Waalre, August 2006.
Dear friends in BMX,
I am sorry to say, but I will have a different kind of introduction for the update of August 2006. Yesterday I received a very sad message from Marcia, the wife of GEORGE E. ESSER, founder of the N.B.L. (National Bicycle League – USA), one of the first BMX pioneers in the USA and the world, original initiator and motivator of the I.BMX.F. (now integrated into the UCI) and last but not least my personal mentor and long time friend. The message said: "George died in his sleep on August 31 st . 2006 at 2.15 in the morning".
Although this was expected, it still came over me as a shock. Another good friend has passed away. Besides that, people still today, do not realize what this man has mend for BMX. In the early '70 George was one of the few pioneers in the sport of BMX, founded the N.B.L. with its office in Pompano Beach at the time, and was a visionary if you talk “world wide BMX organization”. Indirect he is the reason BMX is an Olympic sport today. In my opinion, George did not get the overall proper recognition for all he did for the sport.
Together with Tadashi Inoue from Japan, George and I had a very special relationship as friends. We called each other “brothers” when communicating and indeed it felt like that in a way. I myself learned a lot from George. During the times I visited him specially in the ‘80's, he was my coach, my mentor. With his long experience in the field of organizing sports (motorcycles or bicycles) he was able to show me, what direction BMX could/should go. I want to thank him and his family for all the years of friendship and hospitality (even when Greg was hurt, broke his collarbone, Greg gave me his bed at their home. Greg slept on the bench in the living room!) and them taking care of my son Nico, who stayed and worked with Greg at their workshop (MCS bicycles and later on Fabweld) for almost a year. I also don't want to forget George's wife Mary (R.I.P.) who played a very important role in George's live and within the N.B.L., during the N.B.L. period. With great respect I do remember her. Marcia, George's present wife has the same respect from me for sure, for all she did for George during the past, very, very difficult years, specially in the end. Respect Marcia!
The respect George deserves, he will for sure get from the military. As a former Major, the funeral will be as follows: Military services will be held at Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Road, San Antonia – Texas, 78209. These services will be conducted on Tuesday, September 5 th at 1.45 PM.
I wish Marcia, his present wife and the entire Esser family all the strength they need to get through the difficult times ahead, even though for George himself, his death will be a relieve. I am sure now that George is in peace and with God.
Thanks for being my friend George! The Does family and many more will miss you.
Rest in Peace.
Your “brother” Gerrit Does