Fond du Lac Follies motored to the Black Bear Casino to see the Hells Angels. I had seen the Hells Angels once before in the early 1960s. I was a young Marine Military Policeman stationed at Barstow California. The freeway wasn’t completed yet and the main highway ran through the middle of the base.
I was directing traffic at the front gate and I was standing on a half barrel in the middle of the intersection. The barrel was painted yellow and red and had reflectors attached. I stopped the cross traffic when I began to hear a lot of motorcycles coming.
The Hells Angels came down the off ramp and came towards me, must have been at least 50 of them. They came to the front gate and I waved them through. When they were going through the gate some of them decided to weave on both sides of my barrel. I just stood up there waving as they went roaring by. And that was the first time I had seen the Hells Angels up close.
As I got close to the Black Bear casino I was looking for the familiar black leather jackets with their colors. I was disappointed because all I saw were cops. I had read the newspaper and knew the officers were prepared for the five day visit of the Hells Angels to our area. The Hells Angels had rented the Lost Isle bar for their get together. About 200 of them had rented rooms in the Black Bear Casino and Hotel I later learned.
The police were in the hotel and were scattered around the parking lot and some were parked out on Highway 210. There was a helicopter flying low circling, apparently keeping an eye on the Hells Angels.
There were police inside the casino following the Hells Angels around. Ferd Martineau, Fond du Lac’s Secretary/Treasurer, asked the police to leave the casino because they were interfering with the casino customers, Hells Angles and otherwise. The police complied.
Next, Chair Karen Diver asked the police to leave the Black Bear casino property. She told them they would be called if necessary. I watched her walk around the casino handing out playing cards to the Hells Angels. She said she wanted them to feel welcome at the Fond du Lac Reservation. Most of the Hells Angels took the gifts from Karen Diver.
I found the Hells Angels were courteous as I talked with them in the casino. One even held the door for me as he walked through ahead of me.I drove near the Lost Isle Bar and I could see many squad cars of different colors and different jurisdictions parked in a rough perimeter around the gathering site of the Hells Angels. I saw a military Blackhawk helicopter rotating between the casino and the bar.
I talked with two small business owners in the area and asked how business was after the 500 Hells Angels had departed. Both reported their sales were down; even regular customers were staying away because of the large number of police in the area.
Later I learned the law enforcement costs for police overtime was $185,000.
Question of the Month
Q. What are some differences between the Hells Angels and the Police?
A. Guns and budgets, and that whole law and order thing.
**** Fond du Lac Follies motored to the Ditchbanks area of the Rez to check on water levels in some of the wild rice lakes. Charles Nahganub was my local Indian guide on this venture into the wilds of the Rez. Charlie works for the Rez Department of Natural Resources.
We drove to four sites around the Rez and measured the water level, then recorded the depths in a log book. Charlie said the numbers would be crunched back at the office using a software program.
I am glad to know someone is watching the water levels in the Rez water systems to insure we have good water levels for wild rice.
**** Fond du Lac Follies motored to the casino again. This time it was to meet someone who is the opposite of the Hells Angels. It was Stacey Thunder; the best know face and voice on my TV. She is the Host of Native Report, the PBS show that is syndicated throughout a lot of America, including Alaska.
We ate at the belly busting Buffet. She told me of her acting experiences with the new TV show Crash with Dennis Hopper. She also talked about her family and her production company EagleThunder.
We finished our meal and went for a ride in the Corvette. Stacey got a chance to do her Princess wave and also logged some miles driving that beautiful car. **** Mii iw. Mii sa iw