Florida brothers find shelter in Cedartown
Sounds of misfiring engines roar in the air as the bikers take their Harley’s a tri-county cruise for the “Ride Out Pink” charity ride held over the weekend.
More than 40 bikers came from the surrounding counties to participate in Bike ride and the fundraiser held on Saturday, Sept. 22, for the “Beautiful, Brave and Bold” breast cancer survivors banquet.
The crew of bikers started their journey down at the Nathan Dean Sports Complex then made their way through an hour and a half trip through Cartersville, Rome, and Cedartown to come back and enjoying food prepared for their arrival that included pulled pork and barbecue sandwiches.
Coretta Green, who headed up the charity event and has been running it for the past two years, said it was her hope that local residents would continue their support for cancer fundraising efforts in Polk County, no matter what form it takes.
But her specific mis- sion is to raise awareness for the breast cancer survivors, as well as collect funds to help go toward a banquet for the survivors of breast cancer being held on Oct. 7 at 4 p.m. at the Nathan Dean Center in Rockmart.
“It is just so elating to see all these guys come out to help support and honor these survivors, t hey are j ust bikers against breast cancer.” said Green, “Breast cancer has affected these guys one way or another so they came down here to support and brought spouses and girlfriends along with them.”
A pair of Florida residents remain in Polk County after taking an epic trip across Florida and Georgia to reach Cedartown as they fled from the path of Hurricane Irma in past weeks.
But getting here for Regis and Richard Cassidy, 81 and 85 years of age respectively, was just half the battle.
They were among the 6 million evacuees who left Florida in the midst of Hurricane Irma, but the two didn’t blend into the crowd.
The Cassidy brothers fled to take shelter in Cedartown, and the duo made their cross- state odyssey without a map or GPS.
“Old schooling it,” remarked the duo.
“We’d seen our fair share of hurricanes,” Regis Cassidy said. “But when weather forecasts started predicting 185 miles per hour winds, we thought it might be a good idea to flee along with everyone else.”
The brothers have spent the last 62 years living in South Florida’s Broward County without having to evacuate, but before long the two men were bumper-to-bumper traffic on the interstate heading north, where Regis’ daughter Debbie Wilson offered shelter.
“We were on the road at 5 a.m. on Thursday, and it took 14 hours to travel to Valdosta where we spent the night,” Richard said. “It took another 10 hours to get to Cedartown.”
The family reunion between the brothers and, Wilson, and Wilson’s husband Dean Wilson lasted nine days before the duo returned to their mildly damaged homes.
“We went out together, we had daily walks, and we talked about old times,” Wilson said. “It was nice reminiscing.”
Though t he storm’s winds were severe and the trip provided some trouble, some good things were born out of evacuating.
“They haven’t spent much time together since they worked on the Alaskan pipeline in 1976,” Wilson said.
The common threat gave the duo reason to work together, and the brothers were truly reunited after nearly 41 years.
The two men appear to get along well. The brothers demonstrate kinship by jokingly referring to each other as Ralph.
“It’s something we’ve done since we were kids,” Regis said.
The brothers also share common ground in that they are both retired electricians who live alone.
It was bad news for the group when Irma threatened to hit Polk County.
“We didn’t have anywhere to go,” said Wilson. “We just bunkered up. Luckily it wasn’t bad.”
The men’s extensive driving wasn’t for nothing, and Polk got away with just rain.
The brothers returned to Florida, but not before meeting Michelle Ruper from State Farm.
“I enjoyed telling about my travels, and I got a new Atlas for the trip home,” joked Regis.
The two men are now taking it easy back in Florida, but should a hurricane threaten the area again, the Cassidy brothers know exactly what to do: head north to Polk County, and hope for the best when they get back home.