Sonny & Chuck
Two people who have inspired me to be a better man and try harder and give back to the 1%er world I've known.
Both are very different in how they traveled their journey in the world of the Red & White. But both had something
in common that they worked at and were always trying to figure out how to make it happen in a very rough
environment, to me, they both have earned their degrees in it. - Integrity, as I said before, big word. One is like me,
who figured it out the harder way, a man I can relate to and admire because he's had to over come so much and
turned out so much greater than anyone could have expected. He's
Ralph "Sonny" Barger. The other who has
always been a better man than I will ever be. When I first head of him and then read a book by him, I said this isn't
right, no Hells Angel can have this style and be real. That is until I read the first 42 pages of the book he came out
with in 2002. I made a mistake and judged a man by it's cover. Though not quite perfect, to me, he was damn
close to it. I was amazed how he kept his integrity and values in a world I had known personally, as non-
conforming, violent, and dangerous in every way, most every day. I would have followed
Chuck Zitto any where,
he was what I was always looking for as a club biker and man. A person I could be totally honest with and trust
with my life. If you read his book, "Street Justice", you will want to be a better man, club member, father, husband,
even an American. In the early days when we were young, we in the Dozen patterned ourselves after the Oakland
Hells Angels.  We felt our President, "Billy Burr" Breidell was so much like Sonny. When ever I'd here the song by
Blues Image, "Ride Captain Ride", I thought of Sonny and Burr. I think in those early days, what set us apart from
other clubs, maybe because we were in Old Arizona and the Code of the West was very much alive then and
honor was so important, that we would give our lives for each other. I experienced that very personally with my
bothers. There was a instance one time with some very tough solo bikers out of California. I found out that one of
them was a knife man and he was a bad fucker. I got word he was looking for me and was going to castrate me on
site. Myself, and 3 of my brothers were going to find them in Tempe at our bar, Casa Loma, that night. I putted
over late in the afternoon to a little hunting and sport shop in Mesa and bought a hard catcher's cup, met up with
my brothers about 8:30 and went to the Casa Loma. Their bikes were out front, in we went, the place was packed
with college people , hippies, and the regular crowd. I lost Cheeta for a few minutes and turned around to see him
with blood all over him. He said, "Let's go brother. That asshole won't be looking for you now." I had to take a leak
and guess who was there in the bathroom. I said, ‘great. now I can take this fucking cup off". It was killing me.
Cheeta and I always had each other's back. He was the most fearless man I ever knew. When we were in a tense
situation, if Cheeta was there, I was never worried, no matter how violent it was. When he wasn't, it wasn't that
way. I felt we all had to pony up a lot more, because he brought so much to the table. In a heavy outlaw club, you
have to have a wise leader, not the toughest or the biggest, or craziest, but the smartest. As Sonny went through
his journey in life, I kept my eye on him, read everything and anything the Feds were doing to his life.

He never wavered from who he was and he was a leader men of conviction could follow. To me, a leader is a man
who if he calls on you to do a job, you have to believe, have the convictions and have no doubt he would do it too.
As Sonny got older, he acquired more of what all men really need as we get older - wisdom. He wrote a little book
in 2004 that I keep by my bed along with another treasured book, "The Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald
Chambers, which is about God. Sonny's book is about ‘life' and how to be a better person so God will not have to
be sitting on our chest so much getting our attention. So Sonny's book is rightly called "Freedom". If you don't want
Oswalds book, at least spend $15 and get Sonny's. It will be worth it.

In the middle seventy's, my life was starting to unravel somewhat. I had become so absorbed in club life I had lost
balance, something I tend to do when I  believe in something too deeply, going too far with things, believing we as
1%ers were the only ones who were right. Ours lives were constantly in danger, we were at war with two clubs,
we couldn't fly our patch for 4 months when riding alone or 2 or 3 of us, as being shot off your scoot was a reality
each day. I was knee deep in heavy situations all the time, totally committed. My father was a hunter, one of his
best friends who he hunted with every year happened to be head of the State of Arizona FBI located in Phoenix.
On a hunting trip, he got my father alone and said, "Sherman, you're one of my closest friends so I'm going to be
very frank and honest with you. Your son is going to go down and he's going to go away  for a long time, he really
needs to leave immediately or it's going to happen. I was making really good money working in our family business
that my father and his father had bulit for 3 generations, and my father didn't want to loose me, but he knew his
friend was serious and it was very possible I may go away for a life in Prison. He told me they were on to me. I had
ducked a lot of close calls with club business, but felt now they had been building cases on me. I figured I'd turn
my patch in, go away for awhile, not knowing at the time it would be many years. Myself, Cheeta, Fat Al, Bombo,
Hog Jimmy were always on the front lines, it was just expected of us. I shocked my brothers at Church that week
and just said, I need to go away soon, out of respect, I'm turning in my Patch, handed it to the Warlords (Sargent
in Arms now) and rode off on my scoot to start making plans to leave my life in Arizona. The next day, the
Warlords showed up at my front door, Cheeta and Al, my friends and brothers. They just handed my Patch to me
and said, "the Club says No. You go do what you got to do".

Dad called his friend in the FBI and said my son is inactive now. Two agents came to our business to talk to me
but my dad said I was not around. I made a few more runs but kept a low profile and eventually left and went to
Canada. My name was called many years at Church night. When I knew the club was going Red & White, I held a
ceremony in the Canadian Rockies with myself and burned my Dirty Dozen Patch out of respect to the great club it
was. Then a powerful thing happened, Hells 21M was finally conceived that had began in 1966 with a few of us
and our commitment to the HAMC and their leadership. Other than my children and their mother, it's the most
sacred thing in my life. My mother even died on 8-21 last year. Today I have the right to live in the US, my past is
history and everything that has happened to me has been for my well being and I chose every second of life, both
good and bad.

Recently, I was pulled over by 2 city patrol cars followed by 1 more, a felony stop. The main cop was the most
respectful officer I ever had to talk to. Ten minutes earlier I had been riding on the I-5 without a helmet, that's
California. Now I was in city jurisdiction. They pulled me over for a Patch check. The officer asked me about 15
questions in about a minute and a half, one after another, I just kept saying I can't tell you anything. He stated he
rode and I could tell he understood some what of club or 1%er policies and didn't pursue any more pertinent
questions. The other cops set up their parameter and another did the usual, photos of my scoot, of me front and
back side. The main officer wanted to talk and told me where he like to take his bike to have serviced. I told him
that was the crew I was with and told him it was the premier bike shop on the West Coast, at least that was my
opinion. He said they were stand up men and respected them and the shop. He could as easily have written me
for 3 or 4 so called violations, yet instead thanked me and handed my papers back. He treated me with the
absolute kindness and respect and did something very important to me, he never sat me down on the curb or
cuffed me but let me stand and talk to him as a man. As I turned to walk back to my scoot, he said good luck and I
turned to him and said you're a good man. I called my friend, owner of the shop and asked about the cop. He said
he was a pretty good one. I told my friend because he treated me with respect, he owned me, and I would have his
back as a man. We can never tell who's going to do what all the time, that's why we have to watch what people
do, not what they say.

We as old Dozen members lost another brother recently. His name was Bill "Pappy" Carrol. Pappy was a
Maricopa County Sheriff Officer for a few years in his early 20's. He saw the light and came to us prospected and
became a life long member, a true 1%er until he died. He and I rode many good miles together. He was a big man
for those days about 6'3, 250. He was one of the best men I ever got to know, and we as a club would have lost
out not having him as a member. (There's a little caption in the Photo Gallery about a time he was shot taking care
of business) Each person is different in the path that leads you to become a 1%er club member. We sure don't
want to miss any good men.




        
Tic said Sonny is a special
person that God has used for His
purpose, not only to teach Sonny
but all of us about what to do and
not to do. Sonny was called of
God because he was man
enough to take it, go to the limit
and stay true to his convictions,
his mistakes, his achievements
and victories to his deep set
backs and lonely time. Coming
from a very hard beginning he
acquired what all of us need in
the end - Respect.

I assure you Sonny Barger will go
down in history like Jesse James
or Butch Cassidy, an American
legend, a complex man we feel
good about.


          "TIC"

                                                                                      Blinded by the Light;  Manford Mann
                                                   
                                                  
                                                                                     
 Piece of my Heart;  Janis Joplin
.... figuring out life -
the great past,  our
best teacher for the
future ...
Arizona country:  1966-1996 Dozen Land.  Now HAMC
Sonny -  Magoo's Day
Early Jacob Lake runs - 1970's
Kenny Dunn - Bombo