“…. all donned “leathers” with the signature Warlock Phoenix emblazoned on the back. “

The Warlocks Motorcycle Club is a notorious motorcycle gang that has chapters all around the United States and a strong presence here in Florida. Until recently, I wasn’t aware that the club was still in existence, it’s not oft in my everyday life that I come across renegade bikers. A few Sunday’s ago though I did. After an early brunch with my friend Brandon and a few white russians to cure our hangovers, we decided to head north of town and stopped at a random sports bar along the way. It was one of those places the record would’ve stopped when we walked in the door but it was early and there was few patrons inside. The bartender, about our age(late 20′s), gave us a questioning glance over as she asked for our drink order. Her demeanor made it apparent that she ran the place with an iron fist and had handled more than her share of disorderly characters. A look around the place over our first drink was entertaining enough but I suggested to Brandon that we hit the road. He insisted we stay for one more since our schedule that day was obviously wide open to anything. Staying for that extra drink turned out to be quite the game changer. As we ordered, the low rumble of several motorcycles was heard entering the parking lot.
Several rugged men ambled through the door shortly after, all donned “leathers” with the signature Warlock Phoenix emblazoned on the back. The guys were all members of the mother chapter of the Florida Warlocks which happened to be located only a few miles away. My friend Brandon surprisingly knew the one younger member of the crew and before we knew it Jameson and Jaeger shots were being raised by all in the bar. The day was a special day for them as they were celebrating the life of one of their lost brothers, “Boss Man.” The bar was a quick stop as they were going to their clubhouse to round up fellow members before going to his Wake. An invitation to come was surprisingly extended our way and without second guessing we followed the guys out of the bar. First to their clubhouse and then on to Bossman’s house where a wake in his remembrance was being held.

The members we were with were running slightly late, so we walked up to the Wake with all eyes on us. About 70 people, mostly Warlocks and family members, were in the backyard where the wake was in progress. The guys we had come with talked to a few of their brothers to vouch for us. Soon we were talking with the brothers and listening to their stories about Boss Man all while enjoying the cold beer and food that was provided. The stories about Boss Man portrayed him as an intimidating man with a big heart. He was also a great musician, and respected family man. The loyalty and respect all members had for each other was refreshing for what many consider only to be a ruthless drug running gang. One of the brothers told us a story about how he’d been in the hospital for three years following a motorcycle accident, one of his closest brothers brought him dinner every single day for those three years. I couldn’t help but think that the only my people in my life that would visit me everyday in a hospital would by my Mother and Father. They were all family. By the end of the day I was blown away by the respect they treated each other and us with. I ended up telling Jon, one of the members, these exact thoughts and he asked me to repeat what I had told him to everyone else. Knowing that saying no was not an option I followed him up to the microphone at the front of the party. The mic was currently up against a boombox that was playing a recording of one Bossman’s best shows from the Iron Horse Saloon. Jon pulled the mic away from the boombox and everyone turned and looked at me as Jon introduced me. I can’t remember exactly what I ending up saying but, I know I mentioned something about them being “one large family” and about how I wished I had known Boss Man while he was alive. I did end it with my drink held high and a “Cheers to the Boss Man.” Luckily it was a toast in which everyone joined in on, and the celebration continued

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