#WhyIPMC guest blog by Joan Tomassi on behalf of Rich Crowe, 11-year Top 10% Heavy Hitter, Team Stem Cell Cyclists
I'm writing to share a story about one of your long-time riders and the sentimentality of the PMCto us. Rich Crowe and I had planned to get married this September, then came COVID-19! Like many couples, our plans had to change quickly.
The PMC is very special to Rich, and his kids and grand kids are with him throughout the ride, along with many other family and friends cheering him on. This would have been his 11th year riding in it. I know that he was very disappointed when he got the news that it was cancelled. Since I met Rich, our tradition is that I would bring him up to Sturbridge on the Friday afternoon before the ride. Rich would set up his tent on a grassy area next to Sturbridge Village where he would sleep. We would attend opening ceremonies, which are amazing, eat dinner with all the riders and then go to Friendly's for ice cream. I would give him a big kiss and hug, wish him luck, tell him a million times to be careful and remind him that it's a ride not a race!
So, I came up with this idea to help us still make our wedding day special: We're getting married on August 1st, right on the small, grassy area where he sleeps in his tent every year! Our closest friends and family are coming and parking along the circle to watch our short ceremony and be able to social distance! Rich's cousin, Sean Clark, who is very special to both of us, will be marrying us. If Friendly's is open, we might tailgate in the parking lot and celebrate with some ice cream!
Here's the story of how we met. Joe Leone is a man that I work with and who Rich has known for a long time and even caddied for when he was 15 years old! Joe and Rich have had a special relationship for many years. I guess it was fate that brought Joe and I together walking through the showroom at work that day and when I said, "Hey Joe, Don't you have a nice guy you can fix me up with?"
Joe laughed and we both went into our offices but the next day Joe told me that he might have someone he'd like me to meet. I say, "Got a picture?", and he pulls up a picture on his computer from Rockledge Golf Course website and points out the one guy that would be the least appealing to me and says, "That's him, what do you think?" I stumble over my words so as to not be rude. Joe laughs and says, "No, it's the guy on the other end!" Phew, I thought to myself and said, "He's cute, I'd love to meet him, give him my number." Well that wasn't happening, nope, Joe had to come with us on our blind date! So, the three of us went out to dinner. Joe left after an hour and we stayed for two more just talking about life, and here we are!
I thought I'd share this with you as a way to share how sad we are to miss the PMC this year, but to show what a special place it holds for us. We are still going to be celebrating the day, just a little differently this year, with the PMC as the subtle backdrop of our wedding ceremony.