Hi! This is one of the founding owners of Hansen Pole Buildings, and for whom the company is named, J.A.Hansen. I thought we’d take a break from the usual Friday “rerun” blogs, for me to tell you a story. Bear with me here…
It was September 26th of last year, 2015. I was on my 2004 Yamaha 1100, a sweet little ride if there ever was one. It fit me perfectly. My partner in crime and loving husband, the one and only Mike the Pole Barn Guru, was on his 1986 Yamaha Venture Royale, 1300. We were on our way from South Dakota, where the main office of the company is, to Newman Lake, WA, (Spokane suburb near the Idaho border). That is home for Mike and I, whenever we haven’t been on the road over the past several years. But that, as they say, is “another story”.
We’d made that trip several times over the past many years, and this was my third trip riding cross country on my own bike. It was wonderful to learn to ride my own bike. Besides the thrill of riding in the wind, there is a lot more to see than the back of my husband’s helmet!
Today was extra special. It was the middle of an absolutely beautiful day. Sun was shining, but we’d started early enough to stop “early” if and when the sun got in our eyes. It was early yet, maybe 1:30 in the afternoon. We were headed for Bozeman, MT, our next gas stop. I was riding lead, my husband behind, close enough to “shield” me from other traffic, but not so close as to be able to stop….should he need to.
Now the next part is missing details….because quite honestly, I simply don’t have them. I’ve dreamt about it, relived it, and no way will what happened prior to the next part will come back to me. And no, I didn’t have a stroke or pass out. If I had, I’ve had dropped my bike right then and there. (Yes you experienced bikers, I probably should have just “laid it down”. Hindsight is….).
A curve was coming up, and as is my habit, I slow for curves. I am careful of my speed whenever I can’t exactly see the entire road ahead of me. Interstate was 75mph and I know I had already slowed to 70. When for some unexplained reason, my bike would not throttle down more. I turned the handle WAY down, or at least tried to, and tried to carefully brake. I went to the side of the road, so to signal Mike something was wrong with my bike and we’d be stopping. I could hear him through our headsets, calmly asking me “what’s wrong?”.
The next part went so fast, in the flash of seconds. Apparently Mike could see I was in trouble as he hollered into my ears, “Slow down! Slow Down!” I didn’t hear anything after that. I do remember going over the edge of the high side of a left hand curve, and thinking “just ride it out, ride it out”. That came from my 40 years of snow skiing experience. And so I did ….for a time. The next part was relayed to me several days later. Mike tells me I DID ride it out….until my back tire hit some loose dirt and then I went end over end….with me ON the bike. And finally, I flew off….still at a very high speed.
I do remember hitting the ground on my chest. It was, um…not pleasant! (I broke most of the ribs on my right side.) Immediately I knew I was paralyzed at least from the waist down. My feet felt then, as they do today, “frozen”. But more than frozen. It’s similar to when you hit your “crazy bone”. They felt…numb, cold, and tingly.
An ambulance ride to Bozeman, helicopter to Billings to place titanium rods in my back and be told I am a T-6 Paraplegic. Four days after surgery, I went by Leer Jet from Bozeman to Craig Hospital and Rehab in Denver, CO which came up as the #1 place in the U.S. when my husband looked for the “best rehab” for SCI (spinal cord injury). Three months at Craig, another 3 weeks recently at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for a “tune up”, and I finally am starting to get back to work. Today.
What did I do as the company chief officer? Lots of things, including editing and posting the blogs that Mike The Pole Barn Guru writes. More importantly, to YOU as a consumer, what am I going to do NOW?
Good questions. I am not sure of the “details”, but I am sure of one thing. I am still at the forefront, cheering on our staff, being there to advise, direct, and make sure ALL of our clients get…Your Building. Your Way. Yes, that’s our tagline. It was my brain storm and I’m sticking to it….to give you the best we have to offer. The very best custom designed building, at a reasonable price.
During my convalescence, “new” blogs were reduced from 4 a week to 3 a week, with “re-runs” posted on Fridays. During those 7 months Mike the Pole Guru not only was at my bedside every single day (and often nights), but he was at YOUR side as well. He reviewed building plans, assisted Clients and Contractors with tech support questions, answered Pole Barn Guru queries, and yes, was still writing blogs.
Our general manager, Eric, also took on quite a bit of my work, and was one of my best “cheerleaders” in my recovery. I am happy to say, he has also recently become a major partner in owning Hansen Pole Buildings. Along with Mike, Eric shares my vision and the future of Hansen Buildings to be the “best darn pole building company money has to offer”.
So – I’m back…and no more “re-runs” on Fridays. You are free to enter a search term if you feel there is something we may have discussed before, or something “new” to you, but may or may not have blogged about in the past.
We are open to researching ideas for custom designs for pole buildings….pole barns to some. To us, they are anything you want your building to be, as long as we can design it structurally safe and sound, and aesthetically pleasing to any eye.
It feels good to be back…thank you for your patience and we look forward to hearing from you.
Judy A. Hansen, owner