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Second Chance Scooter Tour


Rick Ronvik and Dave Lee

In 1953, Dave Lee and Rick Ronvik, two semi-mature college guys—and lifelong buddies, took a quarter year off from their college studies, worked in the galley of a ship bound for France, bought two 1953 Utility Vespa motor scooters, and set out on an extended scooter trip through France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and England. They were 20 and 21 at the time.

Dave Lee and Rick RonvikRick and Dave had known each other as kids growing up in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. They were buddies through grammar school, Boy Scouts, high school, and college.

In the fifty years since the Great Vespa Trip they got their graduate degrees, served in the Army (Dave), and Marine Corps (Rick), and got married. Dave married Jan, a girl he had met in England; they had two sons, Marc and Ross. Rick married Ann, the girl he had taken to his high schol prom; they had a daughter Tracy and a son Dane. They both taught high school—Dave, history and Rick, English and journalism. The two families went tent camping together often in the midwest. And then, of course, there was the traditional annual slide showing of the Great Vespa Trip of '53.

Now, on the 50th anniversary of the Great Vespa Trip, Rick and Dave wanted to do something special to celebrate that great adventure. A party with a cake perhaps, or maybe a catered event with lots of friends and an evening slide show of the '53 trip...

And then, it hit them both at the same time. They got a better idea...why not get two more scooters and do the whole damn trip over again! Two semi-mature guys, same countries, same roads when possible, vintage type scooters, take pictures in the same locations to see the changes, look up the same people—(well, those that are still around), drink in the same pubs—why not?

Richard Ronvik
David Lee
Born Chicago, July 1, 1931 New York, July 2, 1932
Growing Years Belden & Spaulding, Logan Square, Chicago Kedzie & Fullerton, Logan Square, Chicago
Grammar School Darwin School, graduated 1945 Darwin School, graduated 1946
Boy Scouts Troop 117, Summers at Camp Owassippe Michigan Troop 117, Summers at Camp Owassippe Michigan
Drama Club Joined to learn about acting and meet girls Joined to met girls and learn about acting
High School Lane Tech, Graduated 1949 Lane Tech, Graduated 1950
Leisure Drove around Kelvyn Park High School with Dave looking for good-looking girls Drove around Kelvyn Park High School with Rick looking for good-looking girls
Early Jobs Soda Jerk at Schoebert's Drug Store Soda Jerk at Kopp's Drug Store
College Wright Junior College, graduated 1951; Northwestern University, Bachelor's Degree Music, Cello Major, 1954 Northwestern University, Bachelor's Degree Political Science, 1954
Europe Three-month break from Northwestern, took student travel ship to Europe, bought two '53 Utillity Vespas at Piaggio factory in Genoa, traveled through France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, and England and returned to U.S. with Vespas.
Service 1st. Lt. U.S. Marine Corps, Camp LeJeune NC and Vieques Island Spec. 3rd Class U.S. Army, Medical Dispensary Aschaffenburg, Germany
Camping With wife Ann, daughter Tracy, son Dane, many camping trips w/ Dave & family With wife Jan, sons Marc and Ross, many camping trips w/ Rick and family
Graduate Studies Masters Degree Northwestern University, English/Education Masters Degree Northwestern University, Political Science
Profession Taught English & Journalism in Public Schools and served 30 years as Director of Gifted Child Program in Chicago Public Schools Director of Admissions for Ripon College and taught History in Private Schools in Ohio, North Shore, England and Oakland
Satus Widower Divorced
Phone: (847) 864-6879 (415) 457-4521
Current Residence Evanston, Illinois San Rafael, California