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Thread: Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

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    Default Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

    Dear Vsalon,

    I've needed to make a sincere, public thank you for quite a while now. After my brother was tragically killed on April 24th of last year, there was a wonderful outpouring of support from Vsalon. Having the Salon shut down for a day honoring my only brother was a surreal experience. Seeing his goofy face on the Salon homepage was both wonderful, and an incomprehensible, horrible nightmare. I promise you that every single expression of sympathy, condolence, and the offers to help were so greatly appreciated, and did not go unnoticed.
    Stephen Spears contacted me and asked if he could raise money for my nephew, which he generously did by donating all the profits of the sale of team clothing. The cash would normally have gone to support his team. That was a selfless act and truly wonderful, and still makes my eyes well up with tears as I sit here in sunny Portland. It would seem other people here donated money which he collected, and sent to me in the form of check? I actually don't really know what happened. Anyway, $1270 was raised, and in case any of you were wondering it all found its way into a college fund set up by my father. It was an unbelievably generous donation, and we are so touched that both friends and complete strangers would choose to help a seven year old boy prepare for his future. This act of kindness will never be forgotten.
    I'm sorry it took so long to thank you all, but for some reason it's been difficult for me to get the words out. Also, since the donations were pretty much anonymous I have no idea whom I should thank, but would like to personally, if you send a pm etc. My father, a retired history teacher, of course places a high value on education (hence his perpetual disappointment with me) and wanted to say thanks as well.

    "I am John Millerís dad writing to express my heartfelt gratitude for the noteworthy kindness and generosity of all the kind people connected through VSalon, expressed tangibly in the form of the $1270 donation for benefit of Johnís nephew, Holden, whose father, Matt, was so horribly killed by a careless motorist last April. I especially appreciate the signal part played in this kind act by Stephen Spearsís generous donation of team clothing sale profits. I would like everyone to know their donations were deposited in Holdenís New Yorkís 529 College Savings Program. Holden will be only eight years old this month, three days before the date of his fatherís terrible accident, and he and I have not talked yet about the kindness and beneficence of the many folks who have donated to his college fund. But I will discuss it with him when he is a little more past grieving and, being a little older, better able to understand and appreciate the kindness shown to him. You should know that, considering all the tribulation with which he has had to cope, he seems to be doing alright there in Boston under the loving care of his grandmother. When I visit with him this month during his spring vacation Iím hoping that he will want to ride his bike with me. Again, on behalf of Holden, thanks for being the caring people that you are. Tom Miller"

    It's hard to believe this happened almost a year ago and my brain still has a difficult "knowing" that this did happen, and I have on many occasions had to stop and ask myself, holy shit did that really happen? Sadly the answer is always yes.
    My big brother and I spent too much time on opposite coasts. He got me to escape Boston with my new Serotta in 1999 to come to Portland, Oregon which was then still under the radar, and imho, much friendlier and more inviting. People would ask me " what's in Oregon, trees"? In retrospect I really just came out to see my brother. We had some really good times then riding bikes, playing blitz chess, drinking Spike Driver at the Snake and Weasel, and making pizzas. Sadly we had a falling out, and struggled to be friends at times but he was always "there" even when he was living in North Carolina, and later when he moved back to Boston. He was always gone, but still out there somewhere.. Until he got hit. I never imagined for a second that this would happen to my brother, as he was such a skilled rider and an excellent descender. Ironically it was our spastic father I worried about as he's had two accidents.
    Luckily, Matthew ( his name was Matthew) and I got to spend a month together in 2013 in Turkey visiting family and traveling to a few cities, and they are wonderful memories which I was always cherish. He was so fucking smart, he spoke: Turkish, German, Spanish and was learning Arabic and Portuguese. Such a waste.. he was a great father too.
    At times I've been pissed at him for going too fast, or at the driver for not having seen him , but I'll never know what happened. It really doesn't matter. It's important for us all to know that things like this happen in an instant, and perhaps one can make choices to eliminate certain risks, or prepare for an unexpected catastrophe. When a child's only real parent disappears, the mess left behind can be mind-boggling. Accidents just happen. Anyways, sorry to ramble, and thanks again so much.
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    Default Re: Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

    Love ya, John.
    Mike Zanconato
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    Default Re: Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

    You are a good brother.

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    Default Re: Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

    Excellent letter. It goes without saying (but I'll say it) kids are the most important thing we have. Glad to help.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

    John, thanks for this heartfelt and intimate closer look at the relationship with your brother and father. I appreciate the reminder to take it a little easier out there on the road for the sake of my 8 and 10 y/o boys. I guess I missed the initial link to the college fund, so if everyone here is OK with it, please provide a link or way for those who might want to kick a little extra in.

    And Stephen, chapeau to you my friend. Class move.

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    Default Re: Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanEasley View Post
    John, thanks for this heartfelt and intimate closer look at the relationship with your brother and father. I appreciate the reminder to take it a little easier out there on the road for the sake of my 8 and 10 y/o boys. I guess I missed the initial link to the college fund, so if everyone here is OK with it, please provide a link or way for those who might want to kick a little extra in.

    And Stephen, chapeau to you my friend. Class move.
    Thanks everyone. So the YouCaring Holden's Heros | Education & Schools - YouCaring collection site is expired so my dad asked that anyone who was interested in contributing could send me (Uncle John) the donation and I'd get it to my father in NY like last time. He'd be happy to provide a proof of deposit for anyone interested. I was originally very uncomfortable about asking people to donate so I never posted the link.

    My little nephew is an extremely bright boy, scoring in the 99% percentile in reading and verbal communication. Like his father, this kid is too smart for his own good, and we're hoping that he's able to make it through the difficult times ahead. He's not had an easy time as he was very close to his dad. Again, thanks so very much.

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    Default Re: Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

    John, thanks for taking the time to write this. It touches my heart.

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    Default Re: Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

    Thank you John for your kind words....you are a good friend and a great brother. It was such a small thing to do, and I really hope it helps in long run. Thanks really goes to these vsalon members that either gave donations, or bought kits...

    I am constantly reminded of the frailty of our lives and the impact we leave on others. No young boy deserves to grow up without a father, or a father figure, and I am confident that between you and your dad, that void will be filled for Holden..

    Thank you for sharing these great photos, it helps us know Matthew better....

    As Mike said, we love you man!

    Stephen

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    Default Re: Thank you Vsalon , Stephen Spears and Team Zanconato.

    Thanks again Stephen, Mike, everyone..you rock. Chris, thanks for being a good pal last year. I hope people don't think I'm trying to lecture them about riding safety. I'm not suggesting people dress up entirely in Flo-yellow and cover themselves with 3M reflective sticky tape and blinky lights. My brother was a pretty safe cyclist, but maybe on that day he could have done something differently. We all have faith as cyclists that people see us and follow the laws and rules of the roads. Knowing him, the last word out of his mouth was an big F-bomb. After this happened I really had a hard time riding down hill fast. Oncoming traffic would really freak me out, and big SUVs seemed even more villainous then before. I'm still freaked out actually, as it is quite a burden to carry when setting off for a ride.

    We always rode bikes and as kids and when my brother got into BMX and we drooled over sweet, tricked out bikes in BMX Action way back in the early 80's. He was pretty radical even as a little shit, and could bunny hop and get mad air. In 1990 he moved to Boston and met two Turkish guys who worked in a shop names Surf and Cycle on Mass. ave and wound up working there. Always wanting to emulate my big brother I got a mountain bike, and my dad got a nice Giant road bike with Suntour parts, and we were all completely hooked as a family, and have been ever since. Last year my dad took it upon himself to ride all the wicked hills around Elmira which my brother rode, and he rides my brother's Scott with regular gearing which blows me away, as he's officially a geezer now. Anyway, thanks again for being such a caring group of people, and I hope in ten years time I'll be reporting that my Nephew Holden will be going off to study at some great college. I just wanted you to know the donations went to a good cause. Today is actually Holden's birthday. This has been a hard month for everyone with it being a year anniversary of his death. I'm fleeing the country tomorrow to Mexico City, a place my Bro really loved. Thanks again, and I hope this wasn't too much of a bummer for everyone.
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