Largest! Best! Historical! These are but a few words that come to mind in trying to describe this year's "Lucky 13th" Annual NCOM Convention held May 7-9 1998, in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. But mere words cannot describe the electricity and unity that was in the air as more than 600 bikers from across the country and around the globe gathered to learn, share and be a part of the biggest and best Convention ever! You just had to be there.
Motorcyclists rights organizations from virtually every state and Canadian province were represented, as well as most of the 25 Confederations of Clubs in North America. History was made when EVERY major patch club in the United States and some from Canada were represented at the Confederation of Clubs meeting Friday night, making it the first time they have ever come together under one roof. And representatives from each club continued peaceful and productive talks with one another well into the night.
At the conclusion of each convention you can hear people say, 'This was the best one ever! How can we top this next year?!" Indeed, every convention has it special moments that make it "best", and this year was no exception.
In addition to the typical meetings and workshops, this years convention featured such special moments as Swede Matzek returning to the NCOM Board of Directors after a tragic motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair, Rip from Easyriders Magazine giving a moving dedication to Lou Kimzey during the opening ceremonies, Wisconsin Sate Senator Dave Zien presenting Richard Lester with a legislative commendation during his impassioned keynote speech, and Johnny Rivers treating us to a performance of his greatest hits at the Friday night social. Each person in attendance took back their own special memories and each attendee contributed to making this convention a memorable and monumental experience.
Other features of this year's NCOM convention included Slider Gilmore's motivational new seminar "What Successful People Do", Tom Duffee's eye opening workshop "Intelligent Transportation - Friend or Foe?", and the always enlightening ICOM workshop "International Legislation and It's Effect on Your Future," moderated by Glen Fengstad.
NCOM reiterated its support for our member groups legislative agendas without judging their efforts. This position was met with a lively round of applause during the "Insurance and the Motorcycle Community" seminar, where representatives of nearly every state showed their support of the biker's right efforts in Texas and Kentucky. When the room full of people was asked who would not have accepted an amended helmet repeal effort such as in those two states, only three hands went up. NCOM went on to assure those states that we would be there to support them in that decision as well? OUR job is to support YOU," said Bill Bish, AIM/NCOM Executive Coordinator, "not second guess your legislative strategies from thousands of miles away."