By Pastor Z. Photos by George Childress and Pastor Z.
12 years ago God sent my “personal angel” Esther – to fall into my life (I love you baby)! In 2002 we were married at Laughlin Community Church by our close friend & brother, Pastor Gene Lee.
So as we’ve done for many years Esther and I were off in the Urban Assault Vehicle (the BFC van & the trailer) for an exciting anniversary trip to the Laughlin River Run in Nevada. We always celebrate our anniversary there as we fell in love with the rally, and the people at Laughlin Community Church (they’re like 2nd family to us)…
Once we hit Laughlin we were joined by two dozen other Bikers For Christ members from 3 different states. We all had an absolute blast, as we rode our chrome horses and “terrorized” (LOL) everywhere all over town (as we passed out a thousand BFC Gospel tracts). We visited all the vendors, and enjoyed a lot of the free music and sights at the Colorado Belle, and the Edgewater.
A few of us attended the Harley-Davidson Dealers Association event at the Tropicana. It was a great event with lots of awards for excellence in their dealerships. The entertainment was awesome, and the Prime Rib was great. I hob-nobbed with the dealership owners, and enjoyed getting to know each of them better.
The next morning we headed for Bullhead City. I also tag-teamed with QT’s Perry Nelson and we hit the Chamber’s event, Bullhead City Bike Rally, and quite a few other events and stops.
Perry and I were both busy shooting pics and meeting folks. There were quite a few booths and a lot of action. It will probably continue to grow year after year as well. They had a $1,000 prize that was given to a lucky winner.
We then rolled to Arizona Performance Cycle and got to visit with the owners Tim & Suzi Hebbert, and their staff. They have a huge assortment of new and used bike parts, and a few of my BFC guys found some deals they couldn’t resist. Outside we were greeted by Lonnie (who plays Alvarez’s #2 of the Mayans on the Sons Of Anarchy show), and another bro Richie who also plays one of the Mayans. We had a great time visiting with them both. Lonnie even let us all sit on his legendary Mayan Softail with 20-inch apehangers, and an incredible airbrush paint job.
Once we got back to Laughlin – there was a variety of vendors: Kuryakyn, Mustang Seats, Vance and Hines, and many others. A real crowd favorite was: UniqCycle Sounds who were installing sound systems – one after another. I got to visit with owner Kris’s buddy Charlie Brechtel for quite awhile. Charlie is an old school biker, rock and roller – blues machine. He showed me lots of details on his very cool Voodoo Bike. He’s a super friendly guy who also does a radio show. Perry and I also hit the Custom Bike Show at the Colorado Belle. There were some beautiful bikes of quite a few different brands. We also got to toss some Quick Throttle t-shirts from the stage, and the crowd went ballistic trying to snag one. Angela (the QT Prospect) got some great pics. Perry and I did as well. I also personally handed out a large box of QT’s to those in attendance. The Bike Show was put together well, and 1st, 2nd & 3rd place plaques plus cash/merchandise certificates were given out.
A real highlight of the weekend was attending the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert with friends Rick & Stell, and my beautiful Esther. Esther and Stell stayed (safely in their seats) – while Rick and I braved our way “all the way up to the extreme front row” and ended up directly at stage front. It was an epic “Best Bro-Hangout Moment for Rick and I – as we joined the crowd in singing along with all of the favorites: Free Bird, Sweet Home Alabama, Tuesdays Gone with the Wind, and so many others.
Skynyrd was as tight as ever – as they pounded out one song after the next. Led by: Johnny (with energy driven, powerful vocals), and the 3 Amigos – early guitarists: Gary, Ricky, and the new addition: Mark “Sparky”– did their incredible triple-searing guitar solos, backed by melodic keyboards by Peter “Keys”, thundering bass by Johnny, and atomic-blasting drums by Michael. The Honkettes (their pretty female backup singers: Dale – Gary’s wife, and Carol) sounded better than ever. As you can assume, Skynyrd is one of my favorite bands. They totally rocked the Laughlin River Run with everything they had. It really was a “Skynyrd Nation” that evening.
The city of Laughlin usually lets you wear your club cuts in the vendor areas, but not in the hotels (so we of course did our “annual flip them” inside out, so they have to try to guess what club you’re in thing). The cops even told me they really hate “not knowing who – is who”. The Sunday morning service is always such a blessing, and filled with the regular church folks and lots of BFC and CMA members. Pastor Gene and his crew are always so hospitable. The church crowd really enjoyed my Biblical, but also very humorous message.
The verdict: The Laughlin River Run is alive and kicking harder than ever in Nevada. It was, and has always been one of the best rallies on the West Coast every year.
Until next time, Pastor Z.