It all came so easy. Or at least that’s the way it seemed to us. Ron Lechien was one of those rare talents who came off the track looking fresher than he’d started. His dark brown moppy hair masked any sign of helmet head. He always seemed to breathe normally at the podium. And did he even have sweat glands? Because he didn’t seem to perspire. His grace and ease extended beyond dirt bikes, too; when he was five, a teacher told his mom he was such a “neat kid” that he’d either lead the Hells Angels or become President of the United States. Both are still completely viable options, although he’s too nice off a motorcycle to join a notorious bike gang.
In 6th grade he discovered that motorcycle industry companies sent free stickers through the mail to anyone who took the time to write a letter and provide a self-addressed stamped envelope. He sold his stickers on the playground during recess. He had a lucrative little enterprise going until the parents of his customers finally figured out why their kids didn’t have any money at lunchtime.
When he reached his testosterone-fueled teenage years, discovered girls and made more money than most of the adults in their El Cajon, California neighborhood, his dad put an alarm system on the house that signaled when a window opened. This prevented young ladies from sneaking into his bedroom.
In high school, “Ronnie”, as he was called, took tennis as an elective. He played so well the varsity tennis coach asked Ronnie’s father, Dick, if Ronnie could join the team and play in a match as soon as that coming weekend. Dick declined and said they had a motocross to attend. “This is more important than a stupid motorcycle race,” the coach blustered. “Have you seen him play tennis? You’re missing the boat!”
It came so easy.
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