Wind & Fire Motorcycle Club International President: John Robbins
Dallas Firefighters Chapter #8 Chapter Director: Richard Jolly
Chapter History Through 2005
We fly our colors at Willie’s Lounge in Dallas. Twice a month, come rain or shine, we meet at Willie’s for club business, and any other b.s. we can throw in. It’s our favorite hangout, party spot and a starting place for many of our rides and rallies. We give great big thanks and hugs to owner Jackie Ragsdale and bartender Paula Watson.
Chapter #8 started out in 1992 with Jimmy Jones as the “Texas Chapter President”. He was soon joined by Bob Keavney, James Keene and others around the state in Lubbock and San Angelo. As Wind and Fire spread in Texas, other chapters were established and Chapter #8 became Dallas Firefighters Chapter #8. Today we have 22 active dues paying members and 6 active associates. We also have 16 inactive members that we are working on. Let’s roll!
We started 2005 with our inaugural “Los Bomberos, Cruisin & Boozin” Caribbean cruise. Since we can’t usually go riding in February due to the weather, member Pete Ivie and cohorts dreamed up going on a cruise while they were drinking in a bar in Galveston. The “Lone Star Rally”, proved to be the perfect catalyst in a game of “I will if you will”, and that’s how sixteen members and associates ended up in Cozumel. Ten of us went to Senor Frog’s… Pete & Jan Ivie, Mike & Susan Dorety, Johnny & Diane Quarles, Gary & Mindy Lovell, Ron & Karen Hyde all donned balloon hats and saluted the members not there! Others on the cruise included W&FMC member David & Debbie Smith and DFD fellow bike riders Lucio Gonzales, George Gamez and their better halves. Little did Pete know he was starting a tradition. Over sixty members, associates and friends are signed up for the 2nd Annual Los Bomberos Cruise, February 2006, going to Key West, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. W&FMC colors ahoy!
As part of the International designated charities, Parkland Burn Camp I-Thonka-Chi, is our special baby. We plan all year, in conjunction with the Irving Chapter #58, to have a great Burn Camp Run and help some deserving kids have a great time. Started in 2003 by Chapter Presidents Richard Jolly of Dallas and Bruce Riebly of Irving, we have raised over $28,800 for burned kids. In 2005 under Chapter Presidents Richard Jolly of Dallas and Rebel Burkhalter of Irving, we were honored to deliver a ceremonial check to Meridian, TX in the amount of $16,000, our best effort ever! The kids and members both had fun. The details of the organization and the run itself are a separate page. Kudos to every member that had a hand in making this happen and get ready…We plan on increasing that amount every year.
Our other “baby” is the W&FMC Southern Rally in Austin, TX. It was a great success this year with members coming from Florida, California, Illinois, and of course, all over the great State of Texas! Mike Dorety from Dallas, inherited the job of Assistant Rally Director when Bruce Riebly from Irving decided to retire and move at the same time as the rally. Mike did a great job, visiting Austin on several occasions to set-up hotels, parking and rally points with other statewide members. Rebel B designed our Southern Rally shirts and they were a huge success. Gary & Jennifer Freeman from Dallas and Goose Giesecke from Irving set-up trailers at the rally site so we could party under our colors and watch the parade of other bikers and wannabe’s pass by. Across the road from us was the Houston W&FMC, so we could catcall to each other all night. We imbibed a few at Jackalopes, had a great scenic run to Hanover’s in Pflugerville. Then , somehow, we all ended up on stage for a motley group picture! We had a great time and met some fine fellow bikers. No rain and the wind felt good going home. Good job Mike , et al.
Over the years, Chapter #8 has had three occasions to help other firemen who have been injured on the job. Life in a injured fireman’s house is hard enough without the worry of bills mounting up. So we have passed the boot and organized fund drives to give a little cushion for those families. We raised over $44,000 for Dallas Firefighters Dan Carter, Eric Beale and in 2005, Stuart Wall, mostly from fellow firefighters! Let’s hope we don’t have anymore anytime soon. Stay Safe.
Saturday, July 23rd, found a good group at Jerry Rushing’s house for a Chapter 8 Blowout. Gary & Jennifer started cooking on Friday and some twenty beers later they had some great barbeque. We all brought sides and more beer to go with it. Richard set up some great canopies to keep us cool from the July Texas sun! Claude & Cindy, Gary & Mindy, Bo & Linda, Johnny & Diane, Pete, Larry and Hoyt joined in the fun. Dale Hendrick and John Zaby came by. Jerry ‘s son Matt shared his great musical talent and Jerry even played some his own CD, at the urging of his gal friend Lisa Moss. Richard brought his sons, their appetites and their mini-bikes!
Some folks like to live on the edge, nearest the danger zone. Others like to see the edge from a safe distance, and live to tell the tale. Firemen are in the first category. So it was no surprise when Jerry Rushing got on that mini-bike to try and catch Jennifer in a roar around the backyard. About twenty yards into his run, Jerry caught his foot on the shifter and fell sideways causing lots of merciless hooting from the group. The big surprise was that Jerry had actually broken his ankle! “No kidding, guys”, he said… “It really is broken”. While some of the laughing firemen untangled Jerry from the bike, Bo and Richard grabbed a couple of pieces of firewood to set his leg until the ambulance got there. Lucky there were so many helpful firemen there. Jerry was very calm and kept apologizing for ruining the party, but Jennifer assured him that we would all stay and finish the beer. Leave it to Jerry to throw a really memorable bash!
Hill City, SD … riding in the Black Hills through Custer National Park, on Needles Highway, past the pigtails, through the tunnels into the light and your first glimpse of Mt. Rushmore! What a stunning location for our W&FMC National Rally. Six Dallas members and associates made the run up through Oklahoma and Nebraska or New Mexico and Colorado. Either way it was over 1100 miles of throttle down, big wind in your face, butt-numbing riding. Larry Clearman and Nova, Gary and Mindy Lovell, Roland Cale and David Smith were sure glad to see the Mangy Moose Saloon open in Hill City. If you haven’t made the ride to the Black Hills, make plans to go soon. 2005 is the first year that Hill City closed off the main drag from cars, allowing bikers to park in the street. It was full up to the curbs. Nova and Mindy had a great time selling Chapter T-shirts on the street. We had a group picture made with W&FMC Founder and CEO, Jerry Eibert and International President JR Robbins and wife Carol on the porch steps of the Alpine Inn, rally HQ. JR and Carol led the parade of members through Hill City on a scenic route down ribbon roads, valleys and hills to the Keystone Volunteer Fire Dept. where the local firefighters greeted us and provided a shady pit stop for our poker run. We ended our ride in Rockerville at The Gaslight Restaurant. A last draw on the poker run, pictures in the parking lot and then it was inside to eat and hear who won the prizes. This year was especially good for the Dallas Chapter. Richard Jolly designed our Chapter T-Shirt and won first prize at National, resulting in a new W&FMC banner for Chapter #8. Gary Lovell received a bronze statue of a W&FMC motorcycle in recognition of his ride to all four regional rallies two years in a row, 2004 and 2005. (He plans to do it again in 2006, come hell or high water.) The rain came over the hills as some of us made our way back to Hill City, and some rode back to Sturgis. We all felt the special camaraderie of fireman as we said good-bye and good ride to W&FMC bikers from around the world: Canada, England, Belgium, France, Ireland and all over the United States
No ride is more moving than “The Ride to Remember”, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado every September. In 2005, Hoyt Hubbell and Bo Culp represented our chapter at this special recognition of fallen firefighters from the USA and Canada. The ride starts in Denver and ends at the Firefighter’s Memorial in Colorado Springs. All along the route people stop their cars and trucks and cheer the riders in tribute to the bravest of the brave. Fire trucks and engines line the overpasses and flags cover the countryside. It is a ride that every fireman should make. We are proud that W&FMC Chapter #8 has been part of it all since 2002. .
Every year the NFLPA Retired Players , Dallas Chapter, build a Holiday House for a needy family picked out by the retired players. For the last four or five years, members of our own Chapter 8 have contributed much needed labor. In 2005, Richard Jolly, Jerry Rushing, Hoyt Hubbell, Bo Culp, Claude Bullard and Gary Lovell spent a couple of days in December painting inside and out of the Holiday House, helping in this great charity.
Throughout the years, our members ride in many events and this year was no exception. Our colors were flown in 19 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, ,Kansas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. We even wore our colors in Cozumel, Mexico.
These are some of the events we attended: W&FMC Eastern Rally and Daytona Bike Week, W&FMC Southern Rally and ROT, W&FMC Western Rally and Hollister 4th of July, W&FMC National Rally and Sturgis Bike Week, Dallas/Irving Burn Camp Run, Camp I-Thonka Chi Run, Hill Country Ride, Los Bomberos W&FMC Cruise, Ride to Remember, Roar by the Shore, NFL Holiday House, Ellis County Toy Run, Tri-City Toy Run, Rockwall County Christmas Parade
Our year ended with a great Christmas party at Gary & Mindy’s house. We had lots of food , beer and laughter around the fire pit. Pete & Jan, Diane & Johnny, Jennifer & Gary, Claude & Cindy, Jerry and son Matt, Mike D and Richard. Matt played his guitar and some new songs. Gary & Mindy’s kids and grand-kids came by to check out the Chapter #8 cake. After a fast “dirty santa” gift game, we enjoyed the fire, the stars and the company.
We look forward to 2006... Keep it in the wind.
Active Dallas Chapter Members for 2005: Richard Jolly - Chapter Director, Jerry Rushing - VP, Ken Sutcliffe - Secretary, Jennifer Freeman - Treasurer, Gary Lovell - Road Captain, Mike Dorety - Assistant Southern Rally Director, Gary Freeman - Sergeant-at-Arms. Claude Bullard, Roland Cale, Bo Culp, Ken Dunnigan, Denny Hagen, Hoyt Hubbell, Pete Ivie, Dusty Ledbetter, Johnny Quarles, Reid Russell, Robert Russ, Tim Seymore, David Smith, Daryle Stevenson, Paul Walukas.
Associate Members: Paul Jacobs, Jan Ivie, Diane Quarles, Marti Stevenson, Scott DePaw, Cindy Bullard
and Mindy Lovell.
Inactive Members : Jimmy Jones, Bob Keaveny, James Keene, Rodger Schuelke, Larry Clearman, Brian Partington, Henry Castro, Contreras Sandini, Gary Teer, Gary Teer Jr, Mike Otto, Devin Holt,
Pat Murphy, Ron Franks and Sammy Williams.