In 1972 while working for the Communications Department of the British Columbia Railway. I traveled extensively while installing microwave sites and railway crossing.
One of those trips took me to the Pine Pass in the Rocky Mountains. While on one of those installations I climbed a tunnel face in the Pine Pass and found my fossil. It is hard to imagine the shift the earth took to stick the ocean floor into that spot in the Rocky Mountains 2,900 feet above sea level and a fair distance from the Pacific Ocean
On my next trip to Fort Nelson I found a book that was causing quite a stir at the time by Immanual Velikovsky called Earth in Upheaval. It was an eye-opener!
When I was editing and researching this episode of Jasoslav Juhan’s book I was drawn to the similarities that are happening today between Putin’s war on Ukraine and the annexation of Czechoslovakia by the Nazis. You will notice I say Putin’s war not Russia. I can’t believe that the majority of the Russian people know that he is truly waging a war or am I just naïve?
Nato must stand firm and find a way to stop his planned annexation or history may be repeated and a whole nation subjected to an armed takeover.
This is a section of Episode Two of Jaroslav Juhan’s book “Life without Brakes ” by Jan Kralik published by Grada Publishing. The section covers Jaroslav’s interment by the Nazis in the Pankrác Prison.
JAILED BY THE NAZIS
The Nazis installed a guillotine to speed executions at the prison and that vile instrument is still on show in the original white tiled room.
Under the Nazis, an execution spree followed after the assassination of acting protector Reinhard Heydrich in 1942 and the last execution was performed on April 26, 1945, just a few days before the war ended.
Jaroslav recounts counting the thud of the guillotine from the room beneath his cell.
This was a hard section for me to do because of the pain I could feel in Jaroslav’s words and the images I encountered while researching.
Because his jailing was for suspected sabotage and he spoke German Jaroslav was on a work crew that left the prison to build barracks. He was able to carry letters in the soles of his boots from the imprisoned Jews and working with the Czech underground smuggle letters back. Instant death if he was caught!
In his book he says “I always had leather boots full of letters, in the morning from Pankrác to Podolí, in the evening from Podolí to Pankrác.
Both Jaroslav Juhan and Franta Juhan received awards for bravery for their work with the Czech Resistance
In the award it said “Involved in an illegal Intelligence Brigade group. He deservedly participated with his brother in the preparations for the Prague Revolution and on the order of Dr. Vahaly collected propellants and deliberately sabotaged engine repairs. vehicles for the Reich German armed forces, so that these could be available to the intelligence brigade.”
Heady stuff, Thank you for taking the time to visit.
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The great painter RC Gorman was introduced to me in 1977 by a little frame shop Framagraphic Custom Picture Framing on Broadway in Vancouver. Since that introduction to his work I have a couple of books on him and his work.
I picked up RC Gorman A Portrait. The late RC was a Native American artist of the Navajo Nation. Referred to as “the Picasso of American Indian artists” by The New York Times. His paintings are primarily of Native American women and characterized by fluid forms and vibrant colors, though he also worked in sculpture, ceramics, and stone lithography.
He was also an avid lover of cuisine, authoring four cookbooks, (with accompanying drawings) called Nudes and Food.
A great artist, a colorful character and a proud Navajo. I hope you take the time to look at his work and you see some of why I like it so much!
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Welcome to 2023. We always think back as a New Year starts for some reason, and here is one of the places my head was this weekend,. Please let me know what you think.
Out of the blue in my Inbox lands a picture from 1972. It was from a Cross Country Race in British Columbia on my XL250. I had stripped the lights from it, changed the exhaust and went racing, When the weekend was over I stuck the lights back on and used it as a commuter. I think I raced that bike in a 100 miler and a couple of 200 milers. The poem is a result the feeling looking at the picture caused. Wondering where in my brain (The Grey Matter) these memories were stored.
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Happy New Year everyone this is the last post for 2022. It is a Video that I created for the Honda Centre in British Columbia in Canada
It is highlighted by snippets from Honda Global images that are used with permission and edited using Adobe.
Featuring my of my favorite motorcycles The Honda Africa Twin which I first encountered in 1988 as the XRV650 then the Honda NXR-750, which won the Paris -Dakar Rally four times in the late 1980s. In 2023 Honda will release a brand new bike Honda XL750 Transalp which feature in a future Blog. I am still waiting for permission from Honda. Coming Soon!
The current model the CRF1100L shown in this video is a wonderful piece of technology.
The Video was created for the header to the Company’s Wed Site and featuring video from Honda Marine, Honda Europe, Honda.com and the Honda Centre. The Africa Twin, 250hp Honda Outboard, 2.3 Honda Outboard, Honda CBR, Honda Generators are included
Edited and narrated by Duncan Fraser
All copywrite stays with the original producers this video may be shared when used in it’s entirety
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In his book Jaroslav spends some time to paint the picture of his family and what live was like before the Nazis invaded the country and he was jailed for working with the underground.
This portion of Jarolav Juhan’s story covers his love for cycling and hockey.
He competed with the Czech elite of the time and both he and his brother Franta Juhan were well known sportsmen. Jaroslav said “In 1937, Franta joined the basic military service, during which he not only continued to compete, but even became a promoter of professional boxing matches. In short, he had an adventurous and enterprising spirit”
With a big brother like Franta who was super competitive on a motorcycle and would do everything he could to race, it should not come as any surprise that Jaroslav had that same determination to succeed.
When you are the first line of one of the best hockey teams in Europe and one of your line mate is a future Czech Hockey Hall of Fame member you could say Jaroslav was a pretty good hockey player
Stanislav Konopasek, the best left winger in all of Europe in the 1940s and Czech Hockey Hall of Fame member recalled in an interview in Veÿerní Prague in November 1989.
*”When reminiscing about my hockey career, I have to start with the year 1939. So it is exactly half a century ago, we played in Vienna as a lion team against the very strong A-teams of Hungary and Austria at that time. The first attack was made up of Jaroslav Juhan – –, Zábrodský and me. My brother knew speedway champion Franty Juhan very well,”
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World Champions in Road Racing, Motocross, Speedway and Enduro all train with trials bikes.
It is the motorcycle sport where control, balance and concentration not speed is paramount. It is the quiet motorcycle Sport. It does not get the coverage of it’s more flashy cousins yet it is probably the most environmentally friendly of our disciplines.
Noraly from itchyboots travels the world on a motorcycle and she has over a million followers and I am one of them! She took the time to learn something about Trials between her episodes.
The Canadian National Trials Championship In IOCO B.C. this month just a few minutes from where I live and Noraly was just here in British Columbia on her Honda CRF300L Rally on the way to Alaska. That is what prompted this post
This young lady is am inspiration. Please let me know what you think
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Franta Juhan is the first segmant of a four part series on Jaroslav Juhan’s Book “Life Without Brakes” by Jan Kralik:
Motorcycle Speedway Champion Franta was Jaroslav’s older brother and the first part of his book is dedicated to him’.
There is some great early Speedway footage in the video that I hope makes you smile!
There has been some information added that was not in the book covering Franta Juhan’s son Frankie who raced under the Canadian flag. I was Frankie Juhan’s wrench for a few years trying to honor his Dad’s instructions, “Sonny you look after my boy”
Franta and Frankie Juhan both have been integral part of supporting motorcycle life in Canada and I personally had the pleasurer of working with them both.
Joroslav sent me the draft of the book from Geneva and I just realized that was the last time we talked. I wish I could have asked him more just to hear the wonderful cadence of his voice. Jaroslav spoke multiple languages and I only speak Street English so he was nice enough to share with me in English.
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Inspired by the book on Jaroslav Juhan “Life Without Brakes, The man that brought Porsche to Carrera. It is part of a four part vlog I am working on to do credit to this historic Czech family.
Jaroslav was the younger brother of the Czech Speedway Champion Franta Juhan who is the subject of the first part of the book and that will be covered separately.
There are three frames where Jaroslav’s was spelled wrong and my narration which is unscripted I call the PanAmerica the CanAmeria. I am pulling the age card and tired eyes as my excuse and beg apologies of anyone offended. (Duncan Fraser) I also had to translate from Czech and my wonderful assistant Ms. Google was giving me a hard time
The book is written by Jan Králík in Czech and published by Grada Publishing
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The Art of Motorcycle Racing by the Legendary Mike Hailwood and commentator Murray Walker is book where Mike gives great advise for the aspiring racer. In my introduction to the book I try to share some of the excitement my copy has provided me.
I have mix a few relevant video clips like Mike Hailwood on the Honda six. I have another post on that great bike you here. All racers need to give some thought to what will they ride, where will the ride and how are they going to get there and back.
Mike gives some insight into all of these. When you are a world champion you gain insights from a rather lofty viewpoint, knowing the steps he took and the thing you need to consider on your path were helpful to me and is well worth the read!
My intro concludes with some great footage of Mike on World Championship Winning Honda 250cc RC166 six cylinder work of art. I hope you enjoy it!
Here is my introduction to the book: Please give me a thumbs up if you like it and subscribe if you care.