One of those at the top of any list of long-distance "Legends" was Ardys Kellerman. A four time finisher of the Iron Butt Rally, Ardys was also famous and loved among the long-distance riding community and with members of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of North America club. In 2011, "Queenie" to her friends, was one of only two woman motorcyclists to have ridden over 1,000,000 documented miles. She was 79 years young.
I had the pleasure of crossing paths with her several times. She and I, both Texans, traded at Lone Star BMW in Austin. It was amazing chatting with this kind Lady about her hard riding adventures. She and Robert Krull, one of the owners of Lone Star, were lifelong friends. So much so, that when she passed away in 2013 her family asked Robert to take possession of her motorcycle memorabilia. He attended her Memorial Service.
Back to the book. As I opened the cover, I noticed an inscription on the title page. It read....
You were always
someone I knew I could
count on for help. Thanks
again for being in Oklahoma
in the middle of the night -
September 7, 1999
I immediately recognized this as being something very personal, special and a sentimental treasure between two Legends of the sport. Not something that should be laying around in the customer lounge of a motorcycle dealership. I called Robert Krull, who recently sold the business to the local motorcycle superstore. He still owned all the furniture, fixtures and decorations, of which the book was among. He had acquired the book as part of Queenie's personal affects and somehow it got tossed to the dealership reading basket. I asked him if I could buy the book or replace it with my copy. Robert told me to just take it. I knew exactly what should be done with this artifact, this treasure, this very special book.
Voni Glaves, is the other 1,000,000+ mile Lady long-distance Legend, a Bronze Medal finisher of the Iron Butt Rally and life long friend of Ardys Kellerman. Both Voni and Ardys appear in Ron's book which is replete with his tributes to the long-distance personalities of the time. Many are now Legends of the sport. If anyone would appreciate the uniqueness of this book it would be Voni.
So, I will ensure this book...written by a Legend ... personally autographed and presented to a Legend ... is delivered to a Legend for safe keeping. I will take it to Voni by motorcycle of course....Ardys wouldn't want it delivered any other way.