Today I learned that Motordrome Queen Samantha Morgan passed away at the age of 53 in her Palm Beach home. Another tragic lose for the motorcycle world.

Sam was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum's Hall of Fame on the very same day that Deacon (ounder of ABATE of California) was inducted into the Sturgis Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame (two different categories, same breakfast ceremony).

It was at this Sturgis Motorcycle Museum's Hall of Fame induction ceremony that we met Sam. She was this pretty little girl with long hair that sat up front at the table of honorees smiling the entire time -- this infectious smile that just ate you alive. I really felt she was humbled and honored to be there. Smile, smile, smile, smile, smile. Ya couldn't help but wonder WHAT she was so happy about.

Then, when ya learned why she was being inducted, it all started to make sense. It was hard to imagine that this tiny little thing defied death the way folks were describing -- going round and round in the Wall of Death. It was hard to believe it was her in the photos, but it was -- you could tell by the smile. She smiled at everything. This girl was just plain ol' happy to be alive...and why not...she only challenged death at every turn. I think that's what gave her a deeper appreciation for life. This is the life lesson she taught me.

In the years after we met in Sturgis, she and I exchanged a couple emails, mostly inspirational niceties, and she was always upbeat and full of spunk with only positive things to say. I don't think there was a negative bone in her body --just a truly truly nice person.

It's sad to hear of her passing. Another person of great merit in this world that I didn't take enough time to get to know and I lament her loss. But that infectious smile of hers will stay locked inside my heart for the rest of my days. The next time I'm ridin' an Iron Butt (1000 miles in 24 hours) in a Colorado microburst rainstorm with the lightning striking both sides of the mountain around me, at night, with a broken taillight, I'll blink a couple times to clear the pain of the rain from my eyes and I'll think about how Sam would be smiling at my own death-defying stunt and just laugh and say, "Punk, you got NUTHIN' on me. Live life to the fullest. Ya only got this one shot. Make the memories, that's why yer here."

We are from two completely different worlds, but our shared love for two wheels is the common thread that makes motorcycling the most diverse sport on the planet.

In infinite sadness, I'll be going outside in a few minutes to watch the sun rise in her honor.

Hellen Keller said,
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

Splatt
Palm Springs, CA
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Editor Response
Thanks for sharing your insightful and well-written thoughts on Sam with us.
Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
I don't know if I deserve to write this. You see, I never met Sam. I never saw her ride the wall. I spoke with her on the phone just once. I wanted her to bring her wall to an event.

As a new woman rider in a very male-dominated industry I thought it would be so awesome to have this flaxen-haired-spit-fire show everyone what riding is all about. Including me. Go girl!

I love the image of Sam shooting through the pearly gates on an Indian. I'm sure the "Big Guy" was holding a pair of wings along with his dollar bill. Sam can now ride faster and forever higher.

Brooke Pape
Milwaukee, WI
Monday, June 23, 2008
Samantha must have been an incredible individual. To read about someone with so much passion and love for life, and such a true spirit. Wow! Her life will live on as an inspiration for many.

America
San Diego, CA
Friday, June 20, 2008