|I met him four years ago when we held the first Wolf's
Head Rally. That first day, my partner and friend, Jack Eudy, introduced
me to his mother- and father-in-law. Jim Matten was a boisterous and
fun-loving man who wanted to help us any way he could to make the rally
a success. He was our custodian and groundskeeper, somebody to pick up
By the end of that rally, Jim and his wife Pat had taken me in and made me a part of their family. Over the years to come, they helped me get over my divorce, welcomed my new wife and daughter, and worked at every rally.
At last year's rally, Jack told me about a favorite story Jimmy liked to tell people who came on the Jim Hogan Fun Run, a charity ride we do every June to Ely, Minnesota. We tried to get Jimmy to tell us the story at the rally, but he said, "If you want to hear it, you'll have to go on the Hogan Run next year." Well, the next year came and, as had been my luck in previous years, I had to work that weekend. I got up early anyway and went down to see the group off. Jimmy and I talked a few minutes before they rode out.
That was the last time I saw Jimmy. He died on that ride, June 30, 2001. A deer jumped from the ditch in front of his trike, ending his life and forever changing the lives of those who knew and loved him.
Talking with Jack after the accident, he told me that the night before Jimmy had been talking with his son's girlfriend, Terri, who had just gotten a new bike and was a little apprehensive. He said to her, "You have to be careful when you're riding, but if you're doing something you love, even if the worst happens, what better way to go?"
Jim loved his trike and he loved the Hogan Run, and if God said, "Jim, it's time to come home," (in Jim's own words) what better way to go? It was time.
The Christian Motorcyclists Association lead a very special, first anniversary memorial service for Jim Matten during the 2002 Jim Hogan Fun Run. On our way to Ely the morning of Saturday, June 29, we paused at the Independence, Minnesota rest area -- not far from the site of Jim's tragic accident -- for the brief service in Jim's honor.
Kathy Artisensi on left, Sandy Anderson on right
Click for larger view.
From left to right Kathy Artisensi, husband Bob behind her, Kathy's brother Steve Carey and wife Cindy, brother David Carey, in red shirt, wife Denise in front of him, Kathy Carey (green shirt), her husband and brother Stan Carey behind her, myself (sister) Sandy front on far right, husband Mick Anderson behind me.
Kathy “Sister” Artisensi
By Sandy Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org
I truly believe that my sister was not only of part Irish heritage but also a wee bit Leprechaun. She was fun loving, full of mischief for as long as I can remember, loved to be social and never shied away from commitment if she could be of service to others or her community. I have mentioned many times with envy, “You are so lucky to have lived your whole life in one community. Your best friends are the kids you went to kindergarten with”. How many people can say that these days?
Kathy was the youngest of five children in our family, my only sister and my best friend. Fortunately we were lucky enough to live most of our adult lives within close proximity so that we could enjoy and share countless happy times with our spouses, children, parents and siblings. To me she was the heart and soul of our family unit. As we grew older, we also grew closer. And as her MS disease grew more challenging for her to deal with, I could see an amazing strength emerge from within her. Her body did not always cooperate with what her plans might have been on a given day and adjustments had to be made, but it never deterred her. She constantly amazed me at how she just kept going and what a wonderful outlook she had on life.
Kathy was very instrumental in helping to organize the Jim Hogan Fun Run. It truly was a highlight in her life each year as she would part-take in the role of “Jim’s Biker Babe”. Thanks to this wonderful group of bikers, the Jim Hogan Fun Run continues to grow with each year. All proceeds go to the Iron Range Multiple Sclerosis Chapter, helping to provide necessary handicap equipment/items to people with MS as needs change in their lives. Having watched my sister and been closely involved with her life as she lived with this disease for over 20 years, I know how important it is for folks to see that a friend or family member struggling with this disease has some where to go for help when the time comes.
Kathy’s family and friends meant everything to her. She was also the bravest person I ever knew. Kathy left us suddenly on Jan 26th 2007. I will miss her and all the serious and crazy “sister” moments we shared; forever I will hold her in my heart.
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