On November 4, 2006 we laid Karen Bolin to rest. Our MRF President, Hardtail asked me to attend as the official MRF representative. As a group of us stood in the entryway discussing politics, it occurred to us that this conversation was very fitting considering who we assembled to pay our respects to. During the service those of us in attendance were asked to come forward and share our memories of Karen. Hardtail has asked me to share my words of that day with you.
Who was Karen Bolin? To those of us in the Motorcyclists Rights Family Karen was a tireless fighter for our freedom and rights, a fearless comrade in arms, and most importantly, a true friend. She always had an ear to bend, and after some “noodlein on it” had some ideas to offer. Karen was not afraid to take on the tough fights and make the hard decisions her leadership positions demanded. Decisions that were at times unpopular, but decisions that never failed to steer the Motorcyclists Rights Community along a true and honorable course. Along the way she helped many of us develop into what we are today, myself included.
When we lost MRF President Buck Kittredge to a tragic motorcycle crash, Karen, then MRF Secretary, courageously rose to the challenge of continuing his work of rebuilding the MRF by assuming the Presidency of a then troubled organization. Karen followed Buck’s lead and surrounded herself with the best, brightest, and most enthusiastic Freedom Fighters she could find to fill the voids. Karen searched tirelessly for individuals with the skills necessary to not only maintain, but to grow the MRF. All this was at no small cost to Karen and her husband, John. Karen left her paying job to devote the needed time and energy to rebuilding the MRF and regaining the trust of our SMRO partners. For their devotion to our cause and personal sacrifice, we are all truly grateful.
Under Karen’s leadership, the MRF has grown and prospered. We now have a solid financial base. We have great people running a truly efficient and effective office in Washington D. C. We again have the support and trust of our SMRO partners. Our Board of Directors and Officers have worked with Karen to bring about the changes needed to bring the MRF into the forefront as the premier National Motorcyclists Rights Organization.
John, thank you for sharing Karen with all of us. Karen, I know I speak for the entire MRF BOD, our State Reps, our SMRO partners, and all MRF members when I bid you Godspeed, and may you rest in peace knowing that your actions and words have led to better world for everyone on two wheels.
Karen, you will not be forgotten.
Written By Dave Dwyer
This morning, Karen Bolin lost her fight with cancer and left us. The disease was vicious and swift, and we must be grateful to a merciful God that Karen's suffering was quickly taken from her. And now we have our own pain with which we must come to terms, as we grieve the loss of our dear sister and friend.
I've spoken with John, and something he said to me will stay with me for a very long time: "Don't dwell on her last breaths, dwell on all the ones before that." He challenged me to live life as she did, grasp the challenges as she did - and I replied, “That's a tall order”. We're talking about Karen, after all.
I can think of a lot of things to say about Karen, but that comes later, when we are together. Today, I wanted to let you know that Karen's pain is over. Her fight - the fight for all of us, for our rights, our freedom, our liberty - will never be over. But that's not Karen's fight anymore. It's yours, and mine. Remember Karen's mantra: We ARE the government. "We The People" isn't just a catchy phrase, it's the defining statement of the United States of America. It's you and me. Karen didn't teach me that, but she made me believe it in my heart. I hope you believe it, too - because now it's you and me. (But I have no doubt that Karen is already lobbying in that Higher Jurisdiction. I sure hope Saint Peter rides, for his sake …)
I do not yet have details on memorial services or anything like that; I will share information as it comes to me. Today is a time to grieve our loss. Tomorrow will be a time to go forward and continue the work we shared with our friend Karen, and celebrate the gift that is life and liberty. Go find someone you love and tell them so. That's always a good idea, and there's no better time than Right Now.
-- Ian King
President, Washington Road Riders Association