Dotty Bratcher 11/21/47 – 9/30/99 In Memory
An upbeat new woman all the way from Pennsylvania joined our Moving Violations club meeting. Dotty thought nothing of hopping in her car or on her motorcycle and and driving a long distance to be anywhere she liked. I met her early to mid 90’s when she became an enthusiastic member of MVMC. It was a beau coup era of women’s motorcycling. Jobs and money were plentiful, bringing many sisters out on the road via the Women’s Motorcycle Festival. We met our counterparts from all over the Northeast, Canada, and beyond through the Chrome Rose newsletter, all before internet and social media. No Problem! We were dykes and we figured it out. Dotty Bratcher had found us thanks to Candy and Ellie who were all in Artemis, a Reading PA women’s motorcycle club. Dotty had been waiting a long time to be part of a family like us. She was all in, hopping on her Honda 450 after work on Friday in Secaucus NJ and blasting up to my place north of Boston in the middle of the night. She insisted on paying me rent for a spare room, so she could always be “in town” for club rides, events, and of course leading Boston Pride. She gifted me a sturdy set of fireplace irons that I use to this day for my wood stove. It’s like Dotty is enjoying a good fire with me every time. Dotty never cooked but was always ready to head out to eat. And eat we did! Always a group of us riding to a local diner to see and be seen. I thought I motorcycled plenty of miles but Dotty was easily the club high mileage rider most years. One Thanksgiving around 1995, Dotty wasn’t feeling well so Kristine Grimes and I packed up a huge dinner and drove down to Dotty’s place in Dingman’s Ferry PA. I heard the bad diagnosis about Dotty after I had moved to FL in 1998. I can’t remember our last conversation but will always remember her bright smile and hear her laugh. Woody spent the last days with her in the hospital and let her know it was OK to travel on, to leave for the next world. I recall Sandra Lemerise and Bonnie Bennent went to her home after her passing to pack things up, and didn’t they catch a glimpse of Dotty’s spirit. I heard Marjorie took in Dotty’s cat. You left us too soon, my friend, Ride on, Dotty Bratcher!