Labor Day Memory

Bonehead and Doctor Death

The annual Labor Day run on the Big Island of Hawaii, was one of the events a Vagos M/C member could attend. There were a few events every year and you had to attend at least one. Usually everyone went to the Laughlin River Run or the Las Vegas New Year party because of their locations and access, but a lot of the brothers would fly over to Hawaii for the Labor Day run.

The charters here would lend out their bikes or help make rental arrangements for the mainland guys, there are parties all weekend, and there is a lot of beautiful riding to be done.

Now bikers have a lot of colorful road names and in fact I knew more road names than I did the Christian names. There was Tramp, Grouch, Blackie, Whitey, and one of my favorites, Bonehead.

Now my name, Storyteller, came with a certain expectation of stories at the drop of the hat and I tried the best I could. But with Bonehead and his crew, I outdid myself.

It all started about the fourth day into the five day “weekend”. We were all sitting at Jokers place, watching the fire, swapping stories and mixing liquors, when Bonehead with his wife and crew pulled in and made themselves at home. They had rented two vans, brought extra camping gear with them, and had been driving around the island just relaxing.

After a few beers one of Bonehead’s guys started complaining about where they had camped out the night before. He remarked it was like the kids in the neighborhood were out playing all night. He said they made so much noise he couldn’t sleep.

A sudden flash of devilish inspiration cause me to ask where they had camped. The men hemmed and hawed and finally one of the wives said they were camped at “Lapa something something.”

“Do you mean Laupahoehoe ?” I asked very quietly. The evil filter between brain and tongue  fell away.

“Yeah that’s it,” Bonehead replied. “Those kids kept us up almost all night. But whenever I looked outside I couldn’t see anyone.” I just sat there shaking my head.

By now I had everybody’s attention. I looked over at Joker and he was already starting to shake his head. He didn’t know here  I’d go with this, but he knew it would be good.

Before I go any further, you have to get an image of my audience. Most of these guys could pose for the centerfold of the San Quinten Gazzette. Bonehead  was a tall, shaven head, muscular  man with barely an inch of skin below the neck that wasn’t at least touched by a tattoo. Most of his crew was much the same build and none of them looked like the kind of person you’d want to meet in a dark alley. The kind of men that wouldn’t be afraid of anything.

I continued in a very soft voice,” The reason you couldn’t see them is because they aren’t  there. Not really.” Every eye and ear was on Bonehead and me.

“You see Bonehead, those kids are dead, but they don’t know they’re  dead. They were all killed when the tsunami of 1946 came in and the entire school was washed out to sea.”

Ever seen a tattooed guy turn white? I mean really white. It’s really sort of funny looking. That was Bonehead when he responded; “Oh man, don’t be telling me that shit.”

“Oh yes,” I continued. “The tidal wave came in so fast that people they didn’t have a chance to get to higher ground. There were only a few survivors. If you walk on the beach there is a stone monument with all their names. Those kids you heard were in school when it hit.”

I could see all my charter members grinning and barely hiding their laughter as the big scary bikers became big scared bikers. But it wasn’t over.

“Well”, Bonehead continued. “We ain’t staying there any more so it won’t bother us anymore. Monday we’re flying to Oahu and staying in Waikiki for the week.”

“What kind of stuff you have planned”, I innocently asked.

“Oh man, we’re gonna swim and sun and go paragliding and all that shit.”

“Well, be careful.” The hook was set and the trap was sprung. “Remember to watch the shark warnings on the beach before you go swimming and if you do the paraglide things remember to have them double cinch your harness. Just last week a Japanese tourist didn’t and she fell out of the harness at about 75 feet. It killed her.” Now at this time  Waikiki hadn’t posted a shark warning in the last 10 or more years and I don’t even know if they  can “double cinch” the harness. I was making this up on the fly.

And so it went the rest of the night.  Hang gliding? Guy crashed into the cliff wall and it took three days to get him down. Find a nice hiking trail.? Rockslide at Sacred Falls killed a whole class of  U H students. Deep sea fishing? Jaws.

Every time someone came up with an idea or suggested an activity, I’d be very nice and comment on how much fun that activity was but , and then I’d launch into some kind of  freaky accident that killed or maimed someone doing it. And I would make these “accidents” as freaky and messy as I could, but always with this sad face that said I’d really feel bad if someone in the group got hurt or killed because I didn’t warn them. All bullshit of course.

The night rolled on and I continued the comments and warnings, made up as I went along. I think some brought up things just to see what I’d come up with. I didn’t drop the ball the whole time.

 The next day everyone was breaking camp and getting ready to head home after a really fun filled weekend. As he and his crew rolled up their gear in preparation for leaving Bonehead greeted me with; “Morning Doctor Death”.

We all had a good laugh but like a professional wrestler I never dropped character. I didn’t see them during their week on Oahu, but I’m sure they had fun despite the “dangers”.

A few months later Julie and I and the Hawaii charters were in Las Vegas for the New Year’s Party. I got to tell you, it is something to walk into a Vegas casino and there are five or six hundred men wearing the same club patch as you.

As I was walking across the casino a big voice yelled out, “Hey Doctor Death”, making those three words last about 5 seconds. It was Bonehead, who promptly dragged me to the bar and we started celebrating the New Year. And he would continue telling the story of my stories to anyone and everyone all night long.

I finally asked him; “Bonehead, you know I was making all that shit up?”

“Yeah man, I knew that. But damn you were good and some of that stuff was freaking great.”

And with that we rang in the New Year.

About 2 years later a POS snitch named Hammer set up and rolled on several of the club members. Some of them ended up doing multi year sentences, including Bonehead who had been the charter P. I’m not saying he was an angel, but Bonehead deserved better than that.

Hammer died several years later due to an “accidental” drug overdose. He got what he deserved.

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