Archive for the ‘History’ Category

“Benny the Bug” (Ron Bennett)

“Benny the Bug” (Ron Bennett), who prefers to be known as “Benny Legend” has been a lifelong fan of racing and riding motorcycles. After local flat track races, he took to racing for many years at the Jolly Roger’s Club Grounds as a member of the Seattle Motorcycle Club, followed by his son Bruce while the track evolved favoring motocross. His daughter Veronica, participated in the races, powder puff, trophy distribution, (and cleaning the toilets.) As a family, they enjoyed many years with the club riding, picnicking and camping. After the grounds sold to developers, he was encouraged to join the resurrected Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club by his friend Carmen Tom. He, Great Ron BennettSeymour and Seymour’s son Dave continued to road ride until the club ascended into a “social” club. With advancing age, those activities permitted by passing youth faded but not the memories.

Ron passed away 12/18/2017 about 7:50 A.M. in his sleep at the V.A. Ron had been there for about 6 weeks. Ron was in his last stage of Alzheimer’s. He was buried at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent WA.

R.I.P Carmen Tom

Carmen D. Tom, a long time resident of Maple Valley and long time Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club member passed away peacefully on April 20, 2018. Carmen was born on April 26, 1926 in Britton, South Dakota to Mr. and Mrs. John D. Tom.
Carmen Tom
Carmen married Donna Hansen on June 19, 1949 in Britton and later moved to the Seattle area. They had four sons; John, Michael, Eugene and Russell. Carmen was known in the area for his passion of motorcycles which lead him to sharing that love by starting Downtown Harley Davidson.

The Jolly Rogers are dedicating this year’s  Bonehead Enduro to him on Sunday April 29, 2018. Carmen  was the oldest rider to collect all the bones on one of the very wettest  years of the Bonehead. He attended many years and said it was his “favorite ride of the year”.

He was a long time VME member and a supporter of the Pacific Northwest Museum of Motorcycling. His service is April 28, 2018. The next day is the Bonehead Enduro and it’s the Jollies honor to dedicate the Enduro to him.

Carmen is survived by his sons John, Michael and Eugene including many grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife Donna and son Russell.

Check out more of Carmen Tom’s life, long time member of the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club in his book titled, “Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” exclusively here on this blog,

Visiting Carmen Tom – by the Great Seymour

There I was today 5/24/17, visiting 91-92 year old [he’s not sure which] Carmen Tom. He was concerned about paying the income tax on a check for a wad of money that showed up in the mail. And he dismissed an appeal from some right wing Christians wanting him to send $29.

He got an 8 month old new doggie that runs around like a streak except when sitting in Carmen’s lap. He asked about 100+ year old Lila Bulen and Fred Bare. I told him about Ron Bennett, Vern Hill & Dick Babcock.

The chick at the DMV annoyed him with a bunch of questions to find out if he should drive. One question was “Can you count to 100?” He said “I suppose, if I have to.” “Piss on it!” Anyway, he doesn’t drive anymore.

He doesn’t use his computer anymore. He says it’s all he can do just to turn it on.

Post submitted by the Great Seymour

My whole family raced out at Jolly Rogers

The official Jolly Ropers Motorcycle Club website received an email today from Konnie Wilson telling of her memories of her dad Robin Wilson and the Jolly Rogers grounds.  Here are her words:

“My name is Konnie Wilson, my whole family raced out at Jolly Rogers.  Ran the concession stand, groomed the hill climb (one year the bulldozer flipped and rolled down the hill climb).

My dad Robin Wilson, mom Sharon Wilson brother Don Wilson, sister Tina, other 2 brother John and Robin.  My uncle John Wilson would come out as well.  We use to help Mickey Faye with his bikes and before races Mickey and Don and some of the other guys would tune up there bikes at our house and test them on our road.  Boy they were loud.

My dad raced with Gus, and Lloyd Albee.  Danny and Annie mc carthy.  We have several photos as we lived at that track every weekend and most of the summers for years.  My dad was an SMC member for 40+ yrs.  unfortunately he passed away on the 18th of march.  We would love to let some of the other riders know.  We had such great memories of the picnics and scrambles, poker runs, and camping in the step van from Smith Van Lines. “


“The ascendancy of the Club”

While it is gratifying to find the name and memory of the club still in existence, it is important to note the newfound structure of the club is a far cry from its heritage, which was enhanced by the former ownership of the club grounds. In that era, members were much more active and supportive of club events, some of which is called to attention by this web site: The lack of concern for squeezing members for dues left them more enthusiastic for contributing their support towards obtaining the satisfaction derived from the money made with activities.

Other than its link with the AMA, there was no connection to other organizations because: We Were the Jolly Rogers’. Our fame was well known within the motorcycling community and our integrity was unchallenged. While the “ascended” club tries to tie itself to that past, its structure makes that effort synthetic. New members pay for the privilege of name recognition, but the connection ends there. Older members are largely gone. It is sad to see what is left of a vibrant club now reverting to its largely closed and exclusive configuration. Secretary Bone expressed their outlook perfectly as follows:

Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club former Secretary “Bone”: “The ascendancy of the Club in Seattle is going to continue and if that makes some of our older members uncomfortable that’s unfortunate but unavoidable.”

(Blog contribution by the Great Seymour)

Ahhh, nostalgia!


Ahhh, nostalgia! Behold, it is I, 76 year old Greatseymour. As you might well imagine, I am a great fan for the club grounds as they were back in the day. Even when there was nothing going on we could go there and find it peacefully quiet. Birdies chirping, and a wilderness like atmosphere, shrouded from adjacent noises by being tucked into its mini enclave. It was a painful day for many when the property went to developers in exchange for money.

The Jolly Rogers president when the grounds were sold was Carmen Tom who owned Downtown Harley. He was well noted for negotiating to make the top dollar on his business deals. He was encouraged to do that as he became more involved with the grounds buyers and was able to squeeze more money from them. After the sale, cries of alarm and betrayal came in from the fans of the grounds and he began to feel guilty so he bought another property for replacement.

Unfortunately his lawyers assured him he would never be able to escape liability. In the face of that, he never used his new property for the purpose he intended.

Back in the day, oldy moldy “hill climbers” were mostly old Harleys and Indians with straight pipes, poor front suspension, no rear suspension, that would run the


hill with wide-open throttle’s moderated only by a kill switch and looking every part of many failed attempts. Later, when large displacement two-stroke motocross bikes were used with very long swing arms, the spectacle was terribly reduced. The old bikes would thrash around and send great swathes of dirt and rocks behind them, but the later version of hill climb motorcycles greatly reduced that. It reminds me of the unlimited hydroplane races using large displacement airplane engines, when they were replaced by turbines. They used to roar and snort but now they just whistle.

For the most part my wife took the movies while I was racing, although Mickey Fay did contribute some. It was somewhat of a pain to go from movies to video, and then have our web master convert them for use on the Jolly Rogers Motorcycle Club website. There is little likelihood they could be sold for reasonable compensation.  However, they are fun to watch.

Have a look!


The Party! remembered by the Great Seymour

Relying on my old geezer memory, I now describe the party we threw on the Jolly Rogers grounds on a pleasant summer day in the mid 80‘s, a superior event worth recalling.

Attending were bikers and friends. CJ prepared a generous meal of spaghetti, potato salad, green salad, garlic bread, and soda pop. Tim (Fingers) DeHan was there with his musical equipment to perform some of his nightclub presentations, singing and playing keyboard. A few riders attempted the track with inadequate results.

To some degree, Tim also functioned as party organizer, which included a contest involving an activity carrying eggs. After handing all an egg, he described their purpose, but the audience was unresponsive and just stood around with egg in hand. As he continued to describe his activity, CJ threw her egg, hitting him in the back.  Not knowing his assailant, he discharged his weapon in kind, and in short order all eggs were utilized in a communal egg fight. The party concluded and all departed happy for the occasion.

And So I Ride

When I meet people who find out that I ride a motorcycle, I often hear… So…you ride a motorcycle, aren’t you afraid of… Getting in an accident? Falling down? Drunk drivers? What are you crazy? You could get hurt. Do you wear a helmet?, Are you in a gang? Are you in your second childhood? That’s too dangerous, why don’t you grow up.

And I say…

I ride for the freedom, for the breeze in my knees! I ride because I can and because I won’t conform! I ride for the feeling of oneness!

And so I ride…

I ride to feel the V-Twin’s awesome power vibrating below my crotch, the pistons churning, the spark of life that gives me freedom as it cycles through 4 strokes, the thunder pulsating from my exhaust. I ride because I don’t need the False safety of a cage! Or the distractions that result from its operation.

And so I ride…

I ride with the passion that it doesn’t matter what brand you ride, if it’s a crotch rocket, cruiser, touring or dirt bike, or where it was made or if you wear a helmet, all that matters is you ride, that you are on two wheels, even three wheels! It matters that you ride ON IT, not drive IN IT.

And so I ride…

I ride on the sweat of those that rode before me. The One Percenter’s that paved the way for me to be free to ride. The MC’s and RC’s and RA’s and MM’s. The Members of ABATE and the MMA. Those that have stood for and still stand for something, because if you don’t stand, you stand for nothing at all. I ride on the memory of those that have died in the process and are now gone.

And so I ride…

I ride for the brotherhood, for the oneness with the road that it offers me and the fellowship that results! I ride because you meet the nicest people on two-wheels! People that judge less and party more!

And so I ride…

I ride one with the road, feeling the weather. Tasting the humidity, smelling the air (or that dead animal rotting away), basking in the Sun as I sit at a stoplight on top of a 200 degree motor. Shivering in the cool morning’s frost, or playfully being tossed around in the wind as it uses my windshield as a sail.

I ride with the knowledge that some bugs taste better than others and that rain drops feel like needles at 70mph.

I ride knowing that nobody can see me and that everyone is trying to kill me on the road.

I ride with the chance that at any time I could experience circumstances beyond my control.

I ride because Nobody can tell me I can’t!

And so I ride…

Bennie the bug

We get old, we try to deal with it.  Still you have aches and pains.  Ron Bennett takes great care of himself, working out daily at the gym.  He’s was one of the top riders from yester year on the Jolly Roger MX track.  Still has his racing bikes in a spotless garage.  Bennie the bug, a very honorable person, may he live to a hundred @ a day.

These are the guys that deserve respect.  In this case the man makes the patch. As it should be.  He may have a few more wrinkles but he looks the same from his racing pictures on the Jolly Rogers MC Blog.

Written by Sprocket

“Wearing the Patch” by Sprocket

The Great Seymour asked I, Sprocket if I’d care to share with the world my time spent with the Jolly Rogers.  I agreed, and am writing from the best of my recollection starting when I joined the club at the end of 2007.

A brief background first.  Was a parts guy for both an independent shop and dealership.  At the age of 54 I’ve been involved with a half a dozen clubs.  Seen my best clubber and friend die, have owned my FXRS for the past twenty three years, that would be Harley speak for you metric riders.  With that out of the way, lets move on.

 It was a funny thing when I wore that patch between my shoulder blades.  It was instant recognition. Anywhere I went guys would stop and tell me what they knew of the patch, or a story about a long lost relative that had joined, or the conversation would come back to the long lost track and hill climb.  I would stand there and let the individual spout off because I was a newbie and didn’t quite yet know my 60 years of club history.

But that was about to change.  I rode down to the Central Tavern” in Pioneer Square for “biker” night.  It reminded me of high school in that everybody was clicked up into their various groups.  There was a strong showing of Bandido MC, the Resurrection MC, and a whole bushel of wanna be’s like moths drawn to a flame.

I was a curiosity because more people have heard about the club than actually standing eye ball to eye ball to what was perceived to be a ghost.  The membership at the time was in decline but in the following years the club grew in leaps an bounds.  How much you might ask, and the stock answer is that’s club business.

I was introduced to a short jovial fellow by the name of Strokker.  As it turned out in our conversation, we lived a mere 4 blocks from each other.  I remember he had quite an assortment of Bandido patches indicating that he was a member for some time.  Also he had a side kick in civilian clothes with the termination for never letting Strokker’s drinks go dry.  Looking back, I remember making one of my biggest blunders in that I was spouting off my knowledge of Bandido Presidents in order no less, to the point where my habit of talking too much raised it’s ugly head.

For a few uncomfortable moments I was probably perceived as some kind of narc.  And that’s not a good thing in the big boy’s world.  I rallied, talked about his red and gold Shovel which was quite obvious he was proud of his scoot, as he should be.  I left that night with some lesson’s learned, was a Road Captain for the club and my claim to fame is I got everybody safe to the following Oyster Run.  That included members and quite a few quest’s came on the run.

Now, just another old guy with stories.