By Veronica Burniston
A flood of multi-colored motorcycles and muscle cars crowded Main Street on August 1, 2014, to support the fourth annual Joe Barlow and Kim Sutton Memorial Event. The event celebrated the lives and memories of the late Barlow and Sutton, who both expressed a joy for life and a loving desire to serve others before themselves in the medical field and at home.
As the Vice Deputy Director of the Johnson County Rescue Squad and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Joe Barlow worked for the county nearly 20 years before an accident with a drunk driver claimed his life. Similar to the previous memorial events, Barlows family set up a commemoration table for their beloved family member, which housed a picture of the late Barlow and several customized in memory items.
Barlows sister, Nancy Barlow DeBord-Bentley, tended the table, speaking with family, friends, and visitors to the event with the same gentle and loving care that her brother showed so many during his lifetime. When asked about the event, she remarked that one of her favorite things about it is the community atmosphere, the support that she and her family are given each year by the people of Johnson County. She went on to say that she greatly appreciated the support and love everyone shared with them at the event.
Kim Sutton, the second honoree at the Memorial Event, worked as an employee of the Mountain City Care and Rehabilitation Center for over a decade. When she was diagnosed with cancer, she wound up becoming a patient of the very same care center. After a long and difficult struggle with cancer, Sutton passed away. In memory of both of these remarkable and loving individuals, every year the Memorial Event funds the Joe Barlow/Kim Sutton Scholarship, which is offered to graduating Johnson County seniors who are pursuing a career in the medical field. So, even after death, Barlows and Suttons generous lives continue to give back to the county.
At the event on Friday evening, locals and visitors alike explored the wide variety of antique and modern vehicles, including several Mach 1s and other Mustang models from various years, Chevy Camaros, vintage trucks, and numerous other eye-catching cars from the last four decades and beyond. In addition to the cars, a wing of motorcycles stretched along the right shoulder of the street as far as Teammates Pizza. With so many entries in the car and motorcycle show this year, the display down Main Street was not only impressive but also heartfelt as so many individuals and families helped rally support for the Joe Barlow and Kim Sutton Memorial Event.
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By Veronica Burniston