Todd Lasky will be with him when Jacob Sims leaves for a 2100 km motorcycle ride.
"He's going to do this trick through his helmet," Sims said of his dead friend, who died on November 18 in an air ambulance accident northwest of Mandan.
Lasky was a pilot for Bismarck Air Medical, bound for Williston with paramedic Chris Iverson and nurse Bonnie Cook. Their plane broke up in flight and crashed into an isolated pasture west of Lake Harmon in rural Morton County. Nobody has survived. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Sims and Lasky had been friends for four years and shared an interest in motorcycles. They worked together at Year Round Recreation, a small engine repair shop in Bismarck owned by Lasky.
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Lasky was a good teacher, a helpful friend and always had a smile.
"He had a pure heart of gold," Sims said, his voice growing thick. "He was just a good guy, he would do anything to help you, no matter who."
Lasky had planned a long motorcycle ride as part of the to-do list, "a great trip" that Sims announced his intention to do in honor of his friend.
He said he would take Lasky's helmet when he crossed Delaware, Virginia, and stop at the US National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, and at the National Memorial. Wright Brothers, North Carolina.
"Where do you take a pilot?" Said Sims.
He attended the funeral of his friend in Minnesota, but did not attend the Bismarck Joint Memorial for Cook, Iverson and Lasky. But Sims said he was impressed by the presence of first aid workers and ambulance services in North Dakota. More than 40 ambulances participated in a procession.
Reverend Greg Carr, who helped organize and speak at the joint memorial, said the community's support for the tragedy was "overwhelming" from locals delivering food to the police. , firefighters and ambulance stations, in the presence of the memorial.
"We had three people who were very important to this community and are no longer here," Carr told the Bismarck Tribune. "You look at the holes left by Bonnie's death at St. Alexius, you look at the hole that Todd's death left to Bismarck Air, and then to Chris at the Metro Area Ambulance.
"Three very important individuals, gone."
Sims has found another way to honor his friend. In a tattoo on his left forearm, Sims had inked Lasky's initials and dates of birth and death against Asclepius's pilot's wings and stick.
Sims said that he had originally planned a different tattoo when he called to change his appointment for Lasky's tribute.
"I told the artist, I said:" I do not like doing that on you, but I have to change it, and I think when you will know why you will agree, & # 39; said Sims.
For him, it's a way to commemorate his best friend. And it went well.
"Everyone at the funeral – I was attacking, everyone wanted to see him," Sims said with a smile.
Bonny Senger, Lasky's fiancée, said that she was also considering a tattoo in her memory. So is his son.
She can do something smaller than Sims and with angel wings, but she is still deciding. She would also like a memorial bench and perhaps a tree for Lasky too, as he is buried in Virginia, Minnesota.
Senger also stated that she was returning to her normal life after Thanksgiving and Christmas without Lasky, which she had met on July 4th.
There was a surprise last month: Lasky and Senger's son Jordan had planned a surprise birthday party for her, to be held on the day of Lasky's funeral.
The party was held the following weekend, said Senger – with a DJ, a karaoke and Lasky's portrait at the top of his motorcycle.
"It was difficult, but it was really a beautiful and honorable meeting," Senger said. "We were celebrating Todd's life and my birthday."
For Sims, he said he plans to continue working as a mechanic and journalist.
He took most of Lasky's customers to the store where he now works to continue to serve them, he added.
And there is the ride to be done next summer.
"He loved flying, he loved to ride, he was a lot of fun," said Sims of Lasky. "He liked to have fun.
"And I will miss him … it's safe."
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com
An AP member exchange shared by the Bismarck Tribune.