Many of us grew up during a time when stuff was pretty dam hard. I grew up with 3 brothers in Chicago. Mother worked two jobs most of her life and my Father who would have a huge impression worked in a steel mill. Times were tough, we lived in a cock roach invested 3 bedroom apartment on the Northside of Chicago in a mostly Latino neighborhood. My pops moved to Chicago when he was 14 from Oceana West Virginia. He lived a hard and screwed up life. His father,my grandfather was an old school coal miner and the meanest drunk West Virginia ever seen. I can remember being told a story about my grandfather. One day he got on one of his drunking rages and beat my grandmother up. The cops were called to the house, my grandfather was waiting for the sheriff on top of a hill. Everyone knew each other back then since the town was so small. He said ” Listen up Mike, I have one bullet in this revolver for you and one for me. Make your choice”. Lets just say the sheriff let the situation cool off. Dam Grandfather was so mean the town showed up to the funeral to make sure he was dead.
I now know those days for my father haunted him. He was also a drunk. A mean one at that. He would give us a beating for just about anything. One of the biggest mistakes that we could make as boys was for him to catch us crying or loosing a fight. I remember one time the school called. Told him I’d been in a fight at school and got a bloody nose or some crap. He specifically asked “Did he win? Cause if not he has another ass whooping coming when he gets home”. Yea the threat of an asswhooping from him installed in me if I ever got into a fight I better dam well make sure I did everything I could to win it.
When I was about 10 my father and his friends started hanging around a motorcycle club in the area. When I turned 11 he was a full patched member and always out on the weekends. During the week after he got out of work he would be hanging with his brothers. It was always a point of contention with my mother. After a while she just accepted him being gone all the time. Shit it actually was a quiet time around the house and ass whoopings got lesser the more he was with the club.
When I turned 13 my pops started bringing me around all the guys. It was a sight to see, all those Harleys and Triumphs was an amazing experience. My favorite part of being taken around the guys as a huge Rotty named “Rex”. It was the security for the clubhouse. Mean ass mother he was, but he was as nice as could be too me. As the year went on my pops would bring me to the clubhouse more and more. I became close friends with another members son. We are still the closest of brothers till this day. One thing that didn’t matter was race. It was a white/latino club. Being in a Latino neighborhood I was able to get the biker culture from both sides.
14 was the first time I got laid. Yes It was my birthday and my pops came up too me and told me to hit the back room. The room is where the guys held all of their meetings. I thought I was about to get my ass whooped and didn’t even know why. My pops closed the door and said make me proud. About 10 minutes later a 25 year old stripper came into the room and my world was rocked. My ol my can I still remember that day like it was yesterday. We were in the room for about 30 minutes, I blew my cherry bomb and she left the room. About 5 minutes later I heard my pops yelling for me to get out of the room now. When I came out all the guys from the club were out in the bar area yelling up a storm and giving me the high 5. Talking about becoming a man that day, and even better all those people cheering you on for popping your cherry.
Another big moment for me came when my pops got me a 1977 cb750 piece of shit when I was 15. Actually it was a frame and box of parts, couldn’t even call it a scooter because shit was everywhere and not assembled at all. “Here’s your ride, everyday after your chores and school I better see you putting this thing together.” He threw me a box of tools and I had at it. Man I remember I had no dam clue what I was doing. When I would ask my pops for help he smack the shit out of me and tell me if I could read I could do it my dam self. It took me a year and a half to get that bike up and running. I didn’t have nothing but a year and a half of busted up knuckles and pride with that dam bike lol.
By time I was 16 my pops was full time club member. Got rid of his steel mill job and told my mother he was finished. Couldn’t take the ragging any longer from her. I choose to go with my pops while my brothers chose to stay with my mother. My pops got a 1 bedroom house a few miles where I grew up. He had a stripper as a new ol lady, stupid bitch was high or drunk most of the time but she was cool too me. She was one of those broads that would make you shake your head every time she talked. I especially liked her because she would bring her friends over from the strip club all the time. Yea it was a high school kids dream let me tell you.
Tune in for Part 2 on Monday of the article which will talk about Hard Times for my pops and the club
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