Richard Ott Goes to the Harley Factory

Richard “Rick” Ott, 69, of Peoria, AZ, is a man of passion. His passion applies to many facets of his life: this country, his faith, serving his community, and Harley Davidson. During his working life, Rick was an esteemed showroom builder for Harley Davidson and was flown all over the US and Europe to construct these showrooms. He was gifted a Harley for his excellent work from the organization, and spent many years riding it as his main mode of transportation. Through years and years of dedication to Harley, Rick never got to see the factory itself in Milwaukee, WI. 

In his years spent not working for Harley, Rick was enlisted in the US Army and served roughly two years in Vietnam. There, he was shot and had his knee severely injured by shrapnel, putting him in the hospital for eight months. Today, he uses a wheelchair. However, as a man of faith, Rick maintains a positive attitude and credits the Lord with allowing him to survive against all odds.

Due to many circumstances, Rick has now found himself in a senior living community where he occupies his time welcoming new residents and working on models of different cars, trains, and of course motorcycles. Time has certainly not diminished Rick’s love of Harley!

Thanks to Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime, Rick and Bryce Belle (Resident Program Coordinator) traveled to Milwaukee, WI and toured the Harley Davidson Factory on August 31. Rick and Bryce took the Steel Toe Tour which is an in depth tour of the assembly of the motorcycles. Even though Rick is currently confined to a wheelchair, he even had the opportunity to sit on a Harley once again. An experience he never thought would be possible. 

Photography credits: RJ Harris Photography