Beaverton man wins custom Crazy Horse bike
The way John Keaton of Beaverton, Oregon, tells it, he was on his way to the 110th Harley-Davidson anniversary bash in Milwaukee when he stopped at Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota’s Black Hills on Aug. 26.
His visit included keeping his three-year tradition of buying one $20 fund-raising ticket for the yearly benefit motorcycle drawing. The proceeds help fund cultural education projects sponsored by the nonprofit Memorial, which is dedicated to honoring the heritage and living cultures of Native Americans.
John continued his ride to Wisconsin and was not preoccupied with his Crazy Horse ticket. That’s one reason he wasn’t back at Crazy Horse at 3 p.m. Sept. 6 to see Monique Ziolkowski, daughter of the couple responsible for the world’s largest mountain carving in progress, pluck No. 01938 from the rolling drum holding more than 2,000 tickets.
Notified via email that he was the owner of the one-of-a-kind bike, you could practically hear John’s gleeful text shout reply halfway across the country: “Absolutely Fantastic! Thank You very much.”
His prize, named “Help From Above,” is a 2012 custom chopper built and donated by Steve Koontz. He’s a corn-and-soybean farmer at Shelbyville, IL who also operates Fighting Chance Customs, an at-home bike shop with a tradition of building and giving bikes to charities. Koontz said he designed the Crazy Horse chopper to resemble an Army helicopter ambulance to thank his relatives and others who have served in the military.
It turns out that John knows a little about bike building. He said he built a 1963 H-D Panhead chopper and used it to pick up his girlfriend after her high school day ended. Mrs. Diane Keaton (“no, not THE Diane Keaton,” he clarifies) has been riding Harleys with her husband for over 40 years. “(We’ve) been riding touring bikes these days but (I’m) very excited to have a chopper in my life again,” John said.
The annual Crazy Horse motorcycle fundraisers started in 2006 and continue largely thanks to donors. The drawings are held on Sept. 6 during a day of remembrance events honoring Crazy Horse the man, who was killed in 1877 while under a flag of truce, and sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who was born Sept. 6, 1908, in Boston, Massachusetts.