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Monday Edition


Our First Clubhouse

By Dave Arthur

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Shortly after our club started in 1960, we got a clubhouse. I can’t remember if we got it in 1960 or 1961. It was an old house on about an acre. It was on Old Topanga Canyon Road which led over the mountains and eventually to Pacific Coast Highway and the beach.

All the members in the club at that time were older than me, most had jobs and a place to live. I was only eighteen (61 years ago) but the rule was you had to be 21 to be in the club. I skirted that rule somehow as nobody said anything about me, and I of course never bought it up.

I loved the new clubhouse, it was a wooden house and it was large and old. It was on an acre or two of property. The driveway was dirt and long leading to the house. I decided to live there, and any member was welcome to do the same. There was always others there and even members or guests from other clubs stayed there.

We had parties there and at the time I was the club treasurer. We charged outsiders a buck or two to attend some of the parties. I loved it when outsiders came because they bought new girls with them. Most all the members were still in their mid to late twenties. The testosterone levels were high. The parties lasted a few days but there was always a straggler or two who might stay a week or so.

Sometimes girls didn’t leave with those they came with and became a members new girlfriend.

In those days police would harass us constantly. When we were on our bikes, we would always get stopped for something. The police had old tube type radios in their cars, and they would call some central place to see if there were any warrants out for our arrest.

Unlike today this took a long time, the cop usually used the time to write you a ticket for some chickenshit thing that was wrong with you or your bike. No mirror, no horn, no high and low beam indicator light, no front brake, handlebars to high, are all things that come to mind. In any case some members like myself would not pay the tickets or go to court which resulted in warrants being issued for our arrest.

Normally you would amass several warrants before being caught and going to jail. I was still only eighteen when I went to jail for traffic ticket warrants for 45 days. That was the beginning of a relationship with jails for me that lasted over 20 years.

Once the police learned where our clubhouse was, they would come there. For them, it was like catching fish in a barrel. The club house was built on a raised foundation. We cut out a section of the wooden floor and added a hinge, so that it would open quickly allowing access to the space under the house. We put a throw rug over it and screwed the legs of a chair to it. You could push on the chair and the trap door opened allowing you to scoot under the house.

When police arrived, if you had warrants there was a place to hide, where you were exempt from arrest! Eventually we lost that clubhouse, I think the landlord sold it or something.

At the time I somehow amassed about $75.00 dollars and bought a 1936 Chevy truck. These trucks had even less than a six-foot bed. They were six-cylinder motors and 50 miles per hour was hauling ass in one of them. I built a camper on the back of it out of knotty pine. It was really crude, but it held a mattress.

I had a redhead girlfriend named Helen at the time and we lived in it. One day we were drinking and taking REDS which were downers. We were arguing, and we were gonna leave to go somewhere. I was in the truck yelling for Helen to get in the truck, but she wasn’t answering me.

I started to back up and I thought I was on a rock, but I backed over Helen! The truck was so light it didn’t hurt her too bad, but she was pissed off even worse. This might have been why we broke up. Those kinds of days were fairly common back then.


--Dave Arthur
Editor's note: I asked if this was the clubhouse the Slaves tore down and recently received this response: Sage Slinger--Keith Ball that might be the house in Canoga early '70s , we moved out and gave it to the club. We moved up to Oregon. Got one last phone call, while the phone line still worked.. Sounded like a hell of a party. 

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Reader Comments

I am trying to locate old friends for help a family at Sea Bridge marina Oxnard channel islands California has been harassing me and had made police reports at Oxnard police department so back to old school looking for help to find this mad crazy family who has been Harrasing me my home and vandalizing my life I am old school 61 disabled this young punk in early 20s is Hawaiian Asian with father with spy equipment gadgets that watch me my passwords bank doctors my mail I need help to find them boat New Biginning at Sea Bridge marina Oxnard channel islands California

Rick Jimenez
Tehachapi, CA
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Class! We'll never see the likes of them again.

Paul Harris
Abingdon, OX, United Kingdom
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Fun to hear about the old club guys. Seems like it wasn't much difference from the early '70s, police harassment, low on bucks and wild women !!
Yeah , fun times ??

Ed Hardison
Corolla, NC
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Editor Response Non stop.

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