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Killing Machine Choppers - The Good 'ol Days Chapter 5

Quadruple Bypass Surgery and Grand Openings.

Photos and text by Algie Pirrello, Killing Machine Choppers.

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In October 2008, I had quadruple heart bypass surgery to bypass 6 blockages. If it weren’t for the Hardtail Harlot’s relentless nagging, I wouldn’t be here to share my adventures. After the surgery, we started looking for new digs. Our shop was a split level and pushing bikes up steep inclines was out for me.  I also wanted to slow my roll a bit. Hun was in school and my old road dog Snoop and I were alone to deal with everything. We dug in for the winter with the plan to start looking for a new shop in the spring.
It was a tough winter. There were vast amounts of snow and I was on strict orders from the doctor to limit my physical activity. To make matters worse, we lost Snoop to cancer which was especially difficult for Hun who had rescued him when he was two weeks old. There was a light at the end of the tunnel though. We rescued an American Bulldog mix named Toby to cheer Hun up and he has been my constant companion since.
That spring we found a neat old body shop in Ione, Washington. It had an apartment above it, a fishing hole on the Pend Oreille River that I could walk to, and plenty of room for Hun to open a salon. I put down a deposit and signed the lease. We gave our landlady notice and packed out entire home and shop and made arrangements to borrow a trailer.
One week before we were to move, our new landlady called and she changed her mind about leasing the property. The old battle-axe said, “I do not want to lease it, but I will sell it to you.” Seriously?  I told her that I would not buy that place without knowing if I could actually make a business work there. I asked about a lease option but she flatly refused. I told her that I wanted a full refund of my deposit and hung up on her. There was nothing left to do but eat crow and ask my current landlady for an extension. The irony here is that the place in Ione is still empty (almost 5 years later) and still for sale. Some would call that a sign of the times, but I call it KARMA!
Now, in a panic with a month (thanks to the extension) to find new digs, we found an old gas station in Oldtown, Idaho. We signed a lease, enlisted everyone we know to help us load the trucks and trailer, and we moved. We had so much help from our friends that when Hun got home from school (she was taking BOTH day and night classes) we had emptied the old shop. Lots of folks lent a hand and the whole Pirate Party Crew helped us huck stuff around the shop for days. We moved in September 2009 and decided to have a Grand opening party the following summer. 
This was the beginning of what would become a yearly street drag race event. Again everyone pitched in and we went to work getting the word out beginning in January. We decided to make our Grand Opening a Veterans Benefit. I checked out some Veterans programs. I found one that had and did a lot of stuff I dug. So I called them and asked if I could help them out.
Their local chapter was good with it, but when the Big Bosses over on the coast got wind of it they called me and asked me for an exact dollar amount of our donation. Huh? I informed them it was a benefit and I had no idea how many people would come, or any way to predict exactly how much I would raise. Well, the Big Bosses shut me down. They would not put it on their website as an event and we could not even use their name unless I gave them an exact dollar amount ahead of time.
I put in a call to my real good friend of mine, Psycho (Mike Lovas). He was a retired Marine and knew all that “military talk”. I figured he could speak to them because I was getting nowhere. Well, he spoke to them at length and reported back that those people are, well, I won't use the Marine jargon he laid on me about their bosses. 
Needless to say, we dropped them as a beneficiary. Psycho took over the donation part of things and chose an organization that was thrilled to have our help. He was sure an asset. He also ran the music for the benefit. He got the bands, sound equipment, stage, everything. We changed the posters and got ready to party. 
There were vendors, music, beer gardens, a wet t-shirt contest, good food and great times. The Pirate Wenches put on a bikini bike wash across the street at the Club Rio. Loads of people donated prizes. The Pirate Party Crew gave a Mini-chopper as a prize and we sold tickets for that. If I had to guess I would say close to a thousand people showed up, hung out, partied, and gave their support to our brave veterans that day. All totaled we raised 1500 bucks for the American Legion Riders. Everyone had a ball. Even with all these people in town there was not one problem. This impressed the Bonner County Sherriff’s office.
At 5 am the following morning, Hun and I set out with a garbage bags to pick up any left-over garbage. Everyone must have picked up after themselves because all we found were two crushed cans and a McDonald’s bag. This amazed us because the crowd was huge.
Oldtown will never be the same. Killing Machine has dug in and found a home for the biggest party this area has ever seen! Mark your calendars…next year’s party is already in the planning stages! July 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2014…I can already hear those engines rev!
Click for Facebook page.
Click for Facebook page.

Last years Veterans Run - keep your eyes peeled for the 2014 Event!
Last years Veterans Run - keep your eyes peeled for the 2014 Event!


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Reader Comments

Excelent reading!!!!
I may have stopped by your shop in Port Costa back in 2005....can't be for sure... I know we went thru Crocket on that ride.

And now, I got it on the calendar to ride my '72 kick only Shovel up to see the 4th of July fun.

Since my road name (for over 30 years) is Psycho, it will be cool to maybe meet your buddy Mike "Psycho."

See ya all there.

Scott Thompson
Geyserville, CA
Sunday, February 9, 2014

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