PITTSFORD, VT – It’s in times of tragedy that friends step up, and Lloyd “Bud” Provin is finding out this week just how many friends he’s made and riders he’s impacted over the years by fixing motorcycles.
“It’s beyond encouraging. It’s gratifying, overwhelming, stunning,” said the owner of The Nickwackett Garage today, his first full day back at the motorcycle shop here since an early morning fire on Saturday heavily damaged the home he shared with Sue Giotta.
“I can’t believe how many lives I’m connected with,” he added.
The local fire department reported that the blaze began as a chimney fire, but Provin said the cause may be a little more complex than simply a flue igniting. He explained that a cement block chimney contained a flue framed with wood and dry wall, and that escaping sparks may have set off a rodent’s nest inside.
Besides damaging the house, the blaze consumed seven motorcycles valued at about $40,000 that were in a garage. Getting melted and charred were Provin’s 1969 Triumph Trident, 1974 Triumph Trident, 1990 BMW K1, 1977 BMW R100S, 2002 BMW K1200RS and a 1973 Rickman. Also damaged was a customer’s K1100RS.
Now that a few days have passed, Provin said, “We’re doing pretty well. A lot of pain, sorrow, grief. A little joy. We’re getting our feet back under us. Getting organized.”
While the bedrooms in the house were spared, the remainder is in bad shape. “We’re hoping that it’ll be a total loss because it’s such a mess,” Provin said.
A “fire relief fundraiser” launched Tuesday on YouCaring by friend Jeffrey A. Guntert set a goal of $20,000 to assist Provin and Giotta. As of tonight, 197 donors had given $14,872.
“We are very much encouraged, so grateful,” said Provin.
The Nickwackett Garage dates back to the 1920s and once sold BMW and Triumph motorcycles. Provin’s father and grandfather preceded him in owning the business. Provin has been a mechanic for more than 30 years and once worked for Bob’s BMW in Maryland. He has run The Nickwackett Garage since 2008 following the death of his father a year earlier.
– By Bud Wilkinson