Riding for Stanley

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BRATTLEBORO —Stanley Lynde was the type of guy who talked to everyone, the type of guy who always wanted to help people, the type of guy who didn't hold grudges, according to several of the hundreds of people who showed up to his memorial procession outside Lynde's Motorsports on Saturday.

Lynde died Monday after a motorcycle crash on Sept. 25. On Saturday, he was remembered as a beloved member of the community.

"He fixed people," said Samantha Leduc.

"He was the therapist of Vermont," Lou Laclair agreed.

Leduc first met Lynde with her boyfriend, Trevor Teft, who was interested in motorcycles. He went to multiple shops wanting to learn more about motorcycles, but he left them feeling discouraged. "They made him feel bad because he was young," Leduc said.

When Teft finally went into Lynde Motorsports, Leduc said she spent two hours waiting in the car for him. When he came out he was smiling and happy; that, she said, was Lynde's effect on people.

Later when Teft left for the Air Force, Leduc herself went to Lynde looking for a job. He gave her one, she said, adding that she wasn't sure she could have handled Teft's absence without Lynde.

Lynde had a lot of friends.

"If he knew you for four months he knew you for four years," Chris Temple said.

Deb Burrows said Lynde would make friends with you even if you knew nothing about motorsports. While the majority of people who showed up brought motorcycles, many others came to watch from the sidelines. Or rode on the backs of bikes.

Despite having been one of the coolest kids in town as a teenager, according to Laclair, Lynde wasn't snobby.

"He didn't care what type of bike you rode," Scott Filifonov said.

Lester Dunklee, the owner of R E Dunklee & Sons machine shop and Lynde's neighbor, said Lynde brought him donuts and coffee every morning and the two would just chat. Dunklee first met Lynde at his sister's wedding 50 years ago. He didn't know then, he said, that Lynde would later become such a great friend.

Before riders revved their engines, Brattleboro Police decided to close down all of Flat Street. They had one officer directing traffic on Main Street and made sure the riders had a police escort to their final destination on Guilford Street.

Jamie Plaut said many of the riders had been on Flat Street since Monday when they found out Lynde had died.

"He was just so into closeness and neighbors and community and family and stuff," Plaut said. "That was just his way."

Lynde did everything he could for charities. He regularly organized events, Plaut said.

"We're all here because of that," Plaut said.

Plaut said he'd been helping organize the masses. "We've been feeding the public," he said. The street was equipped with a porta potty and there was tent to rest in the shade. Next to the tent stood a sculpture of a man riding a motorcycle.

Plaut wasn't the only one helping. "You had to sort it out because there were too many volunteers," he said.

Plaut thinks one of the reasons Lynde had such a robust network was because of the riding motorcycle community.

"This community we're a part of is so pro community," he said. "Everybody looks out for each other. We all think alike. We all enjoy the freedom of the road."

Harmony Birch can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext.153. Or you can follow her @birchharmony.

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