“It was me who noticed first, because when I'm here, I really enjoy seeing (Ryan) riding,” said Jan Brummett, visiting from Colorado in Ryan's oceanside neighborhood off Sunset Cliffs Boulevard near the corner of Osprey Street. “I saw him riding on Friday, and then Sunday he was walking. I asked him and he said, 'Somebody came and stole it out of my backyard,'” said Brummett.
So Brummett posted notice in Facebook on the OB crime watch site. “They (Obecians) immediately wanted to fund a new bicycle,” said Brummett. “They were outraged that someone stole a 90-year-old's tricycle.”
Brummett said it took all of three hours on GoFundMe.com to raise the donations needed to buy Ryan a beautiful new blue tricycle with a custom license plate, pinwheels and a basket on the back. It was all wrapped up with a big red bow for his tree that read: “For Doc Ryan. We care. Love from your OB community. Bike on!”
Discussing her motivation, Brummett said she's been disturbed about “all the hate that's going on” following the November presidential election.
“My mission now is to see that love trumps hate,” said Brummett, noting she belongs to a not-so-secret Facebook site called “pantsuit nation.” There are almost four million members since the elections, people of all backgrounds, who are concerned that there is going to be hate, and they tell stories of overcoming that,” Brummett said.
Brummett added she wears a safety pin denoting that “I'm a safe place, I'm approachable for people.”
Doc “Papa” Ryan's wife, daughter and his grandson were present on an early December Sunday afternoon to give the retired surgeon, who's lived in Point Loma for 45 years, his new ride. It was especially important since Papa has mostly lost his eyesight, except for some peripheral vision.
Doc Ryan almost couldn't believe his good fortune.
“I am very touched and extremely grateful,” he said. “I just can't believe all this kindness. I want to thank everybody involved.”
Ryan also asked everyone to pray for his son, John, whom he said was “extremely ill.”
“I wish all of you a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year,” said Ryan, who noted he rides his bike twice daily, in the morning and afternoon, along the three blocks between his home and St. Peter's Church.
Ryan said he's turning 91 on April 3. He then invited everyone in attendance to be a part of that landmark celebration.