Saturday, February 21, 2009

Club NOT a Gang

Click on photos to enlarge!

"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.

Eric Hoffer

"The follies which a man regrets most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity." Helen Rowland

"The learned man knows that he is ignorant." Victor Hugo

Above is the "patch" of my old motorcycle club, Na Wahine O Mana, Women of Power (Spiritual Energy) that a few of us founded here in Honolulu in the late 1980's.
The winged wahine/woman is holding the island of Oahu aloft. The "Bottom Rocker," Aloha State, (our domain) must be unique to each MC, Motorcycle Club, and it is through negotiation with the existing clubs that a group is permitted exclusive use of such a "turf."
There was potential masculinist trouble and raised eyebrows over the display of "MC" by a group of women. But we were tough women: taxi driver (me) federal police officer (Sandy) postal worker ("Elvis") airline flight mechanic (Cheryl) and the toughest of all: Marci, the dental hygienist.
Marci and I had been hanging around the garage with our guy-pal "Rat" of the Devil's Breed MC (readers of my novel might recognize a tall, intelligent, good looking motorcycle guy with an animal nickname). We worked on our bikes, broke all the rules, and learned the inside lore of the MC culture back to the post WWII Hells Angels made up of veteran fighter pilots. Rat was no poseur. Us gals were young and somewhat reckless, so we were ready to fly the "MC" and not be anybodies lady's auxiliary.
Over the Waipahu Formica table the presidents of the guy clubs said: "You're good to go as far as that is concerned, but you're not an "MC."
"See those things outside?" Marcie asked. "Those are motorcycles. We ride them everyday; we fix them; we stick together. We are a Motorcycle Club."
And we had the patches made.
The first few times we "flew" them we were ready to brawl if necessary. But we were received with respect at roadside dives, and charity runs alike. No one knew what to make of us. Gay? (My husband enjoyed that!) They were only half right, but that's no never mind. . .
One time, a club was having a big party at their clubhouse. We allowed one of their guys to ride up front beside our president and show us the way. We roared over the pineapple fields onto the H-1 at highly illegal speeds, just inches apart in perfect two-by-two formation. The only headgear? Baseball caps.
When we got to the party and cut the motors (cars have engines and drivers; motorcycles have motors & riders) he turned to us with a wind-dazzled expression and asked: "Where did you all learn to ride like that?!"
"Like what?" I asked him.
No one ever bothered us. We earned the respect.
Marci might argue the point, but the winged wahine was my idea; the club name too. I enjoyed being vice president and letting her play lioness.
I also wrote the "official" Club poem:
Na Wahine O Mana
Objects of light
Riding at night
Windward side below the Pali
Mistress moon, come join her rally
Wahine riders free brave and kind
Together in one pack
Together of one mind.
R.I.P. Sistah Cheryl
A L O H A! Cloudia