Dave Manthey PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 26 June 2009

March 1, 2008 Portage, WI Dave Manthey dies suddenly at the age of 57.

I was going thru some bookcases this evening and ran across a book written by member Dave Manthey. I had met Dave at the first Munch Rally in Argos, Indiana in August 1989 and found him to be a remarkable and friendly person. I saw him again at least once more at Perry Bushong’s BWM place in Ft. Worth, Texas in the early 1990s. After I stopped the DMR in 2002 or 2003, I lost contact with most of the DMR members, including Dave.

The book, you may remember my review of it, is titled: ‘Beyond My Wildest Dreams’. It was quite good and I gave it a good review. I decided I would try to find Dave on the internet tonight after finding the book. The first site I went to mentioned that he had died last year. Sad to say. I was pretty shocked to learn it. He was just too young and too neat of a guy to die so soon.

Anyway, I thought I would pass this along to those of you who may have known him.

W. Conway Link

"Seeking Wheels in Heaven"

Has David Manthey found the answer to that question? It has been said that there is no beer or sex in that hallowed place. Are there any motorcycles?

Those who knew Dave, who died last Saturday at age 57, grieve that he should leave the place of earthly existence while in the midst of a very ordinary project, that of shoveling snow off a roof. We envisioned Dave leaving us in a blaze of bright light, an ever increasing roar of motors in the background, with a smile on his ruggedly handsome face while firmly grasping the bars of his beloved Friedel Munch motorcycle. It was his version of heaven on Earth.

I do not write this remembrance as someone totally knowledgeable of Dave, but I am moved by the scope of the life he lived. He was Portage born and remained as a resident. Dave had graduated high school with my son John. I had not seen or been aware of Dave or his life since then, until he and his life partner, May Johnson, appeared at a Writers at the Portage meeting. They wanted to let us know they had written a book that was to be released soon.

The year was 2000, and the book was titled “Beyond My Wildest Dreams.” Dave readily acknowledged that he had never thought of putting down on paper the story of his life until May Johnson, whom he had nicknamed “Magic Johnson,” showed up and said, “We're writing a book.” She was the one who dotted the ‘i's’ and created complete sentences out of his ramblings.

The introduction in the book sets the flavor of what was written, with these words: “We're going to try our hardest not to bore you with this introduction so this is not going to be one of those two-and-a-half page long introductions ... but please excuse the poor English throughout this book since I ain’t hardly had no learning when I was a young one. That’s because my whole life was spent in search of the ultimate wheels, instead of conforming to what was expected of me. What you are about to read is only a small part of my quest for what became my life’s dream, the Munch Mammoth. (This writer’s note: the Munch Mammoth is the Cadillac of motorcycles, manufactured in Germany.) Because of this obsession, I have gone way ‘beyond my wildest dreams.’”

In appraisal of the book, Paul Watts, a journalist in California, writes, “... it will make your sides ache in this true story too crazy to be fiction” that takes American humor to a whole new dimension.”

The back cover has a picture of Dave and Jay Leno, with whom he had spent some days in California, connected in their love of motorcycles and cars. Dave had also traveled to many European countries.

Judy Van Schoyck-Fritscher of Portage, who had been the proofreader, writes: “The author will tell you ... in the course of his journey from small-town Wisconsin to the bright lights and big cities of Europe and the United States. Follow the kid who nearly fainted while giving a freshman book report, as he masters the arts of public speaking and writing."“

Blanche Murtaugh
Portage, Wisconsin
March 6, 2008

I talked to Dave about 2 hours before he passed. I went up there to pick up a machine that day. When I got there we couldn’t find him. He was up on the roof trying to unplug his chimney. He had a heart attack while he was up there. That’s where we found him.

I hadn’t seen him in about two years, so last week while I was in the area I stopped in to say hi. Stayed for several hours shootin’ the breeze. I am glad I did. I made arrangements to stop back up there the next weekend and get a machine from him.

I knew Dave for about 10 years, and he is the guy I bought my first Pins from. I sat on his Munch Titan once, until he told me it was worth more than my house.

He was a fun guy to share stories with. He will be missed. I spent the rest of that Saturday in shock.

Ken Johnson

The soft cover book, ‘Beyond My Wildest Dreams’ can be found by searching the internet, or requesting a copy at your local library.
Publisher: Big Boys Toys
Date Published: 2000
ISBN-13: 9780967882802
ISBN: 096788280X
Description: Brand new paperback. 188 pages, 55 illustrations. A memoir centered around the author's experiences with Munch 4 motorcycles.
Alibris ID: 9814454689

Richard Sheckler

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