The Winner Is!
Mr. Steve Pickel from Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Pictured (back row) Dale Walksler, Owner/Curator Wheels Through Time Museum
Congratulations to Mr. Steve Pickel the 2006 Raffle Winner of the 1951 Harley Davidson Panhead Chopper.
Below is a letter from Steve for all to read:
The Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley N.C. is without a question the best collection of motorcycles anywhere! Many collectors have acquired machines of great historical value and placed them upon a pedestal for the world to view. Dale Walksler has invested more to the history of transportation than a glance of the past, Dale has revived the past! This man and his magical motorcycle C.P.R. have brought to life the machines that most just look at. I have him to thank for breathing the life back into a 1951 Pan head and wrapping it with a custom bobber.
Each year Dale builds a ground up work of art to raffle off so that the museum (a not-for-profit company) will be there for us all to enjoy for years to come. I for one believe that our history determines our future. The drive and determination by the inventors of these machines led to so much more than luxury toys for well-off daredevils. To let the innovation, intelligent, and tenacity of such great minds and American workmanship die would be a travesty.
So each year I bought into the raffle. This year was no exception. With 15 tickets in the can, I still never expected to do more than donate to the cause. I stood among the 1,200 + crowd as I watched an adorable little girl bury her arm to the shoulder and emerged with one lone ticket (how cute) she handed it to Dale and as he looked upon it his expression revealed no clues, he removed the granny glasses (sorry about that crack Dale) from his face and went to the microphone. He said, “I know this guy and he is here today”. Everyone that had ever met Dale perked up. “He comes to the Wheels Through Time regularly”.
Everyone that calls Dale a friend looked on in wonderment. Then it happened, he said it! He said, “The winner is Steve Pickel The owner of the Olde English Tudor Inn in Gatlinburg Tennessee” I only heard Steve Pickel. I said, OH MY GOD! ME? (As if another Pickel with a B&B was anywhere close) ME? IT’S MINE?
Let it be known! I Steve Pickel WON!!!!!!!! This is the kind of story that we read and say, “DAMN I WISH SOMETHING LIKE THIS WOULD HAPPEN TO ME!! “ I am here to tell you it could, it can, and IT DOES!! Don’t miss next years drawing! I know I won’t!
What is it? 2nd time is charmed? Or is that 3rd? Whatever, I am there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A parade of over 1,200 motorcycles made its way across Haywood County in a police escorted procession from Canton through Clyde, Hazelwood and Waynesville and winding up at the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley.
The 15th Annual Motorcycle Parade and Toy Run was the biggest in its history Cecil Yount coordinator of the event for the Blue Ridge Thunder Motorcycle Club said Saturday.
The Motorcycle Parade and Toy Run solicits money and toys from registrants of the annual ride. The ten dollar fee, or equal value toy, then gets distributed to various non-profit entities in Haywood County like the Salvation Army and Haywood Christian Ministries who, in turn, help out the less fortunate during the holiday season. “We are all painfully aware that there are a lot of kids in the region that don’t have the benefits of a loving family or the financial complacency that most of us had when growing up,” says Yount, “Last year we were able to distribute $60,000 dollars in cash and truckloads — literally tons of toys — to organizations that then gave to kids and families in need around Haywood County.”