"A Tribute to Albert Grande"
- In the words of his friend Bob Graham -
I first met Albert in the mid 1960's when I went to work for Boulevard Import Service in Richmond Va, the local Suzuki and Bultaco dealer. I was making my start as a motorcycle salesman and Albert was working in the parts department. When he found out that I was racer too, we immediately became fast friends and team mates. We spent the next several years riding for the shop together and even double dating together.
Albert was gifted as a rider and was always challenging for the front spot. He knew only one way and that was flat out. It did not always work to his advantage. Several times we would have to bring him home battered and bruised. That was no deterrent to Albert though. I can remember cutting a hole in his right leg cast and jamming his foot onto the peg so he could race. He said it was good it was not his left as he didn't know how we would get his hot shoe on. His only dream was to follow his hero, Bart Markel and to become National # 1. That dream, as for so many, was never to be.
Albert died doing what he loved most and that was riding. Unfortunately he flipped his bike over an unseen object and broke his neck dying instantly, in his own back yard.
He had already hung up his leathers and hot shoe and settled down to raise a family. I don't think he ever really lost the dream though. It was a tragic loss to everyone who knew him, never to get the chances he so richly deserved at that #1 plate or to see his child grow up. I still miss him terribly.
Team Mate and Friend