Insane Throttle sends it’s condolences out to the Warlock Nation, family and friends of Grub 1%er. Godspeed and thank you for serving our country and showing the biker community how its done.
BY Dave Walters
I’ve deployed. I’ve served overseas. I’ve spent countless hours shifting back and forth through the stages of “Fuck we’re gonna die” and busting balls. The what seems like endless hours of bullshitting, card games, gear checks, patrols, trading Rip-its with Afghan kids so they’ll point out IEDs, and dreaming up all the shit you guys are going to do when you get home. That bond to those you share those moments with… Is the best fucking drug in the whole world. For a lot of us, it’s the hardest thing about being out of uniform. It is the thing that drives us to be the best Probates/Prospects we can.
I’ve never been to Vietnam. I never served aboard an Aircraft Carrier. I would guess though, that the similarities between those Brothers, and mine, was exactly the same. In the Mid 1960s, 13 Sailors would find themselves in those exact same card games. They had nicknames for each other like Grub, Kid, Scotty, Skip,Hate, Chico, the list goes on.
They served on the USS Shangri-La . She would earn three battle stars for service in Vietnam and was assigned to the 6th Fleet of Operations. The ship would be home-ported in Mayport Florida and apart of the active fleet until 1971, before being decommissioned and eventually used for parts for Lexington Class Carriers.
They killed time smoking cigarettes, drinking stale shipboard coffee and in between duties in the engine room and launching and recovering jets, these 13 sailors talked about their love of riding Harleys, partying, the great places to grab a burger on Jax Beach and all the tail they were gonna chase, and maybe get turned down by, when they returned home. One sailor in particular was igniting the fire under his Brothers. They talked about choppers, engines, rakes and trees. Fly wheels and do you really need breaks? That one Sailor was known to his friends as “Grub”. His real name was Tom Freeland and he was there as someone drew up a blazing eagle, which has remained unchanged since 1967. He talked of a name, “Warlocks” and how all 13 of them would get their discharges and start up chapters where they settled down.
In 1967 one of the 13, Scotty, would start the first chapter in Jax Beach. It was comprised of a few of the original 13 and some other sailors from off Mayport Naval Station. Unfortunately, with many members returning to Vietnam, some getting new duty stations in California, or getting out and starting families, the first Chapter closed down within a few years. Grub remembered the promise though. When he was finally discharged from the Navy in 1971 he returned home ready to ride. Ready to party. Ready to fly his Eagle. He started his chapter in Lockhart Florida, near Orlando. For some of the 13 though, the euphoria of being home from War, reunited with family, changed their desire to start a club. Not all, and certainly not for Grub.
If you look through Clubs today, those that have been around for awhile. Have had the staying power. No matter 99 or 1%, finding a 50 year member is a rare feet. Finding someone with the drive, love, passion, and ability to not only lead, but to know when to let someone else lead, and to continue on as a loved, and righteous Brother putting in over 50 years, is something we can all respect. That dedication to something bigger than himself is why you can find members today proclaiming the motto “God is Good, Grub is Great”!
Grub wasn’t the only Brother to hold his promise once he had his discharge in hand. His Brother Kid would also open up a chapter of the club. After his time on the Shangri-La, Kid would go home to Minnesota and found the second chapter of the club. A couple of days ago marked the 4 year anniversary of Kid’s passing. When he passed, in between attending funeral events, a few of his Brothers were able to go see the anchor from the USS Shangri-La which is on display in Litchfield, Minnesota. You can also see it’s propellers on display in a Seafood restaurant in Milford, Delaware if you’re ever so inclined.
I end this with my old saying. I don’t give a shit which team ya love and root for. 50 years of history deserves all our respect. oh and if Grub ever reads this, we still dream of the same shit and get turned down by just as much tail when we get home.