Have you ever met someone and in an instant you knew they were special? That they made such an impression on you that you knew you wouldn’t ever forget them? That it made your trip more amazing, more fun, and you just bonded with them. That’s what the 2014 Cannonball was like for Steve, Buck and Dick. They met a motley crew from the west coast –Bill, Craig, Sean, Crash and Robert –that just clicked with the hillbillies from West Virginia. They set up and pitted together every night and just shared stories and had such fun that the whole adventure was more memorable and special because of sharing it with each other. They were looking forward to seeing part of the crew again in the 2016 Cannonball and spending time with them. However, tragically, Bill Buckingham, was killed in an accident just two weeks before the start of the Cannonball. It was quickly decided by his Cannonball family that knew this great, humble man that something must be done to honor his memory during the 2016 Cannonball. At the opening night banquet, it was announced that every rider would carry Bill’s number #40 across the country in this amazing adventure. You will be sorely missed, but never forgotten and you will be an angel among us.
During the 2014 Cannonball, Bill and Sean were on a Cannonball Race poster riding their choppers racing a train. Bill and Sean autographed one of the posters and gave it to the guys for the museum. So, it brought chills on Saturday night when an emotional Steve called to tell me that it had been his turn to carry Bill’s number that day, and as fate would have it, they caught a train today, kept pace with it, and he had Jared take his picture to send to the guys. It was even more fitting as Saturday was Bill’s memorial service and it found him still racing a train! Godspeed and Rest in Peace Brother.