Friday, July 22, 2011


What is Brotherhood? Brother is a word that gets used a lot these days, but what does it mean, at least what does it mean to Bikers and Chopper Riders from the old way of doing things? The best way I’ve found to think of it is like a knot. You have two ropes that get twisted and turned together and the tighter they are pulled the stronger the knot becomes. Some relationships are like slipknots that come apart at the slightest pull. Some are like a bowline knot that gets tighter the more it is pulled until it can’t be undone. We are the strings that make up these knots and the stronger we are the stronger our knots are.

JD Foster - (R.I.P. My Brother) One of my first civilian friends after I got out of the Army. JD and I terrorized the Southside of Birmingham for many years. I Miss You Man!

For example, the guys who are there while the party is going on will always be there for the good times, how many of them will be there when things change? Are the people you hang with the kind of people who will be there when they are truly needed or will they fade away to avoid any unpleasantness. If you have to be away, such as a military deployment or even if you’re in jail will they be the ones who go by your house to make sure your ol’ lady and kids are OK, that they have enough food and that the rent gets paid even if they have to come out of their own pocket to do it? Or will they sneak over and try to cuddle up with your sweetie while your back is turned then run off when the kids are getting evicted? Are they the kind of people that will be there with a truck if you have a wreck to get your bike to a safe place and then start working to get it back on the road before you even regain consciousness? Or will they let the bike get impounded then shrug their shoulders while you try to figure out how to scrape up the cash to get it back?

Blaine Smith and his brother Kevin (R.I.P. Brother Blaine) Blaine made the rack on the back of my Triumph as well as many other small parts with me. He was a true Brother and is greatly missed

Brotherhood is a shared bond that is built by being there for each other and either sharing the same experiences at the same time or at least having similar experiences to know what each other is feeling. The higher stress the experience the tighter the knot gets. That’s why Combat Vets are such a close knit group. Possible death or dismemberment is just about as stressful as it gets. Being there when mutual loved ones die also helps to build this bond. The examples of this bonding are too numerous to mention here but you get what I’m saying.

The Tall Longhair is Lee Brock, My Brother since the 6th grade and thankfully still around. Pic taken in the 90's when I was home on leave from Germany

Basically, Friends  will be there with you when times are good, Good Friends will be there when times are hard, Brothers will be there when it’s almost too much for a person to stand. Brothers will be there BEFORE you can ask for help, they will be there until help is no longer needed and it is a given that you will be there to do the same for them. There are very few people that I actually call Brother. I can probably count them on one hand, maybe even with a pair of mittens on. But I KNOW those people are part of my family and always will be.


  1. Very well written and thoughtful post. Once again you've made me think of something in my life. Bout a year ago I was at a funeral of an old friend of my father's. They met in Korea when they were both in the Army Air Corp (As you know, the early Air Force).My father stayed in the military for twenty one years, and his buddy got out after 4. But they stayed in touch, and when my father retired he chose this area of California, because of a couple trips he'd made out to hunt and fish. Long story short, his friend lived into his eighties, and my father lost his life to Agent Orange in his sixties. His family was there for mine when we went through our loss, and we made sure we were there for them. Once again, very good post and thought provoking. (P.S. My father said the highlight of his military career was flying in P-61 Black Widows. The Photo-Recon version. He manned a camera that was mounted in the bubble where a gun would be in the Fighter/bomber version...Damn, I miss those guys...)

  2. Right on Bro.!!!
    Thanks for the great pics and the inspirational post. I'm sittin' here drinkin' my coffee before work and thinking about the long shitty day I have ahead of me. Your post really puts things into perspective. I've got my family and I've got my Bros. What else could anyone ask for....
    Life is good!

  3. Well put Jeff, very well put. Serving in the military and going to war puts brotherhood into perspective for sure, guys you depend on to LIVE, not guys you call on for free parts.

  4. Very cool Jeff. This post makes me want to strive to be that kind of friend to others. We only have a short time in this life and it's definitely better to experience life, both good and bad, with friends (or "Bros", "Brothers", or "Brosephs")!!!