Wednesday, March 6, 2013
A Mission :Epilogue
As I said at the start of this story, this wasn't going to be a great chopper opera. Just the story of one run amongst many that my old Club made before everything turned to shit. This was a story about Brothers who answered the call when it came without a hesitation. That's how the Club stayed until the end. By then, the road, the life, and maybe even Karma took us out. I am the last Patch Holder left alive, and it is for that reason that I find I can't give this story the righteous ending it deserves. It would have been a lie, this story has already climaxed. What follows is more of just a wrap up. I could have blown up a big hot fire fight like on TV, or in the movies. But that wouldn't have shown respect and honor to my fallen Brothers. The truth may not be as glamorous, but it does honor and respect the Brothers better than any glammed up lie ever could.
We made the run back from Union Gap with little trouble. It was warm and sunny all the way back up the east side of White Pass. Riding along the shore of Rimrock Lake was as pretty as ever, and it sort of set us all into a good mood. Following the two lane snaking up higher above the valley as we climbed, we made it easily to the summit of the pass. Doc was leading us along at a good clip. It wasn't long and we had rolled down the west side of the pass, and were heading into Packwood.
Doc signaled for us to pull up into the parking lot of a little bar alongside the highway. Once we were all parked out front, everyone got off the bikes and went inside. Except for the two prospects. Shine and Prospect John didn't need anyone to tell them to watch the bikes, it was understood. They just kicked back on the bikes and kept an eye on everything around as we relaxed with a quick beer. It wasn't long and we were fueled up and back on the road. We were back on I-5 less than 45 minutes after leaving Packwood.
Even though we knew that things could get dicey running through Tacoma, we weren't really too worried about it. We were just going to be ready if anything did happen. By the time we had crossed back over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge everyone had begun to relax. Even Swan was nestled up in the back of the truck, and comfortably keeping an eye out. As we pulled up to the Clubhouse, everyone was relaxed and in a good mood. We hadn't had any trouble along the way, and it had been a nice bright sunny day all the way home. A real milk run.
Life was good, and we were enjoying ourselves. We had no way of knowing all the changes that were coming along the road at us. But within the next eighteen months the Club would lose half its patch holders. Within four years or so, the Club would disband. Another year or so after that, I would be the last one to have worn the Colors and still been alive to remember it.
Doc would lose his life late one night when a car cut him off, and ran him off the road.
Shine was killed in Missouri on his way back home with Tennessee after a run on Club business. Another club took him out at a bar they had stopped at just to wash some dust out of their mouths. Both him and Tennessee were shot bad, but Tennessee would survive. Only to die a year or so later in a high speed crash on US 101 along the coast. Shine was buried with his cut, and his patch was voted in due to Tennessee saying he stepped up to cover him after Tennessee had been shot once already.
Swan was killed in Portland when some bitch in a pick-up was in too much of a hurry to make Happy Hour to see him at the red light. She rear ended him, and knocked him into the path of oncoming traffic.
Buck was shot in the chest at close range with a 12 ga. coach gun in his own front yard.
Big Ed died in the mid 80s from lung cancer.
Little John was the intentional victim of a hit and run by a van on the freeway.
Prospect John, who earned his patch about a month after this run, drowned after jumping off a waterfall in the Olympic mountains, and hitting his head on a rock a couple years later.
Rory was found in his bed, beat to death in '87 in Tacoma.
These were my Brothers. Even though it has been decades since I last saw any of them, they are never far from my mind, and always in my heart.
This is how I will end this story of our little rescue mission. With a heavy heart filled with Love, Loyalty, Honor & Respect for my Brothers. Knowing I will see them again someday.
Catch ya on the road sometime...