Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dakota's Story

Dakota’s Story


To all of you that were a part of that motley crew who made the seventies and the eighties an experience of a lifetime. I am grateful to you in learning not to judge every book by its cover. It was then that I tasted my first a real sense of freedom and in it I found a quiet peace that has never been equaled.

“He cannot complain of a harsh sentence, he who is the master of his own fate”. By, Johann Friedrich Von Schiller

Chapter One - The Beginning

The local Auckland newspaper carried an article that read:
“Adam K. Broeserry a long time member of the Satan’s Angel Motorcycle Club, died on May 3rd, 2010 at his home in Auckland New Zealand. He lost his two year battle with cancer at the age of 56. He reportedly was single man having no immediate family. Adam lived as an upstanding member of both society and the motorcycle world and will be missed. Mr. Broeserry was a successful real estate developer with many commercial buildings in his holdings. No funeral is planned as of this printing”.

The truth was that Adam K. Broeserry had lived under that assumed name for twenty-one years. His real name was Dakota Roseberry and this is his story.

It was May 17th, 2010. Shiloh was completely unaware that her father had died. It happened just a few days before her Mothers untimely death that same month. The man she had never known died quietly in his home in New Zealand. She wouldn’t find that out for nearly a year. Not until that huge manila envelope arrived at her house. It was addressed to both her self and her Mom. It had been sent from a solicitor’s office in New Zealand. That alone naturally spiked her curiosity maybe now after all this time; she would finally be able to meet her father she’d thought.

Once inside the house she tore into the envelope only to discover a polite letter from the lawyer expressing sympathy for the loss of her father. She stared at the words on the page in disbelief. In that moment it seemed oddly ironic that her mother had died just a few short days after his death. She couldn’t have known he’d passed on. Or had she? Shiloh was left to wonder. Then without warning tears slid down her face crying for the man she would never know.

In addition to the sympathetic letter from the lawyer there were a vast number of documents which in that moment were nothing more than a blur. There was a sealed envelope addressed to her Mom and one addressed to herself. Along with a second manila envelope about an inch thick. Shiloh did not recognize the handwriting. Hurriedly she opened the legal sized envelope finding inside a letter from her father.

My Dearest Shiloh,

I’m so sorry that you and I never had the chance to know one another but I am your father. By the time this reaches you I will be gone. Before that happens I wanted you to know a few things about me. The first and most important thing is that I was never told about you. You must have been six or seven when Allen came to visit for the first time. He brought a lot of photographs with him and in those photos were pictures of you and your mom and all my SFV brothers.

There was no doubt from the very moment I saw your pretty face that you were mine. We look a lot alike but I know your Mom must have told you that. God you are so beautiful. I have looked at those pictures everyday sometimes more since I received them. It let me feel close to you both. I loved you both so much it hurt.

I know your Mom told you things about me but never where I was or why. She was like that your Mom she wouldn’t want you to think badly of me, that was her way. The truth is I did some bad things even if at the time I thought they were for a good reason. That was no excuse because it cost me my freedom, your Mom and ultimately you. Believe me it was not worth it.

I’m certain you have questions and I am going to try and answer them all if time allows. I have written down everything about my life the good and the bad. I’m no writer so excuse my mistakes I just wanted you to hear it from me and not someone else. Allen is my best friend I know he can help you fill in some of the blanks if you ask him.

My childhood well that part of my life is up for grabs I don’t remember too much. My Mom split when I was real small and I lived with my grandparents. Sadly they were really old and died when I was still pretty young. Foster care came next til I took off. You can check into that part but I don’t think there are any relatives left on my side.

I’ve done OK for myself over here. I own a bunch of commercial property, all legit and they pay a nice monthly income. See how it goes before you sell them off. My lawyer is a smart guy he will do right by you, so listen to his advice. I have a nice house near the ocean that has grown in value over the years. I have a number of motorcycles that are all valuable and will get a nice resale value. I’ve got money saved, some stocks and bonds all tied into things I can understand like motorcycles. I’m leaving it all to you.

Maybe I couldn’t be there for you but I built this because of you and your Mom. The will reads that everything goes to your Mom unless she’s already passed, then it all goes to you. I wrote this already knowing she was ill. I get word every now and then not that I really care about being careful anymore but she did.

It’s hard to close this letter but I know I must. I want you to be happy and proud and know that I will love you and your Mom for all eternity. Have a wonderful life my beautiful girl. Forever you’re Dad,
Dakota M. Roseberry
AKA Adam K. Broeserry

P.S. Adam comes from letters in my first name and middle initial and the last name is Roseberry all mixed up. I couldn’t keep my name but I could keep parts of it. My own little joke! I just thought you might like to know. The people in New Zealand only know me as Adam not as Dakota but I guess you already figured that out.

With all the stories her mom told her over the years about her Dad, it had never been enough. She’d longed for more. Oh how she longed to know him. So on that day, there on her living room rug, she hugged that manila envelope to her chest as tears streamed down her beautiful face. Shiloh promised her self that she was going to know everything there was to know about her Dad and that’s how her mission started. She never could have imagined the surprising and dangerous things she would learn over time about both her parents. In that moment all she knew was that she was alone and that she missed them both very much.

Shiloh read her fathers manuscript at least twenty times. She’d spent countless hours talking to Allen asking question after question. Shiloh had known Allen all her life. He loved her like she was his own and she loved him. He’d filled in so to speak over the years for her Dad. He’d attended all her graduations and school plays and even took her Girl Scout troop on a camping trip. He’d filled in at the last minute when Cherri came down with the flu. Their relationship had always been open and honest with the exception of ever talking about her father.

That was true until today. Shiloh called him after finding out about her father’s death. He listened and held her as she cried. They talked for hours. Allen shared lots of stories with her about their crazy adventures before her Mom came along. It was easy for Shiloh to see that Allen held a special love for her Dad. He agreed that she should try to get to know him better in spite of the fact that he was already gone.

Allen was still a member of the club like her Dad had been until the day he died. Shiloh wanted to meet as many of the members that knew him as possible. That’s when she first decided to go to New Zealand. Later she asked Allen if he would go with her and thankfully he agreed. Allen felt it would be cathartic for them both.

Finally after a year of digging, signing forms and talking to everyone she possibly could Shiloh had all the answers. She sat there in her comfortable living room at twenty-one years old staring into the face of the man that was her father. A man she had never known and once more the tears fell like rain.

She had his eyes and his coloring and her mother often remarked that she had his heart as well. Looking into that face and hearing her mother’s words made them both feel closer. She had lost them both and from time to time like today she felt totally alone. The one thing that gave her comfort although she wasn’t especially religious person was in believing that her parents were finally together. It was only fair really they had been forced apart by life’s unfair circumstances. Through all the years they had never stopped loving one other. She hoped desperately that they were together now.

With all the information she’d gathered and uncovered she understood all too well that her Dad’s life had started out badly. In 1959, Dakota was only five years old when his mother stopped coming home. His elderly grandparents took him in. They never explained where his mother was or why she left, leaving him forever to wonder if it was his fault. He never knew that she had run off with a man that would kill her only three months later. Now however, sadly Shiloh knew the truth.

His security lasted only until he was seven and that year both his grandparents became ill and died. The county picked him up and put him into the foster care system, where no one ever loved him again. He was lost and alone and afraid most of the time. He started getting into trouble for small things at first. The records said he was acting out to get attention. Petty theft and boyhood fights got more serious the older and larger he became.

At sixteen he weighed one hundred and seventy pounds of solid muscle. He now stood six feet one inch tall. Foster parents in many cases care little where their wayward charges are as long as the check still comes. He stole a car late one night and robbed a liquor store with two friends and set off for parts unknown. Most importantly no one really cared. His foster parents didn’t report him missing, ever. It was the school that finally notified the authorities that he was missing. Shiloh suspected that was more about money than anyone would ever admit.

The records show that he was arrested for assault when he was just seventeen and sentenced to one year in juvenile hall. There he met a number of boys his own age with the same amount of rage eating them up. He fought everyday and learned more about crimes and how to commit them than is even imaginable. It made him tougher, warier, and smarter in some ways of course none of them were any good.

Inside that juvenile detention center he met a boy about his age whose name was Allen Nathan. They both acted as if they had everything to prove and nothing to lose. They were constantly fighting with other boys. For prudent measures the institution soon housed the pair together. That was how Dakota got his introduction into motorcycles. Specifically Harley Davidson motorcycles, Allen was obsessed with them.

Allen told him that his brother, Lenny who was six years older rode a chopped 1965, Electra Glide, Panhead. He told him that his brother had just gotten his hands on a 1968, FLH Shovelhead, Electra Glide that was wrecked. Telling Dakota that when his brother gets the shovelhead all cherried out he’s gonna give me the panhead. Day after day Allen went on telling him all kinds of things about bikes and riding. He confided that more than anything he wanted to be in the club just like his big brother.

The more Dakota heard the more his interest was peaked. The two shared their life stories with one another. They soon found out that neither of them had, had it very easy. Dakota learned that Allen lived with his older brother now. He recounted how they left home when Allen was about nine and his brother was just fifteen. He said their father was a drunk and a sonofabitch who used to beat the boys often. Finally Lenny got too big to beat so he concentrated on Allen. One night Lenny snapped and kicked the crap out of their old man. Afterwards he realized they would need to leave permanently before their old man killed one of them.

They packed what little they had then absconded with every cent they could find in the house. Making their escape hours before the old man regained consciousness. They hurriedly drove away in their old beat up station wagon. That old car was home for awhile Allen had said. Lenny was big for his age and strong as a bull which allowed him to pick up all sorts of odd jobs. That’s how they ate Allen had said. After nearly two months of heading nowhere in particular they finally ended up in Southern California. The pair decided that the San Fernando Valley was far better than Kansas so they chose to stay.

Lenny looked older and got work in a machine shop where he started learning the trade. At first they rented a room. Then some time later they moved to an apartment. Lenny put Allen back in school much to his dismay and the brothers began to get on with their lives. It wasn’t perfect but it was better than what they had come from. Since Lenny was little kid he’d had an odd obsession with motorcycles. It started after he’d seen a large pack of bikes roaring threw their town one Saturday morning. He swore that one day he’d have one of his own. Now he had the chance to buy one.

Lenny rode that bike every spare minute he had taking Allen with him most weekends. The bike was a stock blue and white, 1965, Panhead which the brothers kept sparkling clean. Along the way Lenny met a guy that everyone called Big Lou.

Now Big Lou was this larger than life character with a quick wit and a short fuse. Big Lou was a member of the local Satan’s Angels motorcycle club. At that time it was a group of about thirteen. They were some of the toughest men you would ever meet. It was a motley crew to say the very least. Lenny and Big Lou became fast friends they did a lot of riding together. Sometimes when they headed for the beach Allen was allowed to tag along. As Allen told it they sure had some great times. It was also obvious that like his big brother Allen had been bitten by the American motorcycle bug.

Allen told him that his brother was finally asked to join the club. So for the next six months the club spent more and more time with them. They did all kinds of things, from barbeques, birthday parties and runs up to the mountains or lakes. It was great. Allen said it was more fun than either of them had ever had. They had all sorts of new experiences just being around them.

It was fairly obvious that most of them accepted Allen as part of the package that came along with Lenny. In spite of his age and the fact that he was a pain in the ass, most members treated him like he was their very own little brother. Allen told her that before they realized what had happened, two guys with no family had places to go for the holidays and people who cared about them.

The way Allen told it, it was the greatest way to grow up. Far better than what he’d come from. He recounted all the things he’d learned, some good and well some not so good. He said he could ride a Harley before he could actually hold it up by him self. They taught him that if you inhale cigar smoke at twelve years old you will defiantly puke. He learned to wrestle first and then fight. He admitted that he seemed to excel in that department. He could tare a bike down like a professional before his fourteenth birthday. They taught him the difference between beer or tequila and whiskey. All of it made him throw up repeatedly. They taught him the difference between a slut and a whore. When he got a little older they taught him that respect must be earned and your word is everything. Funny he remembered that the most importantly they taught him was that he was cared about.

Several years later Lenny opened his own sandblasting business which he was trying to teach to Allen. It wasn’t that Allen minded the work he didn’t. He was just a typical restless and wild teenager. Everything took pritory over work except school. He skipped school every chance he had. He confessed that was how he ended up in juvenile hall. He wanted to prove to everyone that he was a man.

So, late one night he stole a motorcycle. It was a lame attempt to show his brother he was ready for a bike of his own. He of course got caught and that’s how I met your Dad, Allen told her. The two of us became fast friends. Allen laughed as he explained that later he found out that Lenny could have gotten him out of juvi the first day I arrived. He told me he didn’t get me out because he was trying to teach me a lesson, so he left him there.

Her Mom had told her many things over the years about her Dad. Yet the one thing that she repeated again and again was that her Dad had been the only man she had ever loved. She said the time she spent with him were some of the happiest times of her life. Shiloh had heard the story of how her parents had met countless times although she never tired of hearing it.

Thinking back now she clearly remembered her Mom telling her that they met in 1972. Dakota rode his chopper right into the drive thru of the Hot Dog and Taco Hut on Parthina Street. They took one look at each other and in that moment they each knew that they were meant for one another. Crazy but true her mother would always say.

Dakota was nearly nineteen years old. He was six feet three inches tall with long wheat colored hair that hung in tangles from riding his chopper everywhere he went. His bike was what most people referred to as a California chopper. It was candy apple red with drastically extended front forks and no front brake. He liked his handlebars high and wide with a sissy bar as tall as possible to finish off the look. It had these crazy fishtail pipes that he constantly warned her not to touch for fear she’d burn herself.

He was broad shouldered and very muscular, weighing in at a solid one hundred and ninety-eight pounds. His eyes were blue topaz and his skin was golden colored from his days in the sun. There was no doubt he was amazingly handsome funny he didn’t seem to be aware of it. Women were still a mystery to him and since getting out of juvenile hall he had been so busy working for Allen’s brother and hanging around the club he really hadn’t had the time for them.

However, he told everyone that he knew instantly that this girl was special. Not knowing what to do or say he bought his tacos and went on his way. However, he came back every day for a week, before summoning up the nerve to really talk to her. Finally he asked her out and thankfully she said yes. Cherri sighted that there was one major problem her parents. They would never allow her to go out on a date because she was only sixteen. She told him even if they ever said yes it wouldn’t be with a biker or someone that looked anything like him. The reality was harsh. They realized too that her square parents would never understand. It was a problem and Dakota hated problems.

Like all creative teenagers in love they sneaked around at first. He’d take her for rides after school or they would go to the park and talk always making certain she was home on time insuring that no red flags popped up. They were crazy about one another and Dakota wanted more yet he never pushed. He was patient. All Cherri’s girlfriends knew about Dakota. They helped her with alibis and excuses so that the pair could be together. Her teenage girlfriends thought it was so romantic.

The June Lake run would change everything. Of course at the time they didn’t know it. Cherri told her parents that she was invited to go away for a weekend trip with her best friend Ann and her family. She was really going with Dakota to June Lake. They had a great time together. His friends were kinda scary looking yet everyone was so nice to her. She loved the sense of freedom she felt when they were together it was wonderful. She loved riding in the summer sun and the feeling of him in front of her.

When she was older Shiloh remembered her Mother confessing that on that trip was the first time they ever made love. Shiloh remembered that her Mom always smiled and her skin would blush pink as she talked about him, especially when she remembering how gentle and patient he had been with her.

However, trouble soon reared its ugly head. That weekend her mother ran into Ann’s mother at the grocery store. Surprised she asked about the trip and instantly Cherri was busted. When Cherri got home with her half baked story her father beat her senseless. He called her every name in the book while her mother looked on in silence. The pure rage and the look of disgust she saw in their faces made her truly afraid for her life. Later that night, Cherri quietly gathered a few things from her childhood room knowing that she would never return. Then carefully and painfully she climbed out her bedroom window. Cherri was barely able to walk the three miles to Dakota’s house crying rivers of tears.

At the emergency room it was determined that Cherri had two cracked ribs, a broken nose, a chipped left eye socket and multiple bruises and abrasions. There was no doubt that all of her injuries had been caused by a severe beating. Naturally, the police were called and to her horror they nearly arrested Dakota for hurting her. The emergency room doctor carefully explained to the overzealous cops that anyone who had inflicted that much damage would have cut and swollen fists and Dakota did not.

Cherri would not say who had beaten her or why. The doctor insisted she stay overnight for observation. Dakota left only when he was forced by a grouchy old night nurse. As he walked away he understood that one of two things was about to happen. The first was her parents would be called and she would be forced to go back to those monsters. Or second the authorities would call child services and put her in a foster home.

At three a.m. Dakota sneaked back into the hospital knowing he couldn’t let either of those things happen. He helped Cherri dress then carried her down two flights of stairs to his bike. She didn’t say a word. He told her he was taking her home to his house. Then he promised that no one would ever hurt her again. Shiloh loved the look on her mothers face when she told the story of how they met and came to be together. Mostly she loved the happy expression she wore while telling it. It was as if she was transported back in time reliving every moment. This was especially true at the end of her life when the cancer had taken her health and her dignity but thankfully it hadn’t robbed her of her memories.

After that horrible night when Cherri’s father beat her senseless Cherri never did return home ever. Worse yet she’d always known that her parents never looked for her. They never filed a missing persons report nothing. It wasn’t until many years later that they began looking for her when their regret overwhelmed them however by then it was much too late. Cherri had closed that door. The hurt was so deep that she would never forgive them. She would never allow Shiloh to be exposed to them and their conditional love.

When Dakota brought her home he was living with Lenny and Allen. They all shared a rented house in Canoga Park that screamed bachelor pad. The brothers had no problem with Cherri staying there; especially when they came home from work finding the house smelling wonderful. Looking around into longer resembled the messy the dump they had left that morning.

They lived that way for a little more than two years. Dakota was ready for a place that he and Cherri could call home. One morning while scanning the newspaper, Dakota found a house for sale by owner not too far from the Nathan brothers. It was a two bedroom bungalow with a nicely kept yard that included several fruit trees and a detached two car garage. After driving past the house for the very first time he knew that it was perfect.

The next day he made an appointment with the owner and took Cherri for a tour. He could tell by the expression on her face that she loved the place instantly. They settled on a price and the owner had the papers drawn up in Cherri’s name as Dakota had directed. By the time escrow would close Cherri would be eighteen and would be signing the papers legally.

Cherri never asked why Dakota didn’t want his name on the house although she did wonder. Dakota was learning that being in this club could cause problems both legally and financially. He made certain to protect Cherri whenever possible starting with the house.

By, Six Shooter Sally
May be purchased on Smashwords