Archive for May 2nd, 2010

Thank you, Don J. Brown

May 2, 2010

In this month’s Dealernews, we have a special section commemorating our longtime research editor and all-around industry sage Don J. Brown. It starts on page 32.

Some very prominent figures from motorcycling’s past and present offer up their best memories and warm thoughts about Don, who died March 24. Indeed, these remembrances help paint a compelling picture of a man whose entire adult life was enmeshed with the industry that we call home. And, as Mary Slepicka points out, we all owe Don a sincere thanks for his life’s work.

Reading this section during the editing process made me remember an experience with Don for which I’ll forever be grateful. It happened during a phone call shortly after I started at the magazine. We were deep in a discussion about one thing or another when I mispronounced the name of someone very prominent in the industry (the kind of mistake that makes me redden to remember). I can’t share this slip-up because of what Don said to me next.

He stopped talking, held a moment, and then simply pronounced the name correctly. I paused and asked him what he said. He correctly repeated the name again, explaining how it was supposed to be pronounced. He then calmly and politely told to never let anyone hear me it say it like that again. It wasn’t a lecture or a scolding, just a reminder and a correction. We then carried on our conversation. This was my first lesson of many that talking to Don was the same as getting an education.

With Don you got both historical reference and sage advice for modern times. Let him talk and listen, I learned. Trust me, I’ll never forget that name. Senior editor Arlo Redwine offers up his own very nice words about Don on the Dealernewsblog at

Also with this issue, we’ve added some new features to the story (more…)