Now don’t get me wrong, being a Charter President did mean some fun moments.
For many years, a weekend night hangout was the “Sand Island R&B” club. Friday and Saturday nights and most Sunday afternoons would usually find a double row of motorcycles parked in front and around the side. Add in the fact there was a low class titty bar just a few yards away, you had the “almost” perfect biker spot.
Eventually, like all good things, people came along and spoiled and screwed the whole thing up, but it was fun for many years.
R&B’s as it was referred to, had mostly acceptable food, cheap drinks, waitress’ that liked and/or dated bikers, and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
The guys would get into conversations and sometimes the ladies would dance together. Not uncommon.Every now and then a “civilian” would try to cut in on the dancing ladies, usually they would just get told no and they’d walk away. But of course, every once in a while there’d be one that wasn’t familiar with the system and stronger measures would have to be taken. This was one of those nights.
Two other charter P’s and I had some club business to discuss so the ladies knew they would have to entertain themselves for a while. The band was good so they decided they wanted to dance. So they did. A good time was being had by all. The men finished the club business and were just watching the old ladies when a fairly drunk local guy decided he was going to dance with all these lonely ladies on the dance floor. He stepped out and started show his best moves.
As he tried to dance with each of the ladies, one by one they would turn their backs on him. Undaunted, he kept trying until he found himself in front of Julie.
I keep saying that Julie is what every biker wishes his ol’ lady would be.
As the drunk starts gyrating in front of her, she stops, looks him right in the face and says; “Go away. These are my bitches!”
Then she turns her back on him and starts dancing again with her “bitches”.
This poor slob was completely baffled. Since all the dancing ladies were wearing jackets with a green patch on the back saying “Property Of …” it suddenly occurred to him he might be in the wrong place.
We didn’t even have to stand up, he just walked away shaking his head, and the women broke out in gales of laughter.
There was another small club on Beretania my group began going to on Saturday nights. It had a big parking lot, glass windows to watch the bikes, reasonable prices for food and drinks, and internet jukebox and 2 pool tables.
We’d go here 2 or three times a month, spend 5-6 hours, pay our bill and go home. It wasn’t like the chapter “claimed” the bar as its own. We’d show up, have a good time, and leave. Like many bars there were “buy me drink” girls looking for a customer, a surly bartender who’d pad a tab any chance she’d get and of course tough guys thinking they’d kick some bikers ass to prove how tough they were or some such.
That sort of thing happens were ever bikers hangout. It usually ranges from loud mouths seeing how far they can push , drunks that seem to think they’re really much more important than they are, and all the way to guys that take a cheap shot and suddenly find all the brothers taking a piece of their ass.
A lot of those you can see coming and be ready to respond. Sometimes you just got to be confident.
We showed up at the small place to find almost the whole parking lot full, but very few people could be seen inside through the windows. What we didn’t know is the bar wasn’t doing that well so they open a small casino on the second floor. That floor had no front windows so it couldn’t be seen. They’d also put in heavy steel gates at the bottom of each stairway, hired a couple of organized crime boys to run it, and away they went.
Due to the now, heavy traffic, one of the OC guys hired one of his wet brain, muscle-bound, nephews to watch the parking lot, so when we pulled into the usual spot he started telling us where we could, and couldn’t, park. Since he’s trying to tell us to park around the corner I politely said no thank you and directed the crew to park in front of the windows. Hey, the space was open.
Wetbrain didn’t like that. He starts yelling, then starts cussing, and starts telling he’s going to fuck me up. Since I was with 11 other guys, who rode for me, you can probably figure out this was not something that could be considered a good idea. Don’t tell an M/C charter P, in front of a large group of his members that you’re going to fuck him up. You’ll be in for a big surprise finding yourself surrounded by a bunch of angry bikers who really want to start hitting you, a lot.
Wetbrain didn’t get it. He starts kicking off his rubber slippers and pulling off his t-shirt to show he really means business.
There must have been somebody with some sense watching from upstairs because a big, black, Ford F-250 pickup pulls into the parking lot, fast, and pulls to a very hard stop.
As the driver gets out, I was pretty sure this was the guy in charge so I turned my back on Wetbrain and directed my attention and conversation to the new arrival.
The driver was about my age, and somewhat larger, but he had to look of a “business man”, someone that is respected, used to giving orders and knows when to pick his battles
I stepped forward, introduced myself and the crew, shook his hand, and told him we weren’t there for any trouble, just a few drinks and some pool.
It surprised him when I told him we hadn’t know the place was protected and certainly weren’t there to upset anything or anyone.
He responded in the same polite manner, and apologized for “his man” getting out of hand. If all we wanted were some drinks, the first round was on him. The conversation was going well until Wetbrain starts yelling really loud, about how he’s going to teach the “fucking haole (me) a lesson”.
At this exclamation, Hyde walks between Wetbrain and the two of us talking. Facing Wetbrain, Hyde asks me if he can handle this problem.
Background: Hyde was a former U.S.A.F. officer, a Para-Rescue Officer. He also graduated from Harvard, taught military unarmed combat, and ran marathons for fun. Hyde was a very tough, well trained SOB.
Wetbrain is now dancing and making “big body” while moving side to side, but not forward. He’s obviously waiting for the ok from his boss, the guy standing next to me.
I quietly, because the only one being loud was Wetbrain, ask Hyde;
“You want him?”
“Sure Boss”, Hyde responded.
I look at the pickup truck and said; “You take real good care of your truck. Just like we do our bikes. Maybe we need to finish this so there won’t be any accidents while we’re inside.”
“Tell you what”, I reached into my cutoff’s pocket. “I got three hundred here that say’s Hyde will take him in out in less than 2 minutes if he doesn’t spend it all running away.” You could almost hear Hyde’s smile.
The Boss looks at me, looks at Hyde, and looks at Wetbrain.
“Talu”, he said loudly. This was the first time he’d raised his voice. “Shut the fuck up and get upstairs. I’ll talk with you when the grown-ups are done.”
Wetbrain looks liked he’d been bitched slapped. He started to open his mouth when the Boss spoke again. “NOW!”
This was the one guy Wetbrain wasn’t going to argue with, ever. He headed upstairs looking like a kicked puppy.
I’m figuring this is about to lead to someplace between a couple of rounds of drinks and a business opportunity. But alas, it was not to be. Someone watching from the second floor said “five oh” just loud enough to be heard.
I turned my head to the side and told the crew;
“Light ‘em up. We’re leaving.”
Everyone headed back to their bike.
As the 2 patrol cars pulled into the parking lot, the Boss and I shook hands like old friends.
I stepped over to my bike, Julie was already seated, and as I swung my leg over he said, “Another time. I still owe you a round of beers”. He was smiling.
“Next time”, I responded.
Since everything was quiet and peaceful, the cops didn’t even get out of their cars. We just rode off into the night, to another bar.
Just a couple of additional notes to wrap this up.
We called our club Brother Hyde as in “Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde”. He had a quick fuse and was really very dangerous in “Hyde” mode. There had been no doubt of that outcome.
We never got those beers. It seems the nightclub had been under police surveillance the whole time. There was an undercover vehicle set up across the street. Two weeks later the bar, upstairs and downstairs, was raided. Somewhere between 40 and 50 people, including the Boss and the Wetbrain, were arrested and the whole place shut down.
Damn, I hate not getting free drinks.
As we had ridden away that night Julie leaned into me and whispered into my ear, “Honey, did you know he had a gun between the seats in the truck?”
That would account for his hurry to roll up the windows when the cops had pulled in.
“No,” I said. “But you got my back, right?”
“Shut-up” she answered with a slap to the back of the head.
It’s probably better I hadn’t known.
Damn, that could have gotten real interesting.