2003-01-11 / Letters

Face To Face With Vladimir

Face To Face With Vladimir

Dear Editor;

My name is Larry Burkett. I live in East Texas. Last week while on a solo motorcycle trip through Arizona and California I met Mr. Vladimir Yarets who was featured in your 10/26/02 newspaper article.

On the evening of Dec. 30, I had pulled off I-8 and checked into a motel in Yuma, AZ. I was leaving my room to walk to a restaurant when I saw a sticker laden JAWA bike loaded with all kinds of boxes and bags parked next to mine. I thought to myself, "I've got to meet whoever is riding that thing."

When I returned from the resturant, Vladimir had his bike in pieces on the motel lawn scraping carbon from the heads. I spent an enjoyable evening "listening" to him pantomime/sign about his adventures. He asked me if I had a cell phone, which I did. He then showed me Freddi Piscina's name and phone number in his logbook and asked me to call him. Freddi is named in another Internet newspaper article about Mr. Yarets. I called... Freddi and his wife were very gracious to receive my call (it was 10 p.m. in Arizona and 12:00 a.m. at Freddi's home).

Vladimir spent a good while showing me his logbooks, pictures and souvenirs. What an amazing story. I was prompted to help him with money long before seeing his sign requesting money for petrol.

The next morning, even though I was headed east towards Phoenix, I planned to ride west with him toward California for a while just to see him handle that overloaded bike. He had explained that he was going to San Diego the next day. Next morning I waited for a while, but he never appeared, so I continued on my way East.

After arriving at the home of my son in the Phoenix area, I searched for Vladimir on the Internet and found your article and others about the man and found this email address for your newspaper. He was exactly as you and others described him in your article. What an amazing person.

I just thought you might be interested to know that he is still alive and well.


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