Tales of a Traveling Airbrush

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May 282014
Dave "Letterfly" Knoderer

Dave “Letterfly” Knoderer

“The smartest thing I ever did was join the circus!”  This decision launched a teenager into a prolific, itinerant career.

The musician/artist Dave “Letterfly” Knoderer found expression as a show drummer accenting the efforts of the aerialists, performers and artistes, elevating the experience of the patrons in this fast-paced, uniquely American lifestyle as well as plying skills with paint and brush to decorate the fleet with his emerging style. Being part of this distinct entertainment experience provided skills that morphed into the relentless venture of creativity that continues to this day.

While drumming under the big top lead to a fascination with animal training, soon Dave was performing with horses, starting with multiple animal liberty presentations and then graduating to classic horsemanship with a specific interest in the discipline of “Haute E’cole.” As levels of finesse were accomplished with his equine dance partners, parallel interesting developments showed up in the pinstriping, airbrushing and graphic work that financed this quest. As the evolution of entertainment grew to exclude horses, the demand for his unique style of artwork expanded and travel to serve a growing list of clients remained one of the constants in his lifestyle.

Letterfly Custom Pin-stripping

Letterfly Custom Pinstripping

The delicate nature of the hand painted pinline design is the result of years of practice and developing finesse with the ungainly, specialized brush. The creation of each motif is an exercise in playful meditation where the process becomes like play and the artist opens himself up to possibilities as each stroke occurs, only to reveal the intention as the last connecting stroke is made. The collection of hand painted artwork, photographs, posters, signs, cartoons ad painted panels with intricate pinline designs showcase the varied and interesting career of the artist/entertainer. Many designs have electrical qualities with an ever present energy as the circuitous lines are connected, overlapped, mirrored and finally, with the last stroke, become ready to contemplate.


Today “Have brush will travel” serves customer oriented Harley-Davidson stores, works on various mural and high quality paint projects and attends bike and RV events to create quality art on motorcycles, motor homes, hot rods and other modes of moving fast. Traditional brush painted pinstripe designs, pin-up girls, pictorials, inscriptions, pets, portraits and custom images of all kinds are produced on the spot, in various locations, all across the nation.  Letterfly clearly qualifies as an old school/renaissance man.

Apprenticing the sign painting trade, he learned design layout formulas and became intimate with letterforms, pin-striping and wet-blended pictorial painting as his skills with the brush developed. With a penchant for adventure, the young artist soon became involved with painting theatrical sets, amusement park and fairground d’cor, antique fire engine gilding and restoration, along with creating conventional, hand lettered signage and award winning storefront d’cor.

As sign making began to go the way of the computer three decades ago, Letterfly found a niche airbrushing high quality murals on the backs of motor homes.  One such project, an eagle flying over a scenic view of the Rocky Mountains was for a Harley-Davidson store owner who soon after, also commissioned murals inside and out at his motorcycle dealership.  The episode lead to other similar projects.  While in the proximity of bikers it became impossible for Dave to avoid the relentless requests for delicate pinline designs that personalize, individualize and distinguish their bike from the rest.

Perhaps the most amazing feature of this artist is the uncanny ability to visualize, develop and create images that have never been done before, along with the wide variety of styles of pinline designs, his oneness with eagles, wolves, horses, feathers, flames and countless other icons that make up the mainstay of his work.

During the winter months, extensive paint jobs on an endless variety of interesting things takes place at his home/studio/paint shop called ArtPark, in Florida. When it’s cold up north, motorcycle enthusiasts dismantle their bikes and ship the pieces to Letterfly for intricate design work, over all custom repaints and spectacular paint jobs that showcase his vast repertoire.  When RVers head to Florida during the winter, they visit ArtPark to get a custom designed airbrushed mural on the back of their motor home, a portrait of their pet on the entry door, some graphic shapes on their tow-car that resemble the design on the coach, a monogram, special inscription or any number of one-of-a-kind images that the artist conjures up just for them.  Lush garden pathways connect the shop, studio, RV parking and gallery situated in a quiet oak hammock that is a haven for creativity and a destination for RVers and bikers alike.

During the spring, summer and fall the artist is on location at customer dedicated Harley-Davidson stores, hot rod shows, bike events and working on various projects throughout the country.  The route is posted on a blog; www.Letterfly.com so you can find out when the artist is going to be near you.

No matter what sort of wheeled machine you have; touring bike, motor home, automobile, hot rod, motorcycle or even a guitar, fanciful artwork, colorful swoops, hand lettered inscriptions, a full fledged mural or a mini portrait, gold leaf gilding and the old school hand painted pinstriping that he is famous for, the finishing touch will personalize your rig and make “looking good” a reality and traveling down the road more fun.



 Accessories, Diva Review  Comments Off on The ZV STAY
Mar 012014



ZV Stay

Motorcycle riders take back your comfort.  If you are a motorcycle vest wearer and your vest is rubbing the back of your neck, this product is for you.  Millions of riders that wear MC vests are irritated and have been dealing with the discomfort of their vests irritating the back of their necks.  Now there is a solution to that problem.  It is the ZV Stay.  This simple and easy to use product keeps the vest from riding up.  It works with or without a jacket.

The two piece set is the answer that you have been waiting for so you can wear your vest with comfort.

This patent pending product is made for motorcycle riders of all types.  There is no other product on the market that addresses this matter.


ZV Stay




For more info:  zvstay@aol.com

Website:  www.zurrianebennett.com

Positive Self Defense for Women, PSD-W

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Feb 012014

PSD-W-1aPositive Self Defense (PSD) for Women – (W) The goal of positive self-defense for Women is to give you a better understanding of yourself, your abilities and your ability to protect yourself from harm. If you watch the television news, open the newspaper or just listen to the people around you, you hear about all the bad things that are happening in your office, neighborhoods and all over the world. There are also a lot of positive things in this world too. Know that you can protect yourself and the people that you care about. Women, it does not matter your sex or size. You must know and truly believe that you can. PSD can help you with this goal.

Positive Self Defense for Women

Buy at www.amazon.com/gp/product/1494832518

Positive Self Defense for Motorcycle Riders

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Jan 012014


The goal of positive self-defense is to give you a better understanding of yourself, your abilities and your ability to protect yourself from harm. It covers the positive self-defense mindset, also with motorcycle riding culture and protocol. This information is a must for anyone who rides a motorcycle.

This is also a great gift for any rider you may know.


Positive Self Defense for Motorcycle Riders

Buy at www.amazon.com/gp/product/149475956X

2013 DFAC Check Presentation

 DFAC Breast Cancer Fundraiser, Donations, In The Community  Comments Off on 2013 DFAC Check Presentation
Nov 092013
MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper in Camden, NJ

MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper in Camden, NJ

On November 9, 2013, we delivered a check ($3,200.00) to the new MD. Anderson Cancer Center Cooper in Camden, NJ.

Click here to view the DFAC Check Presentation.

The proceeds was raised from our 4th Annual Barb’s H-D Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride.  We had 181 registered participants (riders, passengers and donors).

We could not have done it without the help of Barb’s Harley-Davidson and members of the motorcycle community.

Here are a few photos from the 2013 Barb’s Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride

2013 Barb’s H-D Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride

 DFAC Breast Cancer Fundraiser, In The Community  Comments Off on 2013 Barb’s H-D Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride
Sep 012013

DivasRideForACureEmail_2013_v4It’s our 4th Annual Barb’s H-D Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride

Join Barb’s H-D and Divas For A Cure as we ride to the Pic-A-Lilly Inn in Shamong, NJ for Breast Cancer Research.

  • Date:   Saturday, October 19, 2013
  • Registration at Barb’s H-D from 10:00am to 12:00pm
  • Registration Fee is $25.
  • Free patch to the first 100 riders.
  • Ride leaves at 12:30pm and ends at the Pic-A-Lilly Inn, Shamong, NJ for a buffet lunch (included with registration fee.)

Viking Bags

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Mar 282013

Viking BagsMotorcycle Saddlebags: Why we Claim that Viking bags and Luggage are the Best

Here are 4 Simple Reasons why Viking motorcycle bags are the most popular for Luggage solution. Viking Bags carry Over 200 variety luggage options in various designs making them the Largest Motorcycle bags company in the world.Motorcycle Saddle Bags and Sissy Bar Bags by Viking Bags have been specially designed for every make and model of motorcycle such as Harley, Suzuki, Kawasaki, triumph, Honda and many more. Get the perfect match that suits your bike and fits like glove.

Motorcycle House

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Mar 282013

Motorcycle HouseLike it is said that the man is known by the company he keeps, similar can be said that the bike is known by the accessories is keeps. We are living in a modern world where fashion and uniqueness is the demand and desire of the people. They try to stand out among their peers. This is the reason that customization can be seen in everything from the clothing and to the motorcycles as well. There are people who would remove the motorcycle parts the day they buy the motorcycle and would change them with the motorcycle accessories of their own choices. These would include the customized windshields, motorcycle tires, motorcycle exhausts among the many other.

Nov 032012

By David Smallwood & Jan Emanuel-Costley

Like pioneering Black motorcyclist Bessie Stringfield traveled cross-country delivering classified documents for the Army during World War II, Jan Emanuel-Costley today rides the nation’s roads on her Harley to raise money for breast cancer research.

For three years, Jan, who goes by her road name “Sunny The Diva,” has spearheaded annual motorcycle fundraising treks with fellow lady biking enthusiasts for her non-profit organization, Divas For A Cure “DFAC” (www.divasforacure.org).

The three rides have covered over 25,000 miles and raised $123,200 for M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, Texas.  Harley-Davidson, the leading name in the motorcycle world, was the primary sponsor of the rides.

Stringfield, the first Black woman to ride across America on a motorcycle, was 16 when she learned to ride, as was Emanuel, in Oakland, where she grew up.

At 16, Emanuel was also diagnosed with a small cancerous cyst on her head that was removed, but returned later when she was 18, along with ear and jaw pain, and was removed again.

At 22, Sunny found the lump between her armpit and breast, but the doctor at the hospital she called said not to worry, she was too young to have cancer and wait to have it checked out at her next gynecology appointment.

After three months of pain, the lymph node area got inflamed and tender to the touch and when she called again, she says they said, oh, that’s definitely not cancer because cancer doesn’t hurt, and by the time cancer hurts, you’re almost dead.

“I was at work, but decided to just go to the emergency room anyway,” says Emanuel.  “The doctor said I needed to schedule a mammogram immediately.  The look on his face was tragic.

“After the mammogram he walked in and said you have breast cancer and we need to schedule you for a mastectomy.  His bedside manner left a lot to be desired.  I told him I was only 22, I came in the world with two breasts and I’m going to leave the world with two breasts, and you better figure out how to do it.”

Emanuel joined a study using newly developed laser techniques in conjunction with her hospital. The treatment worked, her breast was saved, and she hasn’t had a problem with it since.

Sunny The DivaBut Sunny, now 51 and married with four adult children, says her positive outcome was a result of early detection and her persistence that something was wrong.

“According to statistics, White women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, while minority women are more likely to die,” Sunny says.  “Black women normally take too long to do follow-up, to get tested, don’t have adequate medical insurance, and we’re not educated.  We’re definitely not pro-active and it’s still a hush-hush kind of disease.”

When Emanuel turned 28, she went into cardiac arrest and had a stroke.  An aunt, Mary Clemons, who was also her godmother and with whom she lived for part of her adolescent life, was her caregiver during this period.

Sunny says, “My aunt came over and took care of me, changed my bandages, helped me use the bathroom, nursed me back to health, cooked, helped me with the kids, made sure I went for my checkups –– the whole nine yards –– but never once did she say she was sick herself.  When she finally told us something was wrong, she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

“The doctors said the cancer she had was 95 percent curable had she caught it early, but it had advanced from her breast to her arm into her neck and into her brain.”

Jan was in the room with her aunt when she died.

“It was such a life-altering experience,” she recalls. “At around the same time, someone dared me to ride my motorcycle across country.  I said, not only will I ride across the country, I’ll get some other women to ride with me to raise money and we’ll donate it to a cancer foundation for research in my aunt’s name.”

A Room at MD Anderson Cancer Research Center dedicated in the name of Divas For A CureEmanuel says she picked the M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, Texas to receive donations because they are leaders in cancer research (currently ranked number one in the nation) and in treating minorities, especially African American women.  M.D. Anderson graciously agreed to name an exam room in its breast cancer center in honor of Divas For A Cure.

Emanuel in 1999 started her website, www.RealDivasRide.com, as an online motorcycle forum for women interested in the activity.  That site spawned www.DivasForACure.org, which provides information on the annual rides.

Because she rides a Harley, Sunny approached the company to ask for their support, and they obliged. (On her website there’s a section titled “Why A Harley?” followed by a one-sentence answer, “If I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand.”)

“We’re very excited about supporting their ride for the third year and supporting their initiatives to increase awareness and prevention of breast cancer; it’s a tremendous cause for us,” says Harley-Davidson spokesperson Karina Jaramillo. “We facilitate our relationship between the divas and many of our local dealers so they can come out to different dealerships during the course of their ride and do fundraising activities.”

A small group of women are selected to ride in the event each year.  The inaugural ride in 2006 was 8,600 miles from San Francisco to New York and back in 22 days. Eight divas started, and Sunny was the only one who finished, but $25,000 was raised.

“I quickly found out you should limit cross-country riding to just a few divas,” Sunny says.  “Anybody who calls themselves a Diva is going to probably have a personality, so with eight divas, there were some conflicts. Mix hot weather, motorcycles and long distances, and it becomes volatile, especially over 22 days.”

She repeated the event in 2007 to prove that the initial success was not a fluke.  This ride, with five divas, went 7,300 miles from Oakland to Maryland and back, and raised $50,000.

The 2008 ride  was 6,000 miles from New Jersey, down to Atlanta, up to Canada and back, and raised $35,000.  There were only four divas riding this time – Costley, the organization’s vice president AJ Coffee, Cynthia Marcy, and Elaine Thomas.

“It’s a very hard ride,” Sunny explains.  “Most people when they sign up think of a nice little leisurely cross-country tour – make stops, take pictures, shop.  It’s not like that.  After riding all day, all you’re looking for is a shower and pillow at Motel 6, Motel 4, even Motel 2 – you don’t care at that point!” she says.

USBCF, NJBSMC & the Motorcycle Community united in the effort.

The divas ride almost 500 miles a day, between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to avoid nighttime riding hazards, and have to keep to a strict timetable to honor their Harley-Davidson dealership appearances.

They are accompanied by members of the Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle club –– Sunny is married to the former national president of the organization, Thomas Costley –– and they are followed by a support van that carries their clothes, supplies, and food.

“People sign up to ride with us for a leg or two and they pay a registration fee, but after a (short) while, they’re like, ‘this is crazy, this ain’t no fun! All we’re doing is riding and sleeping!’  But I say, ‘And raising money!’  That’s the important thing,” Emanuel says.

It is very taxing on the body and finances to maintain an annual cross-country motorcycle trek, so in 2010 Emanuel and Divas For A Cure took some time off from the annual breast cancer run to recoup and reorganize.

Barb’s Harley-Davidson is a woman-owned dealership in Mt. Ephraim, NJ.  Barb and her staff actively support the community on all fronts. They were diligent in their efforts to help support Divas For A Cure and in 2010 took up the helm to support them on a local level.

In 2010, Barb kicked-off the First Annual Barb’s Harley-Davidson Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Ride to help continue the efforts.

Sue, KC, Sunny & Cindy

It is with the united efforts of Barb, her staff and the motorcycle community that DFAC can continue to make a difference.

In 2011, Sunny found another lump, so without hesitation she sought medial advice from a Breast Surgeon.  The surgeon determined that a lumpectomy would be necessary. Her advice was simple. Let’s not fool around with this. The surgery was slightly delayed due to a pre-existing heart condition.  The surgeon removed four growths and surrounding tissue.  The pathology report came back – “all margins clear.”

Jan Emanuel-Costley aka Sunny The Diva

The surgery was a success and Emanuel was back on her iron horse in no time.


Big RedAnd yes, it’s 2012 and she is still rolling.   Emanuel averages about 7 – 10,000 miles a year on her iron horse.


So, if a woman on a bright red Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic with pink bling on her helmet passed you on the highway – it was probably “The Diva.”