My family has been attending the Vintage Motor Bike Club (VMBC) since I was age five. I couldn’t wait to get there each year. As a family we would camp, and often cook on the grill, which I thought was the greatest way of preparing food. I remember when many of the club events were held at the very front of the Jay County Fairgrounds, and I’d ride my mini-bike when the coast was clear and open it up. That was the best part of the whole meet for me at that time. Around and around the grounds I rode going through gas like it was coming out of water faucets. Well back in those days it was cheap to begin with, so my parents didn’t care so much. Those days were so much fun.
Now 35 years later, I am almost forty with my own wife and kids, and I still look forward to the meet with as much anticipation as I did when I was a kid. Never have I missed one of the meets and will likely attend every one till the end of time. We camp for almost an entire week now enjoying all the events that take place during the meet. Every year is different because each year different projects show up that were accomplished by members during the past year. Seeing all the different scooters that were produced 40, 50, and even 60 years ago gives me great joy. Being at Portland is the only way that I can experience a time when things were much simpler. Over the years, I have made friendships and spend much time catching up and sharing our projects from the past year with each other!
While I’ve always had a hand in helping with the events that happen at the meet, I had no idea 30 or even 15 years ago that one day I would be president of this wonderful, unique club. In the beginning of my presidency, I was unsure what to do or how to carry the club to the next level, but little by little, I began feeling where the club needed to focus. Younger new members…. How were we going to integrate them into the club? That’s where it all started! So during my tenure, I have intentionally focused on moving the club to accommodate the younger generation.
Now I’m into my sixth year as president and feel that we as a club have moved in the right direction by placing the right criteria for younger members to be a part of our club. In the coming years, I hope that we will continue to grow and be open to new possibilities for new memberships.
Darren Chafin, VMBC President