weather icon Clear

Motorcycle memories: Veteran provides special ride for 96-year-old woman

With an enthusiastic “woo hoo” that belied her age, Virginia Mahaney set off on a motorcycle ride that she hopes is just the first of many adventures that will create memories to last the rest of her life.

“I gotta squeeze it all in. This is just the beginning,” said the 96-year-old Mahaney, a resident of the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City.

Mahaney, who will turn 97 in May, said she and her late husband purchased an Indian motorcycle in the mid-1940s and rode regularly until around 2000 when they had to give it up.

She said she wanted to go on one last ride. “I love the freedom and wind in my hair. The excitement of it. I just love it,” she said about being on the back of a motorcycle.

Rick Hillis, founder of One Hero at a Time and an Iraq War veteran, happily volunteered to take Mahaney for a ride. His organization sponsors events, usually one or two a year, that directly aid a local veteran and their family.

Granting Mahaney’s wish was something he couldn’t turn down.

As many staff members gathered outside the veterans home on Feb. 8, Hillis and his fiancee, Patty Ashworth, prepared Mahaney for her ride. They outfitted her in a leather jacket, gloves, sunglasses and helmet to ensure her safety. Ashworth even took the boots off her feet for Mahaney to borrow for the ride.

As they did, Mahaney’s smile grew bigger and she could barely contain her excitement.

When the moment came and Hillis fired up his Harley-Davidson, Mahaney was giddy.

Off they went, oblivious to her escort as her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Becky Mahaney, followed close behind accompanied by one of the home’s nurses.

For those few minutes, she was able to forget her age or the fact that she has to use a wheelchair to get around.

Mahaney, who shows no signs of slowing down, said she has a bucket list of adventures she would like to go on before she dies. Among them, skydiving.

She used to water ski and would happily get on a pair of skis again — as long as her caretakers at the veterans home agree.

“Why not?” said home Administrator Linda Gellinger, who was equally excited about Mahaney’s motorcycle adventure. As long as she’s able and ready, staff will be too.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Time is ripe for pruning

This is the time of year when you can take large amounts of wood from trees, shrubs and many of our flowering and nonflowering plants. Break out your loppers or handsaw and make sure it’s sharp, adjusted and sanitized before you start pruning. Remember, you can remove small amounts from trees and shrubs any time during the year using hand pruners but now is the time for removing stuff using the “big guns.”

Compost often steams in cold weather

Don’t be fooled because when compost is warm, it produces steam. It may look like it’s hot, but during this cold weather steam is very commonly found with warm compost. The temperature of compost when it’s cooling is only about 105 F. In the center of the pile it might be hotter but it’s not hot enough to damage plants.

Some plants more susceptible to freezing temperatures

I went outside very early in the morning to put something in the recycling bins when I noticed frost on the lids. I thought, “We must’ve had a light freeze last night.” I checked my phone weather app for the low temperature. It said the low was 45 F. “No, that can’t be right.” I checked other sources for the low temperature and it varied from upward of 36 F. My trash lids won’t lie. Phone apps are good for predicting a possible freeze and needed protection, but nothing replaces verification that an actual freeze happened.

Boulder City Nuggets: Passionate about pets

A passion for pets and their well-being is what keeps the staff at Professional Pet Room &Groom in Boulder City motivated each day.

Film fest remains virtual for 2022

The 2022 Dam Short Film Festival is following in the footsteps of 2021 and will once again be held virtually.

Plants classified by water use

Recently, I characterized mesic landscape plants, the types of plants that don’t like to be kept overly dry or overly wet but grow most rapidly and healthier in “moist soils.” Mesic plants run a gamut from those that can handle very wet soils to those that can tolerate somewhat dry soils. But as I mentioned before, mesic plants tolerate lawn irrigations.

Evergreen Reminder

Celia Shortt Goodyear/Boulder City Review

Contest yields colorful entries

Boulder City continues to have some colorful characters — or rather characters who like to color.