Tuesday, November 18, 2008

City Council Backs Out of 2009 Rally

Well folks they’ve done it again. The Hollister City Council has cancelled our rally once more. There are some diehards like myself that would like to believe that there is still hope but after thirteen years of fighting for this rally I’m getting a little weary.

With the help of a couple of rally faithfuls, both that run non-profits that benefit from the rally, we circulated and collected seventy surveys to businesses asking how they felt about the rally. Sixty of the returned surveys were pro-rally with many suggestions about what people would like to see changed. Two were neutral and seven were solid no’s. The no people all said the same thing. If it costs the taxpayers it’s not worth it. They were also clear that it inconvenienced them or did not benefit them.

To all of you no’s out there and our city council I say, “Can’t you see the big picture?” The rally is Hollister heritage. We are the birthplace of the American Biker. Our history speaks for itself. Turning your back on your town's heritage because you can’t seem to figure out how to put on a rally that is financially viable is ludicrous. Every year the city council debates if we should have a rally. If they would have fully embraced it thirteen years ago we would have a rally that rivals Sturgis by now. There are as many people in the city of San Jose as there are in the entire state of South Dakota. Local law enforcement certainly would not like to see 200,000 people descend upon us. I think we already have more than enough officers on hand every year to handle the situation.

Our chief and the council are very worried about a Hells Angel – Mongel altercation. They have been bucking heads all over the place so I agree that we do need to be prepared. It should not however keep us from having a rally. Sturgis has the Outlaws, Sons of Silence and the Angels to deal with but their rally continues. Laughlin had a shoot out between the Angels and the Mongols for pity sake and still did not cancel their rally. We have had twelve rallies and one non-rally without an altercation. I believe it was 2005 when the two rivals had a stare down. To hear Mayor Emerson tell the story, it took every cop in town including the Highway Patrol to keep the clubs apart. I have talked to many people between the ages of 25 and 85 that were there during “the incident” and they tell quite a different story. Yes it was great that law enforcement was there. Their presence kept things under control. The way they have blown what happened out of proportion to scare the public is just wrong. I’m sure things look different through cop’s eyes than bystanders but there is quite a discrepancy in the stories. If I lived in the kind of fear that the chief does about these clubs I would never sleep at night.

I’m thrilled to say that my trust is in a higher place and God has been taking darn good care of us at Johnny’s for thirteen years. A favorite Proverb of mine is 29:25 which says,”The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on trusts in and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” Yes I know bad things happen to good people and it is a crazy world we live in but living in fear is not an option for me. Putting my personal fears and interests before others is not my way either. If I was truly the only business that benefited from the rally I would certainly not continue to fight for it. I know I am not because of my surveys and the many conversations I had with business owners that didn’t take the time to fill one out. I left reminder cards about the Monday night meeting with every business. How many do you suppose showed up? Very few! The complacency of people who say they care is a real irritation to me. If the Hollister Motorcycle Rally is truly dead it isn’t because I didn’t do everything that I could to keep it going. Let’s all pray for a miracle. It would have to be a miracle that involved some serious cash.

Thank you for your time,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Sign

The Booze Fighters came through for us again. When our old A frame sign mysteriously disappeared it was replaced by a wonderful new one donated by our guys in San Diego. ?

AKA Frogman to us and Charlie Bailey Jr. AKA Rebel accompanied by Dozzer delivered the new sign Thursday 8-30th. We had a great time together. Dozzer acted like he owned the place. We always look forward to visits from our Boozefighter Buddies and it's great when they bring presents like our new sign.

Thanks again fella's. We can't wait to see you again.

Delta Company & Wolfy

We have some great friends at Johnny's that are headed for Iraq. The Delta Company 1st/ 185 Brigade Combat Team all met at Johnny's on August 11th for a send off party. Here's a slideshow link to the party pics. Since we were having new carpet and linolium installed the party was held on our patio. I decided that Wolfy our Johnny's mascot who has been on a variety of road trips with Johnny's personel should go along for a big adventure. Wolfy has been to Oregon with Sylvia, Santa Maria for a bike show with me and Sacramento for a great wedding. This trip will be hard to top. The Delta team will be taking him more places than I can mention on the way to Iraq. He will be accomanied by SFC Cole, SSGT Basilo, SSGT Mendoza, SGT Le, SGT Preston, SP4 Fuentes, SP4 Mctyre and SP4 Ramirez. They have promised to look out for Wolfy as well as their team and keep us updated with photos and stories. I am hoping that this blog site will be a good way to keep track of our guys and keep up on how they are doing. This is the second and even third tour for some of them. We can not thank them enough for their dedication to our beautiful country. We should all be praying for their safety and welfare. I am looking forward to pictures and updates soon.

God Bless you guys and God Bless America.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

July 4th and the 2008 rally

Hi there everyone. Sorry it took so long to write an update. I got caught up from a couple of killer weeks and then was floored when my mother in law had a major stroke. She seemed perfectly healthy the day before then boom. She's getting better every day but still can not talk or eat. All prayers are appreciated.
So how was the fourth of July weekend and the rally? Absolutely fantastic! My crew agrees that all in all it was the best rally we have ever had. We have made more money in the past but it has never gone as smoothly. The people that came to Johnny's were wonderful. Law enforcement was even great. They came through often to check ID's but were always pleasant and stopped to visit with people and make them feel comfortable. I had a real nice visit with DOJ the Friday night of the rally and they agreed with us. They felt that people were really nice and enjoyable. I was surprised when they said that they liked it better when the motorcycles were on San Benito Street. It surprised me because I know the intensity level is much lower without the bikes right out front. I know that most, if not all businesses on San Benito like the new setup much better. People forget that there was no room to walk and not only was it claustrophobic but dangerous before. I am really praying for motorcycle parking only on East Street. A few blocks of nothing but motorcycles will make everyone happy. I believe that our rally will just get better and better. And how about the date change that so many folks were worried about? I found that more locals were upset about the rally not being on the fourth of July weekend than visitors. People spend the fourth with their families doing fireworks and having BBQ's. I saw just as many people as I always do during a rally and they were all having a great time. I got the extra bonus of having all of my Boozefighters on the fourth of July weekend. They got to park right in front of the bar and they didn't have to wait in line to get in which made them happy. They had a wonderful tribute to Gil Armas one of the first Boozefighters that passed away recently. My patio was so full of Boozefighters that I couldn't even get to it. I had to watch the tribute from the ally. Gil came to Johnny's for most of the rallies since the 1996 pre-rally. He will be sorely missed. To sum it all up we had two great weekends at Johnny's. I thought Seth Dalton from Horsepower Promotions and the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce did a great job. They could not have done it without all of the wonderful volunteers and I want to give a shout out to all of them. As with anything there is always room for improvement. Every year I learn something new to do to make things better. Feel free to email me or Seth and the chamber with your thoughts and ideas. Just keep things on a positive note please. Upbeat suggestions are much better received than complaints and criticisms. Later, Cat

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jeana's Party

A great time was had by all Friday night. We celebrated Jeana's birthday. She has been with us since day one and she is a huge blessing to Johnny's. Her brothers all flew in from back east. We had a great meal that included Paul's famous barrel BBQ, my award winning chili and salad and bread wooped up by our Rey. The cake was great as long as you didn't consume one of the balloons. I'm still trying to get the black off of my tongue. We drank purple hooters and sang Karaoke. Some of our Boozefighter buddies even showed up. The new recruit did all the dishes for us. He didn't let dish pan hands keep him from singing a song with me. I can't tell you what we sang and I'm at a loss to remember his name. Too many purple hooters I guess. My feet swelled up so bad that I couldn't get my boots on to sing my standard birthday song. I couldn't let Jeana's 50th birthday go by without doing it so I sang These Slippers Are Made for Walking. It was wayyy too much fun. Check out our website to see the rest of the pictures.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Rally Questions

It's hard to believe it's time for another rally. Time flys when you're havin fun. I get asked the same questions over and over again so I thought I'd try to answer them here and see if we can't spread the word. Why did they move the rally from the fourth of July weekend? There are a couple of reasons. First of all the extra law enforcement is a heck of a lot easier to obtain when our gig is not the same weekend as every other city's in the state. Most cities large or small are having their own fourth of July celebration and do not want to send their man power over here. There are way too many cops anyway, you say. Yes I know but that is not about to change. The folks in Sturgis were all saying the same thing when I was there a couple of years ago. I didn't think there were as many police in Sturgis as we have in Hollister and yet everyone was complaining about the police presence. Don't get me wrong. I too think we have more police than are necessary. Complaining about it isn't going to change a darn thing. Last year with the change of venue it was really a lot more enjoyable experience. I thought our men in blue were quite pleasant for the the most part. They were shaking hands and having conversations with everyone. It was real nice. That brings me to another waa waa. Why did they take the bikes off of San Benito Street? There are many businesses downtown that are not biker bars. They did not enjoy the exhaust in their buildings. They found the people leaning up against their windows, putting footprints on their walls and squashing all of their plant life to be a unpleasant experience. The venders on San Benito Street made the rally more local business friendly. When business is happy everybody is happy. The food vendors are being moved to the grass area at the corner of fourth and San Benito Streets. Rumor has it there will be benchs to sit on and even a little shade. Motorcycle VIP parking will be on Fifth Street where the food vendors were. This rally promises to get better every year with Seth Dalton working with our city and our chamber of commerce. Who knows maybe next year they will take my advice and make East Street biker parking only. I know how much you all miss seeing the motorcycles in one spot and strutting your stuff on your Harleys.

By moving off of the fourth we also have an opportunity to get bigger and better sponsors. This year Jack Daniels is on board. Bigger sponsors means more money. More money means bigger and better entertainment. So come on down and have a great time. Those of you who don't want to skip the fourth of July tradition should come anyway. We plan on having two great party weekends back to back at Johnny's. Our Boozefighters will be in town for the fourth of July weekend. We love our Boozefighters. We have a new tribute to Wino Willie that you should check out. We will be open at 7:00 a.m. Friday through Sunday both weekends. Come on down and park your bikes right in front of the bar on the 4th!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The First Post

Welcome everyone to the new blog for Johnny's! We look forward to seeing you here often as we continue to post the "latest and greatest" about the Hollister Motorcycle Rally, local biker stuff, happenings here at the bar and STORIES!

Your enjoyment of the blog is what we're aiming for, and we also invite you to participate with any cool contributions you might have in the way of comments, pictures, video, stories, etc.

Best Regards!