Mother May Brock celebrated her 95th birthday in a most unexpected way.
Brock, dressed in white shorts and a lime green shirt, his curly white hair neatly combed, climbed in the back of Jim Barton’s Harley-Davidson on June 21 for a motorcycle ride.
âI love to ride a bike,â said Brock.
The bike’s spin was part of a surprise birthday party for Brock, a Gold Star mom, by members of the American Legion Post 175 from Washington.
About 100 people attended the birthday party, where Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi presented Brock with a proclamation in recognition of his birthday and his sacrifice to the country.
âI was really surprised. I was crying. They all screamed and started singing happy birthday when I got there, âsaid Brock, whose granddaughter, Amanda Ingram – who threw the surprise party with Brock’s niece, Vicki Miller – had told Brock that ‘she was taking him to lunch.
When Brock arrived at the American Legion, Barton, a member of the American Legion Riders, asked her if she was ready to take a ride.
âI said, ‘Yeah, but I need someone to help me move forward,’â Brock recalls.
Brock’s grandnephew Kenneth Miller and Maggi attended, and Brock wrapped his arms around Barton’s waist as he led her around the parking lot.
The speedometer reached 50 miles per hour, said his son, Richard “Turtle” Sturgill.
âMy mom isn’t afraid to go fast,â Sturgill said.
Before the ride, Maggi presented the proclamation signed by the county commissioners.
Brock’s son, Glenn Smith, died in the Korean War at the age of 19. Brock belongs to the American organization Gold Star Mothers, whose members have lost sons and daughters in battle.
â(The American Legion) is a big part of my life,â Brock said. “I am always upset and cry when I talk about my son.”
The proclamation reads, in part, “In recognition of May Brock, Gold Star Mother.” On behalf of the Washington County Council of Commissioners, we thank you on this special occasion, on your 95th birthday. Your life is a story, and we thank you for your contribution over the years and for your sacrifice. You serve as a link to Washington County’s past and present. In the name of a grateful nation, may you continue to enjoy good health and much happiness. “
Brock was born in Washington in 1926, one of nine children and “the daughter of a poor farmer,” she said.
She spent three years in West Virginia and 15 years in Ohio before returning to Washington, where she grew up three generations.
Brock, who took his first bike ride at the age of 16, has always loved motorcycles.
Sturgill said his mother even rode in the back of her nitro bike – which uses nitromethane for fuel instead of gasoline and can reach speeds of over 200 mph in under 60 seconds – during a tour at her old home in Louisiana when she was 79. .
Her grandnephew, Miller, said, âYou would be surprised. Aunt May rolls a lot. Whenever there is someone who has a motorbike, she jumps on it.
Brock also enjoys his family, volunteer work (especially for military-related organizations and his nephew’s 4-H group) and horses.
Brock, who is in good health, babysits his two great-grandchildren, 3 and 11, once a week.
She said she loved making memories on her birthday.
âIt was a good birthday, a wonderful one. I thank them all for having it. They don’t know what that meant to me and how much I appreciate the kindness with which they treat me. I love them all, âsaid Brock. “My granddaughter said she was going to throw another big party in five years, when I’m 100. I can’t wait to be there.”