Kenny “Debaldone” Weingart: September 3, 1927—April 21, 2014
At 3:30 p.m. on April 21, 2014, the motorcycling world lost one of its finest emissaries, Mr. Kenneth Weingart, at the age of 86. He became associated with Thunder Press beginning with the very first East Edition in February 1997. Within a short time, he became a noted writer due to his wit, humor and the accumulated motorcycle experiences he had amassed over the years, so much so that he was presented with his own column, Rubber Side Down, in April 1997. I became professionally acquainted with him in 2004 when I became the THUNDER PRESS South Editor and Ken’s column found a home in that edition where he continued to pen humorous stories from his colorful past. He was a joy to work with and rarely did we disagree (and if we did, it was usually over the use of some archaic term with which I was unfamiliar). I trusted Ken to always supply the goods before deadline and it was an honor to be associated with this motorcycling giant. He is greatly missed.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a contribution from Dr. Edward N. Szerlip, his good friend and riding partner for more than 50 years.)
Today, April 21, 2014, we lost a very unusual man, Kenneth Weingart, “Debaldone.” Kenny is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, René, daughter Maralyne, son Mitch and three grandchildren.
How do you measure the meaning of a man’s essence? In Ken’s case it was measured in the world of motorcycles and his uncanny way with words. Very few people had his wit in telling the story and placing you within it.
He was a Navy veteran, the CEO and editor of the New York Motorcycle Mirror, an AMA Congressman and lifetime member, a member in good standing of the Cross Island MC (New York) for over 65 years, a member of the Wings of Gold MC (Florida) and founder of the Moose Riders of Lauderdale Lakes, Lodge 2267. He was the owner of multiple motorcycles for over 65 years and also a writer and photographer for Wheels on the Road magazine and THUNDER PRESS. There were so many other organizations and societies he was part of or involved in, there is not enough space enough to list them all.
He was a man’s man who lived his life as many of us would love to emulate. The world of motorcycling has lost an ambassador and I a wonderful friend and riding buddy of over 50 years.
He probably would say, “Don’t give a thought for me, but do your best to make a positive effort for ‘us’ two-wheelers.”
With love and respect dedicated to Ken “Debaldone” from the entire biker community, rest in peace.
(This article was published in the June 2014 issue of Thunder Press, South edition.)