Pine Nuts: Glen Lucky turns 68 on Sunday
Glen Lucky was born on Sept. 27, 1952, down in Coronado, California. He was like many other boys, cute, smart, happy to arrive, however, he was diagnosed with a birth defect, cerebral palsy, and his parents were advised he might not live to see 15.
But Glen did live to see 15. He started riding a bike at 15, and 16 and 17. Glen turns 68 on Sunday.
You might know Glen for his biking prowess, as he can be seen on any given day, biking from Indian Hills along 395 into Carson City, looking like Kit Carson exploring the sink, or not unlike Snowshoe Thompson delivering the mail, for he is right up there with both those Nevada icons.
I remember so clearly, the evening of April 14, 1988, when a banquet was held in Glen’s honor to celebrate his launch the following morning of a cross-country ride for charity. That’s right, Glen was to bike 3,648 miles on an 18-speed tricycle through 12 states from Nevada’s capitol to the nation’s capitol, to raise $10,000 for public awareness of birth defects in one Herculean effort. WOW!
I have a Nevada icon to thank for my getting to meet Glen on that eventful evening back in 1988, Mark Twain, because as an impressionist of Mark Twain I was invited to propose a toast to Glen’s success and wish him God’s Speed.
Glen’s 18-speed tricycle now resides rightfully in our Nevada State Museum, and fittingly, right there on the Kit Carson Walking Trail. Our museum’s curator of history and all-around-good-guy, Bob Nylen said about the acquisition of Glen’s bike, “Glen’s spirit and positive attitude inspire people. Glen is an important Nevadan, and we want to help to tell his story.”
Abe Curry would be proud of the advertisements Glen sometimes drags behind on his daily rides, promoting businesses that support public awareness of birth defects like cerebral palsy.
Ever since 1988 I have always kept a $20 bill in my wallet when driving to Carson, in case I get to see Glen and can wish him God’s Speed from Mark Twain. And I expect I am not alone in this endeavor. In fact, the next time you stop to give Glen $20, ask him to show you the cool tattoo he has emblazoned on his tanned left bicep, “USA Bad to the Bone!” And please do extend to him highest regards from his friend Mark Twain.
Today, as I gaze out the window at our smoke-filled Tahoe Basin, and start to feel sorry for myself at not being able to join my buddies for a beer at Happy Hour, I have to bite my lip, and fight back a tear as I think of Glen Lucky, smiling broadly, while powering his way through life on his 18-speed tricycle, bringing hope to those born with defects, and gratitude to those of us lucky enough to have our good health.
Thank you, Glen! Happy 68th Birthday and many many more!
Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghostoftwain.com.
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