc47

Spoke with Paul on the phone just now. He's feeling much stronger and dealing with it all in his usual matter-of-fact way.

I'll ask his permission to share more.

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Clive Liddell

Paul, as we all grow older I'd like to thank you for the great example you have set to us mid-70 year olds that you are never too old to swing a leg over a bike!

 

Welcome to you Arianne and just to say this is the community for friendship and assistance which I'm sure your Dad has already told you!

 

Thank you both for sharing with us.

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Yeeha! Stephen
Paul, I'll be thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers.

 

That makes two of us.... :(

 

And more of the same from deep in the heart of Texas.

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Sweendog

Paul, we've never met, but I've seen your postings regularly here and know you are loved by everyone. Sending my best to you and your family in this difficult time.

 

-Bill

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DrewAlex

I have had the honor of working Paul for the past 15 years, he is my friend, colleague, mentor and much more. I will miss him dearly, but will look fondly at this thread in the coming years to remember him and how truly lucky I am to be able to call him my friend. Paul Mihalka, you are the richest man I know!

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BMW_Ken

It has always been a joy seeing Paul at the BMWST events. I'll never forget the pizza we shared at the Unrally in New Hampshire.

 

There are not many men like Paul in this world.

 

I'm blessed for having known him.

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Rocer

Paul;

 

Whenever I check in on BMWST to catch up I aways keep an eye out for your posts. As has been said many times over in this forum your words are received with the utmost respect as they are founded not only in knowledge but experience. Your recent communique to us of your diagnosis, needless to say, has brought you full bore to our daily conscience. Like others, I have had the distinct pleasure to have met you. It was just last year at the Rubber Chicken Rendezvous. On your parting of the event I noticed you packing your bike and no one to see you off so I raced out to be that person. While I expect that you would have been just as happy to do this solo, as you commented about getting old and the difficulty you had in throwing your leg over the saddle, I held then and do now utter admiration for your go-forth attitude.

 

I'd like to relate a recent experience I had as it parallels your life, at least as I have come to know it here on BMWST.

 

Last year at our local Winter Folk Camp concert we had the pleasure of listening to several musicians one of whom played most excellent violin. At one point in her banter between songs she explained the reason for the red ribbon on the neck of her violin. It was in memory of one of her instructors and mentor by the name of Oliver Schroer. The week before you announced your diagnosis here we again heard his name mentioned on an upcoming documentary on TV. We watched it on the week between your initial announcement and your follow up confirmation that you had stage 4 cancer. The documentary we watched in the interim was of Oliver's self arranged last concert that he played after leaving his bed at the hospital where he was being treated for leukemia.

 

What a remarkable man was he, not only in his compositions but even more in his ability to teach and inspire others. See, here is the parallel I mentioned earlier in my scribblings. As he played his last song of the evening former students in the audience began pulling out their violins and accompanying him. Others began singing softly, some just quietly wept. And so it is here too Paul with the beautiful comments and stories being voiced here, not so much couched in musical terms but in nuances of how to skilfully ride a beautiful machine like poetry in motion while at the same time knowing when to stop, develop and share friendships and enjoy the wonder of where we are.

 

Your measured patience in passing on to us your wisdom, your knowledge, humour and your all out, full in technicolor (I left the Canadian "u" out for you) experience in life has and will continue to be a shining example of how we might live our own lives.

 

If I may, I'd like to quote a poem that Oliver wrote for his mother when he was only 11 or 12. I found it most appropriate and type it to you in tears:

 

 

Farewell my friend

To you I greetings send

When round the great roads bend you disappeared

All day my thoughts to the wandering steered towards you

I say goodbye

Look into the sky and see the sun that binds us into one

Alike to our thoughts tell

I bid you farewell

 

 

Paul, I wish you and your family continued courage and grace.

 

With fondness,

Paul Dillon (Rocer)

 

Edited by Rocer

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Paul In Australia

Paul

 

I have never had the pleasure of meeting you, but I found over the years through this forum that you are what is most important. You are an enthusiastic, supporting, talented absolute gentleman. In life that is important to me.

I will keep looking forward to hearing, rehearing and listening again and again to your wonderful posts.

all the very best regards

Paul

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jmseattle

Like some others have indicated, we have not met although I have read many of your posts in the past. The tremendous respect and goodwill that you receive from so many is the greatest tribute imaginable

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beemerman2k

_JEG1707-XL.jpg

 

Tonight we went out to dinner to celebrate the 14th birthday of my daughter, Coretta (in the red coat). Prior to sitting down, I asked my girls to stand against the wall in the restaurant, and I asked my wife to take a picture of all of us together. My girls asked, "why a picture here and why now?" I'll explain later. As we sat down to dinner, they badgered me for the explanation. Here's what I said to them:

 

"My dear friend, Paul Mihalka, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. He doesn't know how much longer he as to live with us on this earth. So I wanted to send him the most solemn, the most heartfelt, the most respect filled salute I could muster, and a picture of me with my daughters is as close to such a salute as I can think of."

 

Their faces darkened when I told them this terrible news. I then followed with:

 

"Know this, none of us will be here forever. What Paul is experiencing is not some unfair misfortune as though he has been singled out to suffer a unique calamity. We will all come to share in what Paul has to endure right now. But if we are fortunate, I mean really fortunate, we will leave behind the kind of legacy Paul will leave to his family and friends. Paul is leaving an unusual and particularly great legacy with his own life; Paul always fearlessly ventured to discover new frontiers in every aspect of his life, and served countless people with the lessons and wisdom he accumulated along the way."

 

My dear brother Paul, as a man, as a husband, as a father, and as a motorcyclist, I salute you. Thank you for the trail you continue to blaze in your time here on earth. Even now, during this particularly terrible ordeal, you serve us with your mature and wisdom filled outlook. You have touched me, and through me, you have touched my daughters. They offer their most solemn and heartfelt "thank you", as well.

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texasaggie97

Well said!!

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mnTwin

Paul,

 

So sorry to hear this news. We met briefly in Torrey last fall. I thought I put on a lot of miles to get there until I read about your journey. You are an inspiration!

 

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

 

Brian

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Ron_B

James, what a beautiful post...

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jackie

My Dear Paul,

I have been off the site for a few weeks and just saw your post. Know that you have been a huge inspiration to many of us here, myself included. I was honored to buy you a beer at the Unrally in John Day a few years ago. I certainly couldn't keep up with you on the roads around there! Saw your taillights several times... And you were instrumental in my purchasing my RT in Baltimore sight unseen. Purty is a constant reminder of your kindness and knowledge. I'm sure you know that if there was anything we could do for you, all you would have to do is put it out there and we would answer. Be strong, my friend, it's not over 'til it's over! Hugs,

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Marty Hill
James, what a beautiful post...

 

James, wonderful pic and words. Thank you.

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ully211

Paul,

 

I have never had the honor of meeting you face to face ... but reading your posts over the years and the last 26+ pages of tributes to your storied life literally gives me goose bumps.

 

I send you and your family EVERY ounce of positive thoughts and prayers I can muster ...

 

 

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