In 1995, I met Wino Willie Forkner and J.D.John Cameron at the Ft. Worth Boozefighters clubhouse. This happened to be a weekend that saw me becoming a Boozefighter. After partying all night with Willie, I remembered what it was about clubbing that made it a large part of my life, it is the brotherhood, no matter what the age of the brother. In 1996, four other members and myself were expelled without cause from the Ft. Worth chapter. Not only were we kicked out, but we never had a chance to face the charges against us or present our case to the club. I don’t want to get off on a rant about the specifics of the hypocrisy that led this decision by a few people, let’s just say it was deep. In an unprecedented move, 25 members walked when the five of us were kicked out. It was quite a statement for half a chapter to do this.
Meanwhile, Scooter and Joe B were renting the back of the Betsy clubhouse using it for a paint shop. They had a nice little business painting forklifts for the Miller Brewing Company. Things were getting tense between the National and the Fort Worth chapter. After we remodeled the clubhouse and after doing most of the work all the time, the National guys wanted to tell us what to do and how to act. Then in the end of 1995 it happened, Gary Rye died.
There wasn’t anyone to be the peacemaker between the National and the Fort Worth chapter. The split began to happen. There was a deal made to sell the clubhouse to the local Fort Worth chapter because we had done all the work to make it successful. Two brothers would put the clubhouse in their name, Bruce Beltramini and Daygo. The papers were drawn up, earnest money given and escrow started. The National had this crazy idea of incorporating and selling stock. Gary Rye and Doug Baron had trademarked Wino’s Boozefighter name and the bottle emblem, which they had gotten from Wino. Now with Gary dead, the trademark belonged to Baron. They called a National meeting in Mississippi to have a vote on the issuing of stock and incorporating. Wino was dead set against the idea of taking his motorcycle club and turning into a for profit corporation.
In the Mississippi meeting, different chapters argued for and against the selling of stock. When one guy let the attendees know that the founder, Wino Willie, hated the idea, Big John got up and told the crowd that Wino was nothing but an alcoholic and a drunk and didn’t have any say in club business. They did a show of hands from all the members and it was to close to call so they had a new vote. Each chapter got one vote. In the end, the Robber Baron and Big John got their way.
Here are a few more wordsabout the Texas twenty-five.
These brothers felt like we were the true Bfers in Ft. Worth and in order to show our support of Wino and the old guys, we put a W patch on our BFMC colors instead of the numbers the rest wear. Wino Willie issued us a charter in 1996 at JD John’s funeral.