As some of you know, I am quite active in the High Intensity area of this site. I guess I just like a good verbal scrap. I have knocked heads with a few guys and rarely got my feelings hurt. I have seen many well let's just say spiteful to hateful posts. I grudgingly admit that I authored a few. I have always thought even the worst person in the world has an upside. Likewise, even though I have verbally jousted hard with some members, I have always thought that we were not that different even though our views might differ diametrically. That feeling manifested itself on me at the National Gathering. Some of the hardest "fights", at least idealistically that I have had were with Dayton (olefin) and Gofish Tony. However, at the gathering, it was somehow different. We teased each other good naturedly, but at the end of the day, I believe that I spent the majority of my time, with the exception of the BOC quartet, with Tony. I have a newfound respect for that man and he is a great human being. I also had the pleasure of meeting Olefin. After the dinner on Saturday, they had an auction and door prizes. Well they had these hand carved plaques (great job whoever made them by the way) that had National Gathering engraved on them. Well, since it was the inaugural Gathering, I thought that just might be nice to have. As a car dealer I go to auctions quite a bit. I noticed the bidding started off a little slow so I kept raising my hand walking the fine line between bidding it up and owning it. I was going to get one but I wanted to help raise as much as possible for the BOC and figured I'd get the last one. Well the first one went for $60.00 I believe. When the second one came around I figured I'd bid that one up and maybe buy that one. Well there kept a bid a coming from my left and every time I raised my hand he'd up me by $1.00 I looked over and it was my old nemesis Olefin. Wel, I believe we both got our auction juices going (AKA testosterone) and ended up over a $100.00 I ended up letting him win (yes I let :wink: ) that one and bought the third one. The point is not how much was spent, but the good natured comeraderie we shared. I have a deeper understanding of both men and consider them friends regardless of the fact that their political views are royally askew. Previously I had made a post about feral cats as bait with wd 40 and some thought it humorous but too many.... not so much. One of those most vociferous was Catgirl. Now we knew we liked each other but I'll tell you she was as mad as a wet hen! Do you know that she was the first one to hug me when I arrived? i hadn't even gotten off the bike yet. We almost had a Harley Shawn Tanya sandwich (might not have been ALL bad :tounge_out: ) We ended up spending the entire night, from 2-6am together having an old time gospel sing. The bottom line is my perceptions of some people did a 180 that weekend. I see some real knock down drag em out scraps going on daily in HI. It is my desire to share with those of you that frequent HI, and to those of you who didn't make it to the national gathering that the people on this site can be different in person than on the net. I highly encourage you to simmer on the bickering and have a little more discourse in there, AND if you EVER get the opportunity to go to a gathering, do it. It can be a life changing experience where you may forge a lifelong friensdship with someone you'd least expect.