Get your Motor Running!

Bucket list motorcycle ride brings joy to 92-year-old Cape Coral woman

For many years, 92-year-old Frances Keogh has wanted to take a ride on the back of a motorcycle. Thanks to a special surprise coordinated by her close friends, Frances can finally check this experience off her bucket list.

Friends and family recently gathered at Gulf Coast Village, a continuing care retirement community in Cape Coral, to present Frances with her long-awaited motorcycle ride.

Frances’ face lit up when she exited her building and saw a crowd waiting to greet her with hugs, laughter and motorcycle gear in tow.

“I just about blacked out to tell you the truth, I was so excited!” Frances said about the surprise of seeing her friends and family gathered to share this bucket list experience with her.

She quickly donned a helmet, leather vest, and riding gloves and was ready to hit the road.

Frances’ bucket list ride was made possible by close friends, Sheila Sweeney and Joyce Easton, who connected with local motorcycle enthusiast, Dr. Michael Dreikorn, for his help to make it happen. Upon hearing of their plans, Michael readily agreed to take Frances out on his Indian motorcycle.

“Oh, it’s amazing,” Sheila and Joyce responded in unison when asked how it felt to make this dream come true for Frances.

After a ride around the Cape Coral community, Frances rolled in on the back of Michael’s motorcycle with a big grin on her face, waving at her friends and family as they cheered for her return.

“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and years, and years, and I’ve never had the opportunity,” Frances said after her ride. “This is just wonderful. It’s a great day.”

Frances enjoyed an intimate cake reception with her friends and family at Gulf Coast Village, capping off the day by dancing to her favorite song, “Mustang Sally.”

“The stories she tells are endless, and her dancing, her love of ‘Mustang Sally’ and her signature move is amazing,” Sheila said. “She has such a zest for life and a love of God, it’s just inspiring.”

Originally from Piedmont, North Carolina, Frances moved to Southwest Florida in 1995. She is a poet, author, and political enthusiast. She has been a resident of Gulf Coast Village for nearly a year, where she enjoys being involved in the community, spending time with her family and friends, reading poetry, staying active, and dancing.

“She is just an inspiration at 92 years old to be as energetic and so positive,” Joyce said.

Among many other achievements, Frances was nominated “Woman of the Year” by the American Business Women’s Association in 1974, received both the “Golden Poet Award” and “Silver Poet Award” by World of Poetry in 1985 and 1986 for her book God’s Spotlight, and recently was awarded the “Women of Distinction Lifetime of Leadership Award” by the Republican Women of Cape Coral Federated.

A few years ago, Frances checked zip lining off her bucket list, but her aspirations don’t stop there. Next on the list for this adventurous 92-year-old? Frances hopes to try skydiving.

“I’ve always wanted to drop out of a plane,” Frances said.

“I’m a happy camper! I’m ready to do just about anything,” she added.

Photos by Alma B. Photography