Clark and the Lost Wallet

Clark and the Lost Wallet

I’ve missed one National MOA Rally in 35 years, so I’ve got hundreds of National Rally stories and I’ve made hundreds of MOA friends because of it. The first story coming to mind is not at the Midland Michigan Rally, but on Sunday after leaving the Midland Rally in 2000.

The weekend following the MOA National was the Colorado BMW Club’s Top of the Rockies Rally in Paonia, Colorado, and it was our habit (and still is!) to follow up the National with a trip to Paonia for one of the all-time great local rallies.

As I might have done 20 years ago, I drank a few beers at the beer garden on Saturday night in order to be fresh and ready for the 1,500-plus-mile ride from Midland to Paonia. I was packed up and ready at post-coffee time to meet the six other riders who were going to do the same thing I was doing.

The first stop west was 200 miles later, for gas. Got my gas and went in to pay. Reached for my wallet and it was gone!

Oh, crap! I’ve lost my wallet! And it’s 200 miles back to Midland – and these six friends are sitting here waiting for me to do something. Somebody let me borrow $10 to pay for gas, but what about the wallet?

One of the gang suggested calling back to the rally site to see if anyone had turned in the missing wallet.

Not knowing who to call, it occurred to me – “Ah,the old Anonymous Book!” I called the first number in Midland and the member’s wife answered. “No he’s not here,” she said. “But he’s at the rally site cleaning up from the crowd who left this morning. I’ll call him and see if he can find your wallet.”

An hour goes by and the gang has that look on their faces like, “Luster,you dork!” Then the phone rings and the lady says she’s contacted her husband and he’s on the search for the lost treasure. I’m so relieved that I don’t have to backtrack to Midland on Sunday afternoon that I slap my pant leg with joy – and there’s my wallet!

I was wearing cargo pants. Pants with a pocket in the back – where normal people keep their wallet – and pockets on the leg where somehow my wallet ended up. Could it have been the fault of the Saturday night beers? I’ll never know.

Now it’s 20 years later, and for the past few months I have been planning (with most of those same guys) a trip after the National in Great Falls, Montana, to Paonia.

It’s strange, but every time we leave the National, one of those characters asks, “Hey Luster – you got your wallet?”

Clark is an MOA Ambassador and plans to see you at the rally in June! It’s time to start building your rally memories and telling your rally stories. Send them to us, along with a photo or two, to [email protected]. Register now for the Saddle Up & Ride Rally!


  1. Dan Finazzo

    Here’s my wallet story: Running down some highway out west many years ago in a desert, wife in the pillion position, and I look down to see my wallet fall out of one of too many pockets hit my boot and off into the wind. Stopped a short distance down the road with two other riding partners. “What’s going on . . .” well a brief explanation later we were off the bikes picking up dollar bills out of the sagebrush and credit cars in the sand. Police passed by and did not even stop . . . needless to say I now always button down and zip up all pockets since I am not consistent placing stuff in pockets!!

  2. John Lang

    Clark; you and the fellows have a few week until the TOR, its still in mid July as you undoubtedly know. But Steamboat’s open until time to git into Panoia!

  3. James D Stone

    Stopped for gas in Holland MI along with two riding buddies. we all filled up and were heading to North of Muskegon for some twisty road riding and viewing the fall color change so beautiful in the northern lower peninsula.

    north of Muskegan we always left the freeway and took as much of the Lake Michigan shoreline as possible going North .

    As I turned off the 4 lane Il ooked down to the top of my tankbag and there was my Wallet, no, not inside the see trhough plastic, but just sitting outside on the top of the tank bag enjoying the ride. Lucky me cause who knows what would have happened when we hit the twisties a few more miles north west. I still get grilled after gassing up – Hey Stone, where’s your wallet?

  4. Dan

    I’ve got one worse than that. I was in Africa on an adventure motorcycle tour we were packing up to leave for our next destination and somehow my passport fell out of my backpack. The problem is I don’t realize it until about 200 miles down the road. I thought it may have came out on the road and was frantically calling the US embassy to see what I needed to do. I had to go back to the town I just left and where the embassy was located. I decided to go back to the hotel to see if I had left it. My room had been cleaned and the housekeeper said she didn’t find it. I asked if I could go look in the room and to my great surprise and relief my passport was lying on the floor under the table. Needless to say I was overjoyed that I could now continue my trip. Moral of the story always secure you wallet or passport and anything that will not get you in a jam. I sure learned my lesson!

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