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Killing Machine Choppers - The Good 'ol Days Chapter 4

Veteran’s Affairs: Killing Machine Supports Our Troops

by Algie Pirrello

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One day, while we were moving some bikes out of the shop, two riders flew by on Highway 2 and locked ‘em up. They flipped a U-turn and came in the lot. It was two active duty Marines from the Inspector / Instructor staff at the Spokane Marine Corps Reserve Center.
One was a First Sergeant affectionately known as Bruiser and the other was a Gunnery Sergeant named Tarek which I dubbed the “Funny Gunny”. They were both riding hogs. I got to rappin’ with them and we immediately hit it off. My girlfriend the Hardtail Harlot knew all that military talk (she had once been married to a Jarhead) so she translated. We shot the shit, chewed the fat, bullshitted something fierce, had a few cold beers, and became fast friends.
After that, they would stop by from time to time to BS and say hey. We would work on and talk about bikes, and of course, they lived for giving me a hard time. They told me stories of the Corps and I told them stories of the old days and talked bike stuff. Once we got to know each other the conversations turned to what we were going to do to their bikes when the snow fell.
One day while we were drinking and playing catch with my girl’s dog Snoop, we got to rappin’ about how they have what is called the Marine Corps Ball. Attendance at the Ball is mandatory and the Marines’ tickets are free but if they want to bring a date, they have to pay for their date’s ticket. The tickets can be expensive. Bruiser wished out loud that he had the funds to pay for the dates of the men in his unit since these Marines had just returned from Iraq. At some point, a few beers into our conversation, the idea for a party came up. Bruiser looked at me with some doubt. He said that a party sounded fun but wondered (again out loud) how that would help. Dubbing myself 'Captin Party' I said, "Why not make the party a benefit and have it here at The Machine?"  So we had a few more and planned what would become a huge (and very successful) benefit bash! 
We cleaned up the grounds, got prizes, food, and beer donated, and met Mike “Psycho” Lovas who would coordinate the bands that volunteered their time.  We all became fast friends during the planning and execution of this event. A local carpenter had heard the plan to throw a party and built the bar for the event. The jarheads made a sign for the bar that said “Algies Bar Mang” making fun of my Midwest way of talking. Things were shaping up into something that looked like we just might pull it off.
The Bash started as a run from the Oasis Bar in Spokane and ended at Killing Machine Choppers. We had everything ready at the Machine. Just as the bikes turned off the highway I got a call from the cops. They asked if I knew that a lot of bikes just pulled into our parking lot. I told them about our party and they said, “OK, have a good one!” and hung up.  A lot of locals showed up to join the festivities and to donate to a good cause. So many generous people and local businesses gave so much to show their appreciation for our troops and it seemed that everyone won prizes in the raffle.  I thought the event did well for our first try. We were able to raise 5,000.00 bucks to give returning jarheads and their dates (covering a Tri-State area) an amazing Marine Corps Ball. 
We had a blast and not one bit of trouble. Well….almost no trouble. Tarek (the Funny Gunny, aka the Elbow of Death ) got into an altercation in the restroom. Hun (the Hardtail Harlot)  had a collection of Tinkerbell figurines on a shelf in the restroom. Apparently Tarek and Tinkerbell had some sort of disagreement. When Tarek emerged from the restroom it looked like he and Tink had gone 12 rounds. Poor Tink  had lost her both of her wings and one leg. To this day Tarek never told us what she (Tinkerbell) did to start that fight.
Other than the infamous “Fight of the Century”, everyone had the time of their lives. We had great music and a bike show. There were some clean machines there.  The Loser Yank and her husband brought up their two bikes from Port Costa, California to join in the fun and help out. We had friends from as far away as southern California in attendance and helping out. The band On Tap played music while we all played with what was On Tap at the bar. The music went on almost until daylight thanks to other musicians and jokesters jockeying for position on stage.
The camping was the best part, all you had to do was step away from the fire and pass out. It doesn’t get much better than that. Someone made some “forkless” apple pie and peach pie moonshine that was good. So good, in fact, that it was responsible for most of the fireside camping. Man those Marines can drink. Whoever coined the term “Drink like a sailor” obviously never partied with the Marines. The poor Loser Yank bit the dirt while strolling around the big tent in the dark, or was it daylight?  We’ll let Sharki tell that sorry (wink, wink). 
I think everyone at the Bash had sore sides (and heads) from the party. Fun was had by all locals as well as the Marines. Sharki the Loser Yank wasn’t the only one eating dirt. One of the locals had some thing go wrong, and everyone began to shout Medic!!!!!!  Out comes our new friend Psycho. He patched the local up in record time. He had come equipped  with a canvas first aid bag, I will never forget that as long as I live. The bash went on until everyone passed out. The next day we all had a fine breakfast cooked on the spot by our new found devil dog friends.
This bash was a sore spot for some, but a real big deal to the rest of us. Together we raised some funds for a great cause. It was a true team effort. Hun and I got an invite  to attend the ball. It meant the world to me but unfortunately I had to decline. Heart issues caused me to have to miss a chance of a lifetime. I was recovering from 6-way heart bypass and the doc said no drinking or dancing for a few weeks.
Over the years I grew close to Bruiser, Tarek (and his elbow of death ) and Psycho. I did work on these guys’ bikes (as you can see from the pictures). Tarek gifted the shop with battle flags from Fallujah and he just recently sent me a real nice knife after he caught me casting longing looks at his K- Bar.  I fell in love with his wife who I call “Sargette”. She is such a wonderful girl. They would drunk-dial Hun and I at odd hours to see how things were here on the “cell block”. When Bruiser retired we put together an award for him using a Gas Tank with bullet holes in it, in fact, one was still rolling around in it.  I had it hanging in the shop and I am not telling this story, so don’t even think about asking. 
Most of all I want you to know how much these guys mean to me. These are some of America’s best men. They give selflessly to keep us all safe. I loved working with them and being able to call them my friends, Mang (Alginese for Man)! Bruiser is now retired and living in Texas. He swears my dog Toby once lunged at him but we’re still friends.  I still talk to him and his beautiful wife Mary who we finally got to meet while showing Bruiser’s newly modified “Killing Machine” bike at the 100 Years of Motorcycles Rally in Spokane. They would like to open a Killing Machine South when they retire for real.  Tarek has been back to visit since moving back east. It did not take us long to fall into old habits.  I must have been having fun because I got '86ed' from the bar across the street from the shop. He must have had fun too because I vaguely remember standing in a puddle of warm puke in my socks trying to wake him up and tell him to come crash inside. He has since tried to convince me that it was good for my feet!
The benefits were such a great success and so much fun that we do one every year now. It has even evolved into motorcycle street drag races! You do not want to miss out so watch for the announcement for next year’s street drags. 
Poster from last years event:  
Keep watching for the 2014 Announcement!

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Reader Comments

I love reading stuff like this.

Palmerston North, New Zealand
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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