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George DeShone Memorial Reunion set

November 1, 2012
The Herald-Star

The third-annual George DeShone Memorial Reunion set for Saturday at Zalenski's Restaurant in Wintersville, will unite "the valley's greatest motorcycle racers from days gone," according to organizer Bob Sagrilla.

Tom Carson, international rider, heads up the program with photos and memorabilia from his career.

"It would probably be agreed by all attending that Tom 'Slick' Carson was one of the valley's best along with Joe Gretchen who also competed with top world riders back in the 1970s," Sagrilla said. "John Marine still competes on a limited basis although Marine has been taken out with a recent hip injury. 'Storming' Norman Sutton was a great friend of George's and partner in the Moto Cross track 'Whispering Wheels' located in Annapolis in the 1970s," Sagrilla said.

"George was a special guy and was loved by all of us who were not more than kids back then," said Sagrilla. "He is best remembered for his mechanical ability and providing us with the fastest bikes for the time. George had a special 'go-juice' gasoline that he mixed in his shop," Sagrilla said.

The highlight of last year's gathering was the presence of a perfectly restored 250 Triumph restored and displayed by Vince Cibowlski. A 250 Honda Elsonor will be added to the show this year.

Last year, Mark Whelling brought his 4-foot trophy that he earned at Paw Paw Park in Pennsylvania in 1975 for overall first place. Zeb Gullo is expected to have on display many of his trophies from back in the day where he dominated along with Robert Schilling and Sammy Bosnic. John Petrella, another great, will have memorabilia from the glory days. Chris Heilbock travels from the East Coast to attend the event every year, according to Sagrilla. "Chris is another who has never 'hung up his leathers' - a term used by those who retire from competition - and turned professional in the 'old-timers class.' Rudy 'Ironman' Morelli, Dan 'Stick' Pollen, John 'Silk' Panco and Larry Pownall all rode for the Honda Corral back in the day and plan to attend this year's event," Sagrilla said. An invitation is extended to all bike enthusiasts from the "old days" to enjoy stories and camaraderie with "the great ones," Sagrilla said.

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