Tour de Friends Best Wishes

From: Wayne Wilson
To: John Martin
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 7:10 AM

Subject: RE: UNC Friend-raiser, Saturday June 14, 11:30am

I know you are excited/nervous/etc. about the ride, John ~ and I can't tell you how much I admire you for taking this challenge on! Go Team John! Go Team John!

We'll let you know what happens at the Friend-raising (I hope there's no voodoo involved).


From: Kathy Bittner
To: John Martin
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2003 11:16 PM

Subject: About Robert


Sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you.  Seems like so much is going on at once around here.  Then I start having problems with my computer!  I switched from dial up to a satellite system and ........ it sucks.  They promised it would be better than the dial up performance I was getting, but I have yet to see any type of improvement.  Just more frustration.

I know that you are busily preparing for those final days before your race.  How anxious you must be!!  I am rooting for you.  I hope that it is not too late to add my friend Robert to your list of names that you will be carrying.

Robert M. Rector was a wonderful, humorous man. I guess you could say I had a "double" acquaintance with him.  When I worked at Anthony's, I worked with his wife, Ann.  I knew him very casually at that time, the husband of one of my coworkers. He would come in at closing to pick Ann up.  He would visit and talk.  I knew him then to be a wonderful person.  Very kind, giving and funny. 

Robert was the Court Reporter for the District Judge. When I applied for the Court Coordinator's job, I never mentioned that I knew Robert during my interviews.  One day I accidentally ran into him as I was leaving the courthouse after one such interview, and he "fussed" at me for not letting him know I was applying for the job because he could have put in a good word for me.

I grew to know Robert more personally when I started working for the Judge.  Robert always had a smile on his face.  He loved playing practical jokes on everyone at the courthouse.  We never knew what to expect with him around. Robert had a heart of gold.  Always there if you needed him.  He would have given you the shirt off his back if you needed it.  He reached out to you in your time of sorrow and lovingly shared in your time of joy.  We loved him and the laughter he brought to our lives. 

Robert was, as I mentioned, married to Ann.  A family man.  He had two beautiful daughters.  When he became ill, no one even thought to consider it might be aides.  At fist they thought he had the flu, then "cat fever" from a cat scratch.  They ran all kinds of tests on him. Weeks and weeks of tests. None of the medications seemed to help. He just grew weaker.  As a last resort one of the doctors finally sent a blood sample to be tested for aides.

Can you imagine the shock and fear that swept through our little courthouse and little town?  It was the first time I had ever known anyone with aides.  It was the hardest thing to watch.  People withdrawing from him.  His "friends" avoiding him.  The whispers.  My heart ached for him and his family. 

It seems that during their marriage, Robert and Ann had a separation.  How else to say it?  Robert confessed that during this time he made some bad choices and had some wild times.  They reconciled and never thought more about "being on a break" as Rachel and Ross on Friends refer to it.

He became weaker and thinner. Very frail. It came to the point where Robert had to quit his job as a court reporter.  He was unable to keep up with the rigorous demands of the travel involved and the many hours of transcribing court trials.  I know that being shunned by long time friends hurt him more than anything physical ever could.  His family was totally wiped out financially.  Ann stayed with him and stood by his side through the entire ordeal. 

The last time I saw Robert, he was in the hospital in San Antonio.  It was winter and I remember it was cold and dreary.  He was just a skeleton of the man he had been.  But he still smiled.  With a gently hug good-bye that night, it would be the last time I saw him.  I was almost afraid he would break . I remember him saying that it was time for him to go, that he didn't want Ann and the girls to go through another year of sacrificing and seeing him suffer.  He died on December 30, 1991, ... and was buried immediately afterwards on New Year's Eve.

I wish that I had the opportunity to have gotten to know him better.  I know that by his early death, I missed knowing an amazing person. He had much to offer, and in the short time that I did know him, he was an inspiration of life.

Knowing that you will honor his memory in your ride means a lot to me.  Robert was a special man.  Thank you for enduring all that you have to bring awareness about aides.  Aides not only touches the person afflicted with the disease, but touches the families and friends too. 

My heart will be with you on your ride,

"It matters not how long a star shines; what is remembered is the brightness of its light."

From: John Suddath
To: John Martin
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2003 12:16 PM

Subject: Raleigh to DC Ride

When and where does the bike ride on the 19th start?

To: John Martin, Joe Chason                              
From: Wesley Sims
Sent: 06/18/2003 10:54 PM  
Subject:  GO GO GO!!!!!!!!!!  (from Hong Kong)

is almost 11 AM on Thurs here, you guys are probably in bed already getting ready for the BIG weekend. Just wanted to let you know you're in my thoughts. Best of luck. Wish I was there to share your moments (good and bad). Send me a note next weekend and let me know how things went.

take care,   ...Wes

IBM Global Services
Hong Kong mobile:  (852) 9447-2943
US office:  (919) 543-5816 or TL 441-5816

From: Jan Miller
To: John Martin
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 5:36 PM

Subject: RE: John Martin's Final Training Ride Journal Update

John, have the best time ever -- know that we are all behind you and I wish you the best of all possible luck. I'll be thinking of you and keeping you in my thoughts.  I love you!!

From: Wayne Wilson
To: John Martin
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 2:58 PM

Subject: RE: RE: [Fwd: Re: Availability?]

Good luck, he-man!!  We'll be sending little rainbow gay spirit-prayers your way!


From: Jay Cagle
To: John Martin
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 6:16 PM

Subject: RE: I'm off...

Hi John,

I don't know if they will have email stations along the ride, but I'll be thinking of you over the next four days.  I know it's going to be an amazing journey for you, and I know it already has been up till now.  I really admire what you've done.  It's even made me consider doing it myself - I concluded that I'm far too lazy, but at least I thought about it.

I look forward to hearing the stories when you're back.

Much love,

From: Jeff Hewitt
To: John Martin
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 8:57 AM

Subject: Re: I'm off...

Go boy!

From: Michael Edwards
To: John Martin
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 10:41 AM

Subject: Re: I'm off...

John, good luck and bring my ass back in one piece. I love those necklace things, if they have any spare can you send me one please.

Lots of Love and ride safely.

From: Kathy Bittner
To: John Martin
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 11:34 AM

Subject: Ride


I am eager to hear all about your ride!!  I chatted with Brenda just briefly yesterday and she said that she did get to talk to you during a rest stop in Richmond. 

Although you must be tired, (and hopefully very, very safe and healthy!) I know that you must also be feeling exhilarated.  What a wonderful accomplishment!!  I hope that all your team members ... and all the riders, made the trip safely and without injury.  

I know you are busy catching up on everything, but please send me a quick reply just to know you are safe and sound!  I will wait for the details ... on pins and needles ... lol.

Thinking of you!  Very proud of you ....


"It matters not how long a star shines; what is remembered is the brightness of its light."


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