04 May 2009

harvey hetland: one year later

About a year ago, Harvey Hetland, a well-loved mathematics professor, died in a hit-and-run accident in the middle of the goddamned day, up on La Tuna Canyon Road. He was one of the LA Wheelmen, a kickass group of cyclists who could teach me a thing or nineteen about hill climbing.

Some riders put together a ghost bike — a memorial for a rider downed. There are varying degrees of political stridency behind putting up a ghost bike; in our case, we only felt compelled to mark the passing of someone wonderful. My involvement in the project was the design and painting of the sign (I made a stencil & then hand-painted) & getting the flowers together (they're an assortment of plastic flowers from a 99¢ shop, spray-painted white, grey, & purple, then tied to the front wheel).

[NB: Out of deference for the other participants' privacy, I have not included their names here. But their involvement was the procurement of the bike itself, the painting of the frame, wheels, and components pure white, delivering it to the location, and devising an effective way to secure it at the location.]

Here's a photograph of the bike the day it was installed:

My friend Greg Thomas went up & took these beautiful photographs. He sent them around today, on the one-year anniversary of Harvey Hetland's memorial ride with the LA Wheelmen (Harvey's riding group).

It has aged well. And Harvey, you are missed.



Anonymous said...

Thank You Katie for keeping our beloved Harvey more alive in our hearts. Sam

Anonymous said...

Harvey was an inspiration; one of my favorites professors from PCC. Thank you for those photos.

Katie O'Shea said...

Hi! I never met the man, but I met his cycling friends. They all spoke of him as a wonderful person & a great teacher. I'm glad you like the photos.