Bruce Bunch, Rick Hemme, Kyle Fleming

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7/25/2008 9:09 AM

Holy Cow! Talk about some names from the past! Shawn Hilton, Randy Shipley?! Keith Watkins here......What are you guys doing with yourselves nowadays?

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7/25/2008 10:19 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/25/2015 5:07 PM

Hey Keith!

How ironic, earlier in this thread I commented about the day I first learned about what happened at Ponca in 1982- it was at your parents house and your brother Damon was the one who told me what had happened.

I now own towing and automotive related businesses with my Father-in-Law. I recently partnered with him after 15 years in the corporate world, last 5 years as VP of Sales for the Phoenix Region of a major developer.

I am going riding tomorrow (with Brian Pryor) at Speedworld, it will be the first time I have ridden since December (my wife gives me shit all the time because I have 2 bikes in the garage collecting dust). Between work and family (3 girls) just not much time.

Last I heard (read) you were Economic Director or something like that for Buckeye?

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7/25/2008 10:29 AM

Great to hear from you! I left Buckeye about 5 years ago and now run the AZ office for a master plan development firm, JF Companies. Married, no kids. Raced sprint cars for about 10 years after college. Just have a jeep now. Would love to get a bike again and get back to riding. Oddly enough, I now live near Kierland where we used to ride after school all the time. I see the waterhole is still there though!! What homebuilder where you with. I just read where Engle is slated for a $83MM Trustee's Sale....largest yet.

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7/25/2008 5:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/25/2015 5:08 PM

Keith-
Many troubles in that industry, not surprising given all the craziness for the past decade.

I was with Richmond American for the past 8 years, Dave Brown for 7 years prior to RAH.

Email me your contact info, I have an extra CRF250 so if you feel like joining us for a ride sometime you are welcome to give it a try!

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7/25/2008 9:25 PM

Wow, here I am looking for a connection on google for some old cyclenews papers end up on this site and meet up with you guys. Randy it was some fun times hanging out back then eh? Kieth, heard you ran cars for awhile I think from my cousin. Built a house across from my dad in Desert hills. Have not been on a bike since 87. Thought about riding one many times but looked the other way. Do the bass fishing scene (tournaments) now. Saw Fig a few times through the years, sure is doing well in the truck races. Randy, tell Bryan I said hello when you seem him.

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7/30/2008 8:47 AM

Randy and Shaun,
Great to hear from you guys. Sounds like you are both doing well. Brother Damon also lives in Desert Hills, has 4 kids now and is a cop in Peoria. Good times for sure back then!

Watty

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8/16/2008 3:05 PM

Sounds like abunch of old hill top Canyon groupies! Kalos, Parkers, Brian Lewellen, Carlson , Butcher, Gunderson, Fouquette and others still around too.

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9/29/2008 7:51 PM

Grew up at Edwards AFB, which had a pretty good track, and we got to know the Hemme's. I remember racing at the AV Fair and Rick got the award for the longest banner (he collected it on a wide turn). I also remember the (I think 1978) World Mini Gran Prix at Escape Country, we let (actually my dad did) Rick ride my 50 cc Indian to race (he having blown up his and racing both the 80 and 50 class), I remember watching him and being amazed that he could make my bike go so fast! Gave me a little bit of inspiration, I always tried to ride that thing as hard as he did!

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10/6/2008 2:17 PM

Button and Kalos were supposed to be in the car too but were told they had other things to do. Dana Duke screwed up, he was the adult in that car, regardless of who told him to pin it and pass the cars and beat the train. Shame really all that talent in that car...poof gone.

S

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10/21/2008 2:59 PM

We were with in 5 min of the train crash on our way into town to go swimming. Awhile back I posted some pictures of LB, KF and RH bikes. Kokie Close(Dist 17) had bought one of them after the accident.

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2/11/2009 8:23 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/16/2016 10:27 PM

If he's on here, he can correct me, but Shaun Kalos was supposed to be with them, but he hadn't eaten lunch or cleaned up & his grandma made him stay at their motorhome before the awards ceremony.

I had never heard the rumor about Larry Brooks being with them & being made to get out of the car?? Is this true?

Someone else posted it & it's what I remember as happening...they (Dana Duke) drove around cars which had stopped for the train...

I never knew (or saw) Rick or Bruce, but I watched Kyle race...he had more natural talent than anyone I'd ever seen...in later years, Ron Lechein (sp?) reminded me of Kyle...relatively a small amount of time on the saddle, but rode like the wind... (...I think it was Kyle's sister I had a crush on...but, in all honesty, I forget ;-) hey...it was a long time ago)


I still get butterflies when I think of that incident....for some odd reason, the song "Eye in the Sky" (Alan Parson's Project) reminded me of them (then and now)....

....gone but not forgotten....

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2/11/2009 8:40 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/16/2016 10:27 PM

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2/12/2009 9:55 AM

I suggested to D.C. at racer x last summer that the magazine should do a story on this tragedy, he told me that racer x started a story a few years ago and the families didn't want it told, that it was still too painful so racer x shelved it...... i still think this story has to be told at least as a tribute to these guys and what might have been...

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Danny Gonzalez

2/12/2009 10:36 AM

OldSkewl#15 wrote:

If he's on here, he can correct me, but Shaun Kalos was supposed to be with them, but he hadn't eaten lunch or cleaned up ...more

Hey guys, I recognize some names on here from the past, hope everyone is doing well.
This post is very emotional to me. I was going with them to eat but I would not change my shirt as my Grandfather (Pop) told me to do, so he wouldn't let me go. I don't think he wanted me to go anyways as he was really protective of me. I don't remember where Larry was, but I remember them calling my name to get in the car with them. The drive home with Kyle's sister, Michelle, with us was like a twilght zone. I miss my friends and teammates a lot and know for sure they would have made a big impact on the professional scene. Kyle was staying with us in our motorhome that week, we were becoming good friends. Rick was outgoing, fun and liked to embarrass me in front of his sister. Bruce was more quiet and was very kind hearted.

Thanks for starting a thread about these guys.
Godbless, Shaun..

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2/12/2009 3:32 PM

Thanks for sharing that Shaun. Great to hear from you on this board.

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1980's Motocross was the best! It was Heaven and we never knew it!

2/12/2009 3:57 PM

ridge wrote:

I was told that Larry Brooks was in the car. As it headed out of the pits, someone pulled Larry out to do an interview and he ...more

Jimmy Button too, his mom made him get out for dinner...

S

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2/13/2009 3:44 AM

I remember riding the track at Q.H. while Ricky was back there and you could still see the marks on the track from where they were railin the track just several days earlier, and then get the news he wasn't coming back, I wasn't tight with Rick as I was a slow 7 yr old on a 60, but I spent many of day gettin in his, Maybery,and Hicks way on that track.


I only knew Bruce and Kyle by name, and didnt know Dana Duke at all, Theres no doubt he fucked up, but he got the worse punishment you could ever think of, he LIVED!!!

That has to be a living hell on earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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2/21/2009 10:37 AM

A few days after I posted , I ran into Cheryl Hemme at my work, we talked for quite a bit.
She was very happy to hear people and Shaun posted about her brother. I talked with her about what was posted, and gave her the link. I was suprised at what she had to say and will let her post if indeed she does decide to.


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3/18/2009 8:10 PM

Ive been wanting to write a book for some time now about these three amazingly talented riders in thier honor, i just dont have enough information. If anyone has any information on them (not just the accident) but their lives it would be much appreciated.

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3/19/2009 8:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2009 8:33 AM

Capone35 wrote:

Ive been wanting to write a book for some time now about these three amazingly talented riders in thier honor, i just dont ...more

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4/7/2009 9:57 AM

Capone35,

Kyle was a great friend of mine. We traveled and raced bicycles for DG all over. Even though I was a little bit older, I was always astonished while watching Kyle on bicycles and/or motorcycles. The entire Fleming family were very good people and I enjoyed every time I was with them, at their home or the races.

I watched Kyle as he made the transformation from a BMX National Champion to a motocross icon and every thing he did amazed us all.

I have a few pictures of Kyle, a couple of jerseys and a lot of stories. I actually still have his customized DG BMX bike (the one that he won ABA National #1 with). My son started racing motocross and I have now been able to tell him about Kyle and the many memories we shared. Kyle was an incredibly talented individual, as were Rick and Bruce. The one thing I will always remember about Kyle is that he was a fantastic friend.

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4/7/2009 2:19 PM

457dad-
Thank you so much for the insight on kyle!! If you have any spare time would love to read some of your stories!!!!! Thanks again.

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4/22/2009 3:16 PM

Neat to read what people have to say about these guys. I am a few years younger than Kyle was back then and my family and I lived a few houses down from the Fleming's on 43rd ave and st johns road in Glendale. I remember being in awe of him and jealeous in a way being he was an avid BMX'er turned motocross. After the incident i remember hearing the news, but not having the courage to ask the flemings what happened, i was only 11 at the time, but the activity seemed to almost stop completely at their home, and was never the same. The thoughts and memories have stayed with me throughout the years until a few days ago i figured i would do a little research on Kyle. I have 3 sons now and 2 of them are getting into BMX racing, doing their practices at Black Mountain. Glad to be back in some sort of way. Does anyone know what happened to the Fleming's?

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4/27/2009 12:09 AM

NW#599 wrote:

Previously posted by Dirteater

"Me and Tommy Dalton, Brad Sexton were still in the pits that afternoon looking for ...more

ONE OF MY GOOD FRIENDS IS TRACY MEEKS AT THE LAST MINUTE DECIDED NOT 2 GO WITH 2 TOWN OUR THERE COULD HAVE BEEN ONE MORE IN THE CAR WAS A VERY SAD DAY 4 ME CAUSE BRUCE BUNCH WAS ONE OF MY GOOD FRIENDS RALPH HIS DAD USED 2 TAKE ME 2 THE TRACK WHEN MY DAD DID NOT HAVE TIME THEY WERE GOOD PEOPLE 2 ME MISS U 4 EVER BRUCE

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4/27/2009 12:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/16/2016 11:36 PM

Capone35 wrote:

Ive been wanting to write a book for some time now about these three amazingly talented riders in thier honor, i just dont ...more

Dmoks wrote:

I HAVE LOTS OF INFO I WAS GOOD FRIENDS LIVED DOWN THE STREET FROM BRUCE BUNCH HIS DAD RALPH USED 2 TAKE ME 2 THE TRACK WHEN MY DAD COULD NOT AND WE USED 2 RACE 4 HARRY CYCLE IN ORANGE BEFORE HIS R&D RIDE

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4/27/2009 3:29 PM


#515-
If you have time would love to hear some of your stories. Im trying to get info together to write a book in honor of these guys!! I used to race 80 int. in So. cal. in the 80s, these guys were my heros. thanks
Capone35
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4/28/2009 12:58 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/16/2016 11:37 PM

#515- It's good to hear from a friend of Bruce Bunch. Being track photographer I have many shots of him that need to be viewed. If you go to SOCALMXNEWS.COM you will find Bruce taking the holeshot at Photo ID: 101. That was taken at the 1982 WMGP. Just hit the blue search bar without putting in a number.

Capone35- I can help you if you need shots of Bruce Bunch and Rick Hemme. The Orange County Register called me after the accident to find out more about Bruce. I knew him well because I covered all of the NMA races for the local papers.

tcestudios@netzero.net

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5/31/2009 7:54 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 12:11 AM

I forgot that Duke guy lived thru that train wreck, was he the Oakley guy ?
I remember i heard about it the next day and believe it or not to this day I always look both ways before I cross train tracks.
I hate to say it but if 1 more person went be Brooks or Button then it probably wouldn't have happened because the extra 10 seconds it would have taken for 1 more guy to get in the car the train might have been 10 seconds behind and saw they would have seen it..

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6/22/2009 9:21 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/22/2009 9:22 AM

This is really cool. I grew up with Chris Taylor Tracey Meeks and Bruce. I rode until 82' and hung it up. Barona Oaks, Corona Raceway, and Saddle Back were my favorite tracks. We were Harry's Cycle rats and spent many days hanging out at the shop in Orange, CA. My pal Chris Taylor could clear all your questions up if someone was to write a book about this. Bruce had actually broke his toe in the hotel sat. night and won all three class that Sunday. Bruce was an amazing rider! Mark Barnett came to the webco levels during a Thursday practice sesson and asked Bruce who he was. Bruce passed him on an 80 that day. Bruce looked up and said, "I'm Bruce Bunch" with that smart alec tone he always carried. btw: I run a #6 on my bike to this day! I have Bruce's first helmet in my garage and will try to post a kewl picture I have as well.

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6/22/2009 6:34 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 12:32 AM

[LINK TO IMAGE]

Webcokid- That's cool that you are using the Suzuki advertisement for your profile shot. I took that picture of Bruce Bunch and it was a great experience working with Suzuki's ad agency on the 1982 80cc Full-Floater campaign. Above all, it was so nice being able to know Bruce Bunch and Rick Hemme, and to be their photographer. Here is another spread that we did and this came out on March 10, 1982 in CYCLE NEWS.
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