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Well wishers, friends and family of John Cuchessi, who died on Sunday May 18th at the age of 54, have decorated his bicycle shop with flowers, cards and signs in tribute to how much he will be missed.

John Cuchessi died on a ride last Sunday(May 18th) on his way back from Camp Pendleton. 

 

I got the news through a friend’s text message on my phone as I was working at the shop.  I can’t always hear the phone go off with all the tools and so I check the phone here and there throughout the day.  I felt something tug when I read it and I thought it wasn’t going to be good.  The text didn’t say too much; only that it had been a bike crash.  I called and they said he was at Mission Hospital.  I can see Mission from my shop and said a little prayer as I looked up over the freeway and through the trees to the top floors and the medi-vac pad on top.

 

I went up to the hospital and he wasn’t there.  My feelings that it was not good increased.  They gave me the number to Saddleback Memorial and I called.

 

“I’m sorry, how do yo spell the patient’s name?”  The Receptionist said through a hail storm of static and background sounds.

 

“J-O-H-N…A…C-U-C-H-E-S-S-I .” I spelled it out as simply as I used to when signing checks in his name at the shop for the UPS deliveries when Cuchessi wasn’t there.

 

She stalled a moment or two and continued.

 

“What is your realtionship to the patient?” She asked.

 

My memory wound back instantly to a long time ago when I first met Cuchessi.  How do you get those many memories out of your mouth in the few words she was waiting for?  Like some giant fish waiting to be pulled up onto the deck of the boat I jerked as hard as I could to try and get it out in one effort.

 

“Long time friend” I blurted.

 

She stalled again seemingly weighing what I had said.

 

“Sir…I am going to transfer you to the back…can you hold on?”

 

“Yes” I said. 

 

Yes to the transfer and yes to what I already knew would be the worst news.  This is a fish I didn’t want to catch and I imagined Sue sitting somewhere in that hospital and gathering up her memories of the man that was her husband and the father of her son.  I hung up in the middle of wait.  A call into my voice mail confirmed it.  A friend had called and I listened to what I already knew.

 

“Hey Dave…John’s gone…he died in the ambulance…” 

 

The message went on but there was nothing more to say.

 

 

 

 http://sccyclery.com/

 

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_2046724.php

 

http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/1361.html

 

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/john-san-clemente-2048417-gas-rezoning

 

http://www.cyclesveloce.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=73

 

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/school-cuchessi-students-2056578-kids

 

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=420958

 

 

NOTE: I am doing a little write up on how I met Cuchessi which I will post here later.  Its almost done but I am deciding whether or not to submit it to a Narrative writing contest, in which case, it can’t be published until the contest is over.  Stay tuned…

 

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